>> Friday, April 15, 2016 – April on Symi, April weather, Blue Star Ferries, farming life on Symi, Greek austerity
|The Blue Star Paros at 8 a.m., Friday morning. The boat comes and goes in a cloud of music as they play 'Fur Elise' as the boarding ramp goes up and down. a sound more evocative of old fashioned ice cream vans than a Greek island ferry! You can see the new customs and immigration shed next to the clock tower more clearly in this photograph.|
|This was probably a post office, if the bust of Hermes is anything to go by. These days it is an artist's studio.|
|Some of the bougainvilleas are starting to flower again.|
|Meanwhile, in the Pedi valley it is time to make hay while the sun shines.|
|Profiti Ilias, a monastery dedicated to the Prophet Elijah, sits high on the hill above the Pedi valley. It is believed that there was an ancient temple to Apollo on that site and there are remains of ancient walls visible below the monastery.|
|Goats using an old stone wall as a route from the hillside into a neglected walled garden. This is the dry and arid side of the Pedi valley with more stones than soil and little grows apart from squills, thistles and euphorbia.|
|Keep out the goats and let the poultry roam among the daisies and this is what you get.|
|Just in case you couldn't see the poultry for the daisies, here is a close up!|
|There is not much in the way of zoning here and bars, cafes and shops are often tucked among the houses in residential areas.|
Down in the harbour the epidemic of painting and decorating continues as shopkeepers press on with their preparations for the season. Sometimes someone sets up a radio for some motivating music but today it is just the sound of voices, scratching sandpaper and swishing paint brushes that comes through the office windows.
The bus has gone to Rhodes again so I will be taking a taxi home if I can't get a lift. As Symi is so steep, the usual pattern is to walk down and ride up - unless one is fit enough to walk both ways which quite a lot of people do if it is not too hot. The arrival of the motor road about 35 years ago must have really revolutionised life for the islanders as before that there was no easy way to get from Yialos to Chorio and steps and ramps were the only option. The motor road is considerably longer than the Kali Strata and the other old pedestrian routes and has to make a generous sweep out of the harbour and back up to the windmills to cope with the gradient, making it quite a spectacular drive. Very few houses on Symi have close vehicle access as the lanes are very narrow and punctuated by steps. The houses are close packed with little space where one could open up space for traffic. There has never been a tradition of wheeled transport here as it is so steep. Those early Symiots must have been very fit!
Have a good weekend.