A Warm Sunny Spring Day on Symi

Lemons in Yialos.  I noticed that all the ones that can be reached safely from the balcony have been picked.  Someone with a ladder will have to take down the rest. Citrus trees carry flowers and fruit simultaneously and the scent is intoxicating.

The shop under the nautical museum at the back of the square in Yialos is opening up for the season. The daisies, on the other hand, open up every day as long as the sun shines and someone remembers to water them!

Either the pot and basket man had a very good weekend and this is all that is left of his stock or he didn't bring much with him this time.  All sorts of things arrive on trucks and in vans at this time of the year and the hawkers bring everything from ropes of garlic to garden furniture to cheap tracky bottoms and trainers.

Open for business on the water front in Yialos.  As it is about 25 degrees today one might want a summer frock or cotton kaftan. As it is cool in the shade or out on a scooter, one might also want a warm scarf.

The shops on Symi are unique and so are their signs. This is the new icon shop near our office.  No perspex and neon on Symi!

The mammoth task of weeding the Kali Strata has begun. The lone municipal employee responsible for this epic job was taking a breather much further down  when I was passing at 8 this morning - he is the blob next to the electricity pole in the middle distance.  

Faded grandeur and fading alexanders near the top of the Kali Strata.

The rose scented geraniums have started to open in the last few days - another fragrance evocative of warm Mediterranean summers.

It is a warm sunny spring day on Symi. It is about 25 degrees, warmer on the sunny side of the harbour, and temperatures will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Old Symi hands will know that it is not unusual to have the odd day in the 30s in April. Evenings are around 16 degrees centigrade at the moment so a shawl is useful if sitting outside.  There is an amiable buzz of activity in Yialos and everyone has something to do. Even from the splendid isolation of my desk upstairs at Symi Visitor Accommodation I can hear the sound of someone sanding wood by hand in the lane and the distant chink-chink of plaster being chipped off another building near the tinsmith and the buzz  of conversation.

There are also some familiar faces around the island as Symi has devotees who would not dream of coming to Symi at any other time of the year.  I was talking to one of these returnees this morning and this is the first time she has been back in 8 years. She said what struck her was that there were far fewer cars than in the past and far more people seemed to be using bicycles to get around the harbour side, making it quieter than it was when she left here, shortly before the global economic downturn really kicked in. An unexpected bonus of the punitive austerity measures that have made it too expensive for many Greeks to keep their cars on the road.

The Blue Star Diagoras is off to have her bottom scraped and other essential annual maintenance done so the smaller, nippier Blue Star Paros is taking over the route for a few weeks.  Although the ferry schedules are available on the respective ferry company websites, not all routes are bookable at the moment so if you are trying to book tickets on line, please be patient.

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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