Life on Symi in September

The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation office at 8 a.m. this morning.

Someone must be celebrating something as one of the yachts is 'dressed over all' with the entire contents of the flag locker.

Who says you have to have a patch of earth to have a flower garden? This collection of pots provides an impressive display of colour and texture throughout the year and most of the plants are growing in painted feta cheese cans and plastic plant pots.

8 a.m. and the day has not yet begun.

12 noon and the first customers of the day are settling in for lunch.  This was taken before the Panagia Skiadeni came in at 12.30. so the lanes were still fairly quiet.

A sure sign of changing seasons - the first display of warm jackets and wind cheaters has hit the shops.

Symi Tours is the place to go for your ferry tickets and excursions.  Then you can pop into the emporium next door for the ingredients for an interesting picnic.

The lanes of Yialos are worth browsing for all sorts of shops, cafes and tavernas - and if you are staying on the island for any length of time, a local SIM card for your telephone.

If you look carefully the balcony on the left hand side of the vine, the one with the light blue doors, has an intriguing metal ladder staircase leading from the balcony to the roof.  A novel way to clean the gutters or a look out post for ferries?  On Symi there is always something unusual to see if you look up!

The spire of St John's church in Yialos, the dome of Lemonitissa on the left and, just visible behind St John's, the church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of the Kastro which was built within the ruins of the old castle of the Knights of St John.
It is still hotter than usual for September on Symi but a brisk breeze from the north west has blown away last week's dust and reduced night time temperatures.  We are still some weeks away from the first rains, although the odd downpour is not totally unheard of in September.

Our office has been busy as our houses are full and we also have many people popping in to say 'hello' and drop off donations for the refugees and the Symi Animal Welfare winter feeding scheme.  There is a wedding this afternoon and then we have another big one at the end of next week.  We know that today's wedding has perfect weather, although slightly warmer than planned, but we hope that the one on the 26th does not coincide with one of those 'odd downpours' mentioned in the previous paragraph.

There were only a few refugee arrivals at the weekend and they were processed promptly and have already left the island.  The incident regarding the French Honorary Consul in Bodrum might have significantly reduced the number of boats available.   No doubt someone else will step in to fill the demand in time for the next full moon as there is always someone to spot a gap in the market and exploit it.  Good progress is being made with the decking in the garden of the coast guard building which will provide a clean dry surface for people to sleep.  It is only a week to the equinox and the nights will soon be chilly for people sleeping out of doors.  We still need more monetary donations to reach our target for the infrastructure improvements that need to be made to provide longer term facilities.  There have been refugees arriving on Symi at intervals throughout the 22 years I have lived here and with Symi being one of the border islands, this situation is likely to continue to varying degrees for a very long time.  The link for on line donations is

Have a good week.


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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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