Kalo Mina! Happy October!

As the season changes so does Symi's palette.  The recent rain has literally cleared the air, sharpening details on distant hills and shifting the horizon by many kilometers.  The low angle of the sun brings brightness to some places and deep shadow to others.  I took this photograph on my way to work one morning this week from one of  my favourite view points.  The monasteries at Nimos and Analipsi are already in the sun, as is Evangelismos church but the east-facing part of Harani, Mouragio and Yialos are still in shadow.

A high tech motor-catamaran dive boat in Yialos this morning, with a handful of traditional wooden gulets from Turkey in the background.

Motor yachts all lined up on the south quay of Yialos early this morning.

These Turkish gulets take charter parties on cruises of a week or more along the Turkish coast.  They often call into Symi as part of the itinerary as Yialos is famous for its beautiful neo-classical amphitheatre harbour whereas few of the ports along the opposite coast have any architectural merit, having been mostly destroyed by earthquakes over the years and rebuilt in low-rise concrete.

In a few hours this stretch will be bustling with day-trippers from Rhodes but at 8 a.m. the school rush is over and there are few people around.

Looking across to the sunny side of the harbour.  As Symi is so steep location really makes a huge difference to the temperature - and dampness - of where you live, particularly from October until May.  Many north-facing areas are practically deserted in the winter months and the Kali Strata, the famous steps connecting Chorio and Yialos, is in deep shade for much of the day.

A Cypriot cruise ship as seen from my desk this morning.  Yes, those are people lined up on the deck.  Coming into Yialos on a cruise ship or ferry is one of the prettiest and most magical arrivals in the Greek islands.

Meanwhile, in the Pedi valley, nature's second spring continues apace. We only planted this lucerne on Monday and by Wednesday afternoon the rows were clearly visible.  

A name day celebration at one of the small chapels near where I live.

The recent rain has also swollen the olives. This tree in Lieni is absolutely laden.

Colours and textures - an old windmill in Chorio that has been turned into a very successful summer-time restaurant.
It is October and the island is winding down early this year, not least because the less than friendly ferry timetable for the month has discouraged many last minute bookings, particularly among those who can only come for a week and who find that they have to spend a night in Rhodes at each end of their holiday. This is a pity because, as you can see from the photographs, Symi is really lovely at this time of the year.  Temperatures are still  mild enough to eat out of doors in the evenings, the sea is warm and nature has pulled out all the stops this years to give us a beautiful 'autumn/spring'.  Unfortunately in the present economic climate the shipping companies have to keep a careful eye on the bottom line to survive and need to have a guaranteed number of passengers for a route to be viable, particularly as the subsidy system for the islands is falling away.  If you are wanting to come at the last minute, please check the ferry schedules on www.12ne.gr/en and www.bluestarferries.gr for your particular week before booking your flights to be sure of your connections as the schedule does change through the month so what applies this week might not in a fortnight!

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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