Big Week on Symi

Summer-time visitors to Symi may have problems associating Symi with daisy lawns so here is the proof!

The Pedi valley is still green.  As most of the trees are now leafed over, very little of the earth beneath is visible and the cyclamens are disappearing fast.

Kali mera!

I think I might just make this my desktop wallpaper for the summer.  Green relief for tired eyes!

People are arriving for Easter and shutters are opening all over the island.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are opening for Easter visitors.

Once again the municipality has optimistically placed anti-parking devices along the waterfront at the head of the harbour.  You can see how effective they are from this photograph.

Spring flowers feed happy sheep and goats who produce lots of milk which turns into beautiful artisanal cheeses that in turn become tasty little cheese pies to share with friends on Easter Sunday.  That's the kind of food chain we all aspire to and which is readily traceable in Greek.

Preparing for sunny days.

It is just about warm enough for ice cream.

The Symi Visitor Accommodation balcony rail provides an over-pass for lazy cats making their way across the rooftops.  They don't often linger long enough to be photographed.

Today\s poppy picture
Today marks the start of Big Week, the solemn run-up to Greek Easter.  It is a very busy week in Greek households as the spring-cleaning, whitewashing and preparations for the Easter weekend and its celebratory Sunday feast all have to be completed in addition to attending many church services.  All of this is done on a strict fasting diet of pulses and halvah.  Oil and other fats are not allowed and wine is also not permitted. By Easter Sunday everyone will really deserve their lamb feast!

Good Friday and Easter Monday are both religious holidays here. Good Friday is particularly serious and there are strict taboos on manual labour on both Good Friday and Easter Saturday. Easter Monday is more of an extension of the Easter Sunday celebrations as well as providing time for people to travel home.  By the way, just as this is Big Week (Big as in solemn or momentous), next week is Bright Week and in theory anyway is a week of feasting to celebrate the Resurrection plus any name days that might have been missed due to Lent.

The weather remains mild with little difference between daytime and night-time temperatures.  It is around 20 degrees at midday and around 14 at night.  Once again some rain showers are expected midweek. Lovely in the sun, it is still chilly indoors and in the shade so take an extra layer when venturing forth. There is a distinct cold bite to the north wind.

It will be about a month before the excursion and taxi boats go back in the water and the beach tavernas start packing out sunbeds.  April is the time for walks in the countryside, enjoying the flowers and sparkling clean air.  In the old days, when people used to take several holidays a year, April used to be the month for walking groups, photographers, painting groups and so on.  In recent years the season has shrunk and we no longer see many foreign visitors in April.  Instead the main activity is Greek internal tourism - a combination of family members returning home for the celebrations and people exploring their own country in all its scenic glory. Springtime in Greece is spectacular and is reverting back to being a well-kept secret.  It is just as well there are bloggers like myself and James Collins to share it with you!

Have a good week.


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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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