Happy June!

Lantana on a terrace in Chorio.

Fresh white wash (asvesti) at the top of the Kali Strata steps.  This is an annual chore. The trick with white wash is to apply a very thin layer.  It is translucent when wet but dries opaque., giving the gleaming white finish we associate with Greek island postcards.

You may have heard of the dreaded Symi spider that strikes fear in the hearts of grown men etcetera - can you spot the spider in this photograph?

Well, where else would you expect to find an old enamel bathtub?  Mind you, bath tubs are very rare on Symi.  Few houses have either the space or the water for such luxuries and simple wet-room showers are much more common. That is some sort of old vanity unit further up.  Old Villa Laza is having a makeover.

The Friday morning Blue Star Paros, tinkling away like an ice cream van as Fur Elise plays when the ramp goes down or up.

All lined up and ready to roll - most of Symi's beaches can only be reached by sea as they are surrounded by steep cliffs.  Symi is a mountain peak poking out of the Aegean and the shore is so steep that there is no coastal road apart from the bit from Yialos to Nimborio.  The road that connects Yialos and Chorio with Panormitis monastery and Marathounda runs along the spine of the island which makes for spectacular views, particularly on clear days, but does not help trips to the seaside. There is a branch road to Xisos and the army base and from there, if one has a 4x4 one can get down a dirt road to the new taverna and beach at Toli.

The Paros kicks up quite a wash as she whizzes in and out of Yialos.

A caper bush in full bloom on the roof of an old building on the waterfront in Yialos.

Spiti Grand Helene and Villa Iris on Mavrovouni.  The flag is one of the three on the bridge in Yialos.

The vegetable hawkers from Tilos.  Tilos is one of the few small islands that has both good soil and plentiful water so it has a small agricultural economy.  Cooking in the islands is determined by what is in season and menus are based on what you can get. Newcomers to the island who are accustomed to deciding on a recipe, making out a shopping list for ingredients and then picking them all up at the supermarket can find it difficult to adjust. The rest of us are used to looking at a glut of something and thinking, 'now what can I make for dinner using that, that and that?'

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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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