It has been a sombre week

Yesterday, just after the Symi docked at 1 pm, we were aware of a tremendous noise outside our window. It is unusual to hear sirens wailing in a small place like Symi. The ambulance and police vehicle were stuck behind a large lumbering lorry which was making its way round the narrow section of the harbour before the road widens to two lanes and goes up the hill. Whether the delay would have made any difference whatever we do not know but we quickly learned the appalling cause of the commotion. Pandelis, the technician from DEH, the power company, had fallen from a great height while pollarding a tree near the academic high school in Chorio and was dead. An amiable man known to everyone as he was the ultimate multi-tasker, receipting electricity bills first thing in the morning before heading out on the daily maintenance round in his bright orange Landrover with his colleague, Costas. Even foreign property owners know him as he was the one who, at the end of the bureaucratic paper trail, donned his crampons, walked up the pole and connected the electricity to your rebuilt and now Archaeologia approved ruin... In a small community such as this one where everyone is related by blood or marriage, it has been a sombre week and there can be few families untouched by the latest series of deaths. Our thoughts are with all of them.

Meanwhile life on the island has to continue, no matter what is happening in the personal lives of the inhabitants, as the tourist season has started and our new visitors have to be greeted with bright smiles and a warm welcome.

Here's a picture of the mule train taking a five minute break in Chorio to nibble the daisies, just to prove that it is still spring out there.


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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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