Changing Seasons on Symi

Mimosa at Agios Elefterios church in Chorio.

Halloween decorations at one of the English language schools in Chorio.  Halloween isn't really a big commercial holiday in Greece the way it is in the USA and the UK.  

The once-crowded lanes of Chorio where houses stood tightly packed before the explosions of World War 2, feature narrow winding lanes and occasional arches where houses once straddled the lanes to save space.  In a region where level land for building was non-existent and houses were built of stone, this was a way of creating more room for the dowry houses of marriageable daughters.  Chorio must have been a real warren before it all came tumbling down.

Look carefully and in every crevice there are specks of green as seeds start to germinate.  We have had over 20 mm of rain since the drought broke last Tuesday and the rainy season is off to a good start.

How did the chicken cross the road?  On a broomstick, of course.

I have known this oak since it was a sprouting acorn with a handful of leaves. Note how the wayside moss is starting to turn green.

The wild clematis is also busy transforming from dead twiggy stuff to glossy greenery.

Down in the harbour, the boat trips are over for another year.

The gypsies and hawkers are starting to arrive for the Panormitis Festival on 8 November.

False alarm!  The Noddy train is still with us - it fitted in a few more rides on Friday as there were a lot of people over from Rhodes in anticipation of the Ochi Day celebrations on Saturday. Dodecanese Seaways is offering big discounts on the last day trips from Rhodes and as many Greeks in seasonal employment are now off for the winter, Symi is a popular day out.

Bunting for the Ochi Day parade on 28 October.  The rain actually held off for the duration of the parade and resumed around half past one.

Looking across the harbour from the top of Mavrovouni.

The Pedi valley lies between the rows ofhouses in the foreground and the ridge of hills in the background.  That is  the monastery Zoigos Pigi, the life-giving spring, among the trees on the ridge.  It is one of the few natural sources of water on the island and flows for a few months each winter when the water table is fairly high.
Symi is becoming cooler, damper and greener.  Temperatures are now around 22 degrees at midday, falling to around 14 at night.  Some areas are colder than this if they are north facing and receiving little direct sunlight. 

The hawkers are starting to arrive for the Panormitis Festival next week.  The Feast of St Michael has turned into something of a fair over the years with many stalls set up in the monastery grounds.  In some ways it is very medieval with gypsies, hawkers and pilgrims all converging on the Panormitis monastery.  Before the road was surfaced everyone came in small boats and caiques. Now they are more likely to arrive by ferry and Panormitis bay is not the jostling throng of brightly painted wooden fishing boats with pilgrims sleeping on the decks that it was when I first came in 1993.  It is, no doubt, a lot safer and more comfortable these days but the fairground atmosphere lingers on.

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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