February Postcards from Symi

Houses on Symi are generally not very big but even by Symi standards this one is exceptionally narrow.  I sometimes what what the story is behind it.  It is very surrounded by what were commercial properties in the island's commercial boom period at the end of the 19th century. The boutique hotel, the Old Markets, is just up those steps to the right and is tucked behind the buildings to left and right.  That archway you can see was the old covered souk. If you continue up to the right you are on the historic Kali Strata steps.

Another small but intriguing building at the bottom of the Kali Strata houses the Krysallis boutique in the summer.  The cats snooze on the bamboo all year round.

Looking through the ruins of one of the old mansions on the Kali Strata at the steep hillside that forms the other side of Symi's famous amphitheatre harbour.

In the summer Symi's waterfront bustles with shops, cafes, bars, tavernas, yachts and gulets.  In the quiet weeks of winter there is little to disturb the peace except the weather and an occasional passing ferry.

A stray Kos lettuce sprouting between the flag stones on the Kali Strata.

There is not much point in spending many man hours weeding the old paving stones until the rain has passed and the first tourists arrive sometime in April. At this time of the year the stuff grows before your eyes.

The view of Yialos, Harani and Nimos from my favourite look out spot at the bend in the Kali Strata. The calm before the storm.  We have a week of rain and thunderstorms ahead of us.

Up in the wilds of Lieni the free range poultry and feral cats live in happy co-existence, sharing the spoils of the skip on the corner between them.  There seems to be a serious preponderance of cockerels hanging out.  By the way, although this is quite a busy road and a fairly dangerous corner, everyone slows down to let the cats and chickens meander across the road at whim.  The poultry have their roost in a scrubby bush on the other side of the road so a fair amount of 'chicken crossing road' goes on, as you may imagine.

Wild cyclamens are everywhere now, scenting the air with a very delicate fragrance.

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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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