Symi Summer Gold

A wisp of misty cloud over Nimos earlier this week.  

It has been very humid and hazy this week with poor visibility.  This was Wednesday morning, before the Blue Star came in, which is why the quay around the clock tower is empty.

Early morning in Yialos.  A Cypriot cruise ship just docking, motor yachts departing and the fuel bunkering tanker arriving to refuel the water taxis for the day.

Crisis? What crisis?

Bunting and inflatable seagulls decorate an outdoor bar in Yialos.  On hot summer nights everyone is outside and Yialos hums until late into the night.

Bountiful basil at the Symi flower shop.  As basil is a holy herb in this part of the world it is usually the small leaf variety that is grown, to keep evil and insects away.  According to the story, the St Helen and St Constantine identified the location of Christ's crucifixion by the basil growing nearby so it has had special significance in the Orthodox church ever since.

One of the oldest houses on the Kali Strata, awake for the summer.

Composition with cat, steps and water bowl.  Note the whitewash on the water bowl.  Perhaps that is why he has turned his back on it!

Golden light, golden grasses and a delicately gilded pigeon.

Expect the unexpected on Symi in the summer time - the dust on the car is normal in a place with neither water nor rain.  It was the glittery golden drum kit in the back of the car that caught my eye as I walked past.  August is the time for concerts, parties, bouzouki and live music of all kinds.  Every musician on the island has a full calendar.

Do you remember the hen on her stony nest in the water course? Well she hatched nine of her eleven eggs. Mum and brood are now in more comfortable quarters, safe from predatory cats

More summer gold in Lieni.

On my way to work this morning I was stopped by this young man who not only asked me to take his photograph but then wanted to see the results on my camera to make sure he approved!  Grandparents are an important part of the island's economy in the summer as without them to look after the children it would not be possible for parents to work the long hours that they do at this time of the year.  
After a very hot and humid week a tiny breeze has finally found Symi and last night was only about 30 degrees at midnight.  The air is starting to clear a little although the air conditioners around Yialos and Chorio are all still sucking buckets of water out of the atmosphere (very useful for flushing the loo and watering plants during the usual summertime water shortages!).  By the end of August, as the nights grow significantly longer, we will start to have dew at night but at the moment, sea, land and air are all hot around the clock.

Symi is filling up and we are hosting visitors from far and wide.  There are all sorts of languages to be heard in cafes and shops and the mix this year is more diverse than the usual August French and Italian.  There is a constant hum of voices - and often music - as life is lived out of doors at this time of the year and the island's acoustics, particularly in the natural amphitheatre harbour, carry sound all the way up to top of Chorio and beyond.  Don't expect total peace and quiet if you come to Symi in the first three weeks of August!

If you are on the island in the coming days, please keep an eye open for posters taped to community boards, bus stops, shop entrances and lamp posts, advertising all the various events. There is no formal printed program as the different things happening are arranged by a range of different people. I also noticed a sign put up by the coastguard, in Greek, requesting the community's involvement in a sea/beach/shore clean up on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. so it isn't just music, movies and dancing.

Have a good weekend.


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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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