Monday on Symi

Although it is still very hot - temperatures are back around 40 degrees centigrade - there is an autumnal quality to the light and the mornings are quite hazy. As you can see, Pedi bay is quite empty in comparison to a week or so ago.

Calm seas and very little yachting activity in Harani and Yialos.

The megayachts have gone, leaving a clear view across the harbour.

A local fishing boat. The two little boys are from one of the refugees families waiting on that side of the harbour.

These Syrian refugees have found shelter in a taverna on the waterfront in Yialos.  They will have arrived in the course of the weekend and will be waiting to receive their travel papers.  The majority of the refugees from last week were able to leave on Friday night's Blue Star. Although the weather is calm there is less moonlight now so we should have fewer arrivals, at least on unseaworthy inflatable boats, until the moon starts to wax again.  

Traditional Symiot houses are very high maintenance.  Here you can see the difference between what happens to woodwork when it is exposed to the elements, and the protected inner surface.   The local climate goes from incredibly wet and quite cold in the winter to extremely hot and dry in the summer which wreaks havoc with wooden doors and shutters.  Ideally everything needs painting every spring as a season's neglect quickly deteriorates into something that needs major repair or replacement rather than a lick of paint.  As Symi's architecture is protected, houses are required by the Archeologia to have the traditional wooden doors and shutters.  This is why there are so many carpenters on the island.

An old grapevine has taken over on this neglected house near the high school.  Judging by the lush growth, the roots are probably firmly in the rain water cistern underneath the house.  As Symi has no natural water to speak of and the island's water supplies are brought in by boat from Rhodes, all the houses have cisterns.  In the old days these would be filled by harvesting the winter rains from the roof and then carefully eked out to last the summer. These days the municipality supplies a water ration to the houses in the summer.  Each house has a pump which pressurises the water from the cistern to the tap. This is why if there is a power cut the water goes off.

Spearmint flowering at the base of the Kali Strata.

Not much happening at this carpenter's workshop.

Symi cats love sleeping on pergolas and any breezy places where there is a draft above and below. We will know that the weather is changing for sure when the cats start looking for patches of sunshine again.

Well, where else would you put your water toys to dry after a trip to the beach except in a convenient ruin?  As there are no swimming pools, the children all learn to swim in the sea.  There is an area cordoned off with lane markers in Nimborio that serves the purpose of the 'school pool'.

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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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