August Postcards from Symi

The meltemi has blown the haze away and the horizon is back, for a while at least.

This is a photograph of a venerable old blue Mercedes which came off the Blue Star this morning, as seen from the balcony of the Symi Visitor Accommodation office

Pedi looking remarkably empty for August.  One can must make out the distant hills of Turkey across the water.

Once upon a time all those doors were shops and the Kali Strata was a bustling main road.  The Symiots were certainly a fit lot in those days when there was no alternative to climbing all those steps except possibly riding a donkey. Imagine living near the top and having to walk down to the shops on  the steps and then carry the shopping back up in the days when there were no cars, bikes, taxis or buses.

A 'deka-okto' looking for breakfast among the paving stones.

An unusual art deco balcony support.  Most of the houses on the Kali Strata are 19th century so this was evidently a much more recent addition.

About half way down the steps widen out into a square. The large white house is actually much older than most of the other houses on the Kali Strata and has some Ottoman ornamentation above the balcony door where the sheets are drying.

Meanwhile, up in Chorio the cats and chickens are enjoying peaceful co-existence at the bend in the road.

The prickly pears continue to flourish.

And the church on the corner has a new custodian.
There aren't as many tourists around as usual for August and there's no money in the municipal coffers for big name attractions at the Symi Festival but the Symiots are adept at creating their own entertainment and it seems as though virtually every night the hills echo to the sounds of traditional Greek music, dancing and laughter.  Events start late as many people are working until 9 or even later at this time of the year.  Just follow the music!  The days of Nana Mouskouri, Mario Frangoulis, Glykeria and Alkestis Protosaltis may be long gone but home grown is just as much fun and everyone joins in the dancing.

The heat and humidity are starting to ease off now.  Midday temperatures are in the mid-thirties, falling to around 26 degrees at midnight so there is still no need for a shawl or jacket in the evenings. The quality of the light is changing and the shadows lengthening - a reminder that we are only a month away from the equinox.

Have a good weekend.


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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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