Strikes and Sunshine

The last day trips of the season were into Panormitis yesterday.

The taverna at Panormitis was so busy that by the time we got there just after 2 that they were already running low on supplies and we wound up sharing a plate of spaghetti and chips as I am allergic to calamari, the only other option still available. 

The smoke of a thousand souvlakis - the vendors were doing a roaring trade in grilled souvlaki, loukomades (Greek doughnuts)  and candy floss.  That's the lone carpet seller in the corner on the left.  Most of the others seemed to give it a miss this year, probably due to the 4 day ferry strike last week.

A huddle of cats outside the carpenter's shop at the bottom of the Kali Strata.  As the weather gets colder the cats are getting fluffier as are mostly feral and sleep out of doors.

There's a brisk north westerly wind blowing today and the sea is an amazing cold deep blue.

White caps and white sails against a backdrop of distant Turkish hills.

A few yachts came into the harbour this morning, checking the possibilities for a secure anchorage. They evidently didn't like what they saw as they soon turned round again and left. They have probably gone round to Pedi which is slightly less bumpy in this wind direction.
There was an excellent turn out for the Panormitis festival this weekend and apparently 16 000 people attended which is quite something for an island with a population of just under 3000 people. There were quite a lot of stalls although many of the regular ones such as the Cretan cheese van and the stalls selling power tools and agricultural implements were conspicuous by their absence. There was also only one carpet seller.  These were evidently affected by the lack of big boats from Piraeus and Crete due to the strike last week.

After today the winter ferry schedule kicks in in earnest.  We will see the Blue Star twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, weather and strikes permitting, and one Dodecanese Seaways catamaran on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays as it calls on its north and south bound routes, once again subject to weather.

There is a big general strike scheduled for Thursday which is likely to affect Friday's Blue Star as according to Kathimerini newspaper, maritime transport will be affected. If the Blue Star cannot leave Piraeus on Thursday afternoon as scheduled then it won't be coming through Symi at 7.30 a.m. on Friday so once again the whole program goes pear-shaped.  It's all part of the excitement of life on a small island in the winter.

The weather remains clear and sunny but is increasingly chilly with a stiff north-westerly breeze - the sort that finds its way through every crack and chink in doors and windows.  Those who travel on motorbikes and scooters have switched to Michelin-man mummy wrappings and it is only those who are walking or sitting in the sun who are still in short sleeves.  Midday temperatures are around 22 degrees, colder in the wind, dropping to around 15 degrees at night.

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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