July Postcards from Symi

Not a cloud in the sky.

The castle is long gone from the Kastro hill - all you can see are the remnants of the fortified walls. The castle was pretty much in a state of disrepair by the time the Germans were using it as a munitions store in the Second World War and when they blew it up, there wasn't much left.  The main damage was actually to the surrounding houses and this part of Chorio has been very slow to be rebuilt. The lanes are very narrow, often too narrow for donkeys, making reconstruction difficult and expensive and as the population is only about a tenth of what it was, there is little pressure to rebuild the more labyrinthine areas of Chorio.

Pedi bay at 7.30 a.m. today. Looking at that sparkling sea.

Those sunflowers are hanging on. That is the Vigla, the highest peak on Symi, in the background. When I first came here 23 years ago there were only two beacons up there - one to relay the TV signals from Rhodes and one to relay the radio signals likewise.  Now it is bristling with towers for the different mobile phone networks.  

If you have anything shipped to Symi, no matter how vehemently the removal firm or supplier will promise you door to door delivery, your goods will arrive on this yellow lorry which will park at a suitable spot in Yialos and then in Chorio.  Everyone comes to collect whatever they are expecting and somehow or other get it to their house.  Very few properties on Symi have close vehicle access so door to door deliveries are just not feasible, anymore so than dustbin men collecting from the houses.  

Yialos and Harani at 8 this morning. Suddenly things are looking busier.

There are even people on the Kali Strata.

One bougainvillea and a light breeze make confetti.

The motorboats are back. The  mooring men work out a system with all the sailing boats in one place, the motorboats in another and then all the gulets lined up in a row.   This way little boats don't get crushed by bigger ones and the hull shapes are compatible.  The mooring men work hard in the summer to keep everyone happy and fouled anchors to a minimum.

Water taxis ready for the beach.  Most of Symi's beaches can only be reached by sea and this is the most effective way of doing this.  When the temperature is 39 degrees the beach is a sensible decision. And yes, that is Michael's trusty 3 wheeler from the Hotel Fiona parked in the foreground.  He was enjoying a quick coffee and chat at Pachos.  That 3-wheeler must be 20 years old by now and he goes all over the island on it so it is something of a movable landmark if that makes any sense.

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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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