Happy Friday on Sunny Symi

Symi's unique brand of neo-classical architecture is one of the island's great charms and residents take great delight in making their homes, small as they may be, as pretty as possible.  The colours permitted in the harbour area are strictly controlled.

The sponge seller near the bridge dunks his sponges in the harbour to keep them flexible. That is an electric tricycle in the background - the bin has been lifted as the batteries that power it are being put into position after spending the night on charge in the bakery.  On Symi you can always expect the unexpected.

Symi's waterfront is a colourful line up of boutiques, cafes, tavernas and shops going right around the horseshoe of the harbour.

A fisherman with sponge sellers and leather merchants in the background.

A bit scorched in places from the customs house fire but the fish market is still in use.

Fresh melons and vegetables from Tilos. The trucks came off the Blue Star this morning and parked at the back of the town square.  Later on they will drive up to Chorio and park at Kampos so that the housewives of Chorio have their chance.
There is very little level ground on Symi and most houses are built on slopes, cliffs, hillsides and mountains.  I took this photograph from the bridge in Yialos so that is the roof of the fish market in the foreground. The hill in the background is the Vigla, Symi's highest peak, hence the aerials on the top for the mobile phone network, TV, radio and so on.  The houses you can see are on the slopes are part of the oldest area of Chorio and are clustered around the top of the Kataraktis, an ancient donkey path that goes up the back of the Kastro (the hill on the left) , skirting a edge of a cataract, hence the name. The cataract flows during the winter rains, carrying the run off from all those hillsides, down the gully and into the harbour, flowing through the side of the town square and under the bridge, into the sea.  It is difficult to imagine in dry weather, but this can be quite a lethal flash flood in the rainy season and the town hall issues warnings over the town tannoy, telling people to move their cars out of that part of the square when heavy rain is expected.

I wonder what the story is behind these playing cards, lying in the silt on the customs house slipway this morning.  I apologise for the poor quality of the photograph - my camera is not very sophisticated but I wanted to share this rather unusual sight with you.

Ruins to dream about.

Those are replica caiques you can see through that chink in the door. An elderly carpenter works away quietly in there, producing this beautiful model boats.  I won't tell you where this is - explore the byways and side lanes of Yialos and you will find him!

Alexey & Valentina –   – (Friday, May 20, 2016)  

We fell in love with this place once visited him in 2015 . We wish your country the absence of crises and prosperity as soon as possible . From Russia with love

Anonymous –   – (Friday, May 20, 2016)  

We fell in love with this place once visited him in 2015 . We wish your country the absence of crises and prosperity as soon as possible . From Russia with love

Anonymous –   – (Saturday, May 21, 2016)  

Another wonderful array of photos from Adriana. You most certainly have a gift for presenting an eclectic blend of the enlightening and the mysterious. Thank you for brightening all our lives.

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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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