Thunder is growling

Photo: the new ferry, the Proteus, unloading in a thunderstorm, on its north-bound trip to Tilos, Nissyros and Kos. At present this is the only part of Greece where shipping is still moving.

The whole of Greece is battened down as the bitter cold front that has frozen much of Europe sweeps down upon us. There are 30 snowploughs out on the streets of Athens today and much of the country is under heavy snow. Shipping has been disrupted since Sunday and Athens airport has been closed intermittently since Sunday evening due to ice on the runways. In many prefectures schools have been closed and people are advised to stay at home and avoid unnecessary journeys. Kefallonia and several other islands are currently without electricity which with temperatures as low as minus 8 cannot be much fun.

Here on Symi the situation is fairly calm at the moment. The sky grows blacker by the minute, thunder is growling and the temperature and the barometer are falling steadily. Will we have a repeat of the snowman on the Vigla for February 2006's front page? We shall see...

Meanwhile the bird flu crisis continues and announcements are being made at regular intervals over the town public address system, warning that those who do not get their poultry under cover will be punished with fines. Although the Greek authorities have stopped short of forbidding traffic between Greece and Turkey, they are advising against travel between the two countries unless it is absolutely essential and all ferries, vehicles and people are being disinfected when they come back into Greece. The freezing temperatures are driving migratory flocks of birds south into Greece from Russia and the Balkans so the alert has been stepped up, hence the clamp down on keeping poultry out of doors.

Photo: a double rainbow over Yialos as the Proteus steams north.

So here we are, a little island sheltering in the lee of Asia Minor, under siege from winter weather and bird flu alike...

For further developments, watch this space!

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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