>> Monday, December 19, 2016 – Christmas on Symi, Christmas shopping, Christmas weather, Symi fungi, Symi neo classical architecture, Symi weather in December, wild mushrooms
|If there are any mycologists out there, does anyone know what kind of fungus this is? It is growing on the stump of a dead deciduous tree in my garden on Symi and is quite impressive.|
|This shack probably has one of the best views in Pedi, high above all the other buildings. It does, however, seem to lack some basic creature comforts. Sometimes one needs a bit more than just a panoramic view! For a more comfortable stay that still has fabulous views, try Villa Jasmine.|
|An elaborately painted pediment on the waterfront in Yialos.|
|Garlic in the boatyard in Harani.|
|Indoor bathrooms are a relatively recent innovation on an island that has always been short of water.|
|Working underneath a boat can be backbreaking work. A little stool to sit on is much more comfortable that squatting or perching on an old crate.|
|The Poseidon excursion boat from an unfamiliar angle|
|Looking across at Pitini and Milos (the windmills) from the Mouragio, the section of Yialos by the clock tower.|
Symi's elegant neo-classical houses with their high ceilings, stone walls and tiled floors are very difficult to heat, not to mention expensive, so everyone is well wrapped up even when indoors. In the late afternoon, when everyone is home and has settled down, wood fires are lit and little plumes of smoke can be seen rising over the rooftops of Chorio.
Symi post office will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday this week as the staff are going to Rhodes for the post office Christmas party. As there won't be any post on the island until Thursday anyway this won't have much of an impact on our lives. Symi's post comes and goes on the big Blue Star ferry. The couriers, on the other hand, also use Dodecanese Seaways which is more expensive.
The foreign community on Symi has had an impact on what is available in the shops in Symi in the winter. When I first came here parsnips and Brussels sprouts were unheard of and met with some bafflement as they don't grow very well in a Mediterranean climate. Now at least two shops on the island make sure that they have imported stocks of both to keep the British expat festive table going and I have heard that one of the supermarkets in Chorio has packets of stuffing mix. The Greeks themselves are not tied to a turkey dinner and their traditions are very different. Pastitsio, a sort of hybrid oven dish that combines macaroni cheese with lasagna is more likely to appear on the Christmas table, as may roast suckling pig. Italian coffee, prosciutto and various salamis have also become Christmas supermarket staples as the other significant group to come to Symi over the holidays is the Italian property owners.
At the moment it looks as though we will have a dry albeit chilly Christmas.
Have a good week.