The rain is holding off

The rain is holding off, which is just as well as half my household effects are still outside. The new floor is nearly complete so I shall probably be able to start reassembling the jigsaw puzzle on Sunday, which should be rather fun. Making supper in the garden in the dark has been an interesting experience but after a week of camping and hunting for things in crates with a torch it will be good to be back indoors!

Yesterday I went to Rhodes in search of a new gas cooker. This turned out to involve a considerable amount of legwork and zero choice. Dear reader, I bought the one they had... Mind you, every shop I went into was helpful enough, it is just that Greek kitchens have moved into the 21st century in a big way and most people now have proper electric ovens with fans and other features. Eventually, 10 minutes before closing time, I tracked down an all-gas cooker, with grill and oven, upstairs at Pappou department store. Despite the fact that they were cashing up and about to turn the lights out, the shop assistant made half a dozen phone calls and dragooned two employees into loading the stove from the shop floor (the only one they had) into a truck and taking it, and me, round to the commercial port and the ferry. A bouquet to all concerned. I am looking forward to playing with it next week!

Half of Symi seemed to be on Rhodes yesterday. Even Lakis, the bus driver, escaped Symi for the day. At this time of the year the people of Symi actually make quite a contribution to the economy of Rhodes town as that is where the bulk of the summer's earnings tend to be spent.

Something I enjoy doing in the winter if I have time to spare is walking around the Old Town looking at the buildings. In the summer the place is hideous with tourist tat and it is impossible to stand still and look at anything but now the place is deserted and the archaeological sites uncluttered by tour parties. What is striking is how many of the buildings are only inhabited on the ground floor, often as shops for tourists. The upper storeys are abandoned and in poor repair - not a happy state of affairs for a World Heritage Site. While churches, public buildings and other monuments evidently qualify for generous funding for restoration, renovation and the like, judging by the rash of blue signs to that effect prominently displayed, vernacular architecture seems to be left to the resources of the owners, whether they can afford it or not. This is sad as many have timber upper storeys which are vulnerable to the elements and once lost, are gone forever.

On that thoughtful note, have a good weekend!


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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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