>> Friday, October 28, 2016 – life on Symi in October, Ochi Day, October weather, parades, Symi architecture, Symi cats, Symi chickens, Symi steps
|Yialos, 9.25 this morning and the Dodecanese Seaways docks, en route to Kos and other points north. We are now on a reduced ferry schedule for the winter and the Pride or Express only comes through on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings. The water taxis are conspicuous by their absence - they are now out of the water for the winter.|
|The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation winter at half past nine this morning. The flags are for the Ochi Day parade which will take place later today. That is also probably why there were quite a lot of people coming off the catamaran, over from Rhodes for the bank holiday long weekend. Many Symiots now live, study and work in Rhodes and come back to see their families for holidays such as this one.|
|No matter where one is in the world, fishing boats are irresistibly photogenic.|
|Do not disturb. One of the kittens living outside the carpenter's shop at the bottom of the Kali Strata enjoying a lie in this morning.|
|Colour co-ordinated in Chorio.|
|A still and misty morning in Pedi.|
|Symi is a famously steep island and it is very difficult to get away from steps, particularly in the celebrated amphitheatre harbour where the houses are built into the cliffs and hillsides. This may be a contributory factor to the famed longevity of the Symiots as they are constantly going up and down steps all their lives. Very few properties in the harbour have vehicle access in any form and many entail climbs of 100 steps or more to reach them. Up in Chorio the terrain is gentler with winding lanes, slopes and occasional shallow steps rather than perpendicular flights like this one. This is why when people contact us about accommodation and say that they have mobility problems, we usually recommend houses such as Villa Anastasia in Chorio rather than properties in the harbour where steps may be unavoidable.|
Today is Ochi Day, the day General Metaxa, the dictator governing Greece at the time, said 'No' to Mussolini and Greece found itself embroiled in World War 2. It is a bank holiday so many businesses are closed today. The day starts with a church service in St John's church, Symi's cathedral at the back of Yialos and the seat of Metropolitan (similar to a bishop). This is then followed by a parade and wreath-laying ceremony at Symi's war memorial in Yialos. All the school children take part in the parade and it is an opportunity for families to get together afterwards for gyros or lunch at one of the traditional tavernas in the harbour. In the big cities of Athens and Thessalonika there are big military parades and fly-pasts but on Symi celebrations are much simpler and involve the whole community.
Have a good weekend.