>> Friday, March 18, 2016 – ANES ferries, Blue Star Ferries, boutiques and shopping on Symi, Dodecanese Seaways, life on Symi in March, March weather
|The view from my desk at Symi Visitor Accommodation at 9 this morning. It was mild enough to have the balcony doors open. The boat was quite late - she is scheduled to come through at 7.30 a.m. but this seldom happens, as the Friday route from Pireus includes stops at many small islands, including Nissyros and Tilos, where it can be difficult for vehicles to disembark and embark. It only takes a few minutes delay at each port of call to build up a significant delay by the time the boat gets to Symi. The Friday Blue Star route is particularly arduous as after Symi and Rhodes the boat carries on down to Kastellorizon, the most remote and isolated of the Greek islands and then retraces her steps back to Rhodes, Symi and beyond.|
|The big boat brings with it hawkers from other islands and there were three trucks parked at the back of the square this morning, all selling the same combination of oranges, potatoes and green cabbages.|
|The water level is quite low in the harbour at the moment, hence the green fringe of weed visible at the top of the customs house slipway.|
|Cold but dry and sunny - perfect conditions for drying washing in the back streets of Yialos. Very few Symiots have either the space or electricity to spare for a tumbler drier and why pay for something that nature will do for free?|
|Daisies, daisies everywhere.|
|As you can see, they don't have much ground to grow in.|
|Wild flowers pushing up the the concrete of the Lieni carpark.|
Regular visitors to the island will notice some changes to supermarkets up in the village and down in the harbour as both Kampos supermarket at the bus stop in Chorio and Hatzipetros down in the harbour, opposite Symi Flower, are having extensive revamps. It is heartening to see that some locals have faith in the Greek economy and are optimistic enough to be spending some money on improvements. There is always a frisson of excitement at this time of the year as everyone looks to see what everyone else is doing and what new shops and businesses might be opening up. Rumour has it that the place next to the Sunflower laundry, below our office, which was ChouChi Gold for many years before being a fish pedicure place and then a very short-lived café, is about to become a very posh boutique, an outlet for an Athenian boutique. They have certainly spent months on the renovations so it will be interesting to see what happens next. The small boutique downstairs in the Albatross hotel has reopened as an icon shop and is already open for business. There seems to be some mysterious activity going on involving the Symi excursion boat which has suddenly posted a timetable on the old ANES hut at the bus stop. The schedule is on ANES' letterhead but does not appear on their website and so far only shows some random routes from now to early April. Although the Symi is an old car ferry, it has not been allowed to transport vehicles for many years which is why it has been doing day trips out of Rhodes in recent years but if it starts doing some evening routes to fill in the gaps left by Dodecanese Seaways and Blue Star Ferries it could be very useful indeed.
Have a good weekend.