A soporific afternoon

It is another idyllic day on the small island of Symi. Dafni, the water boat, is slowly rising from the waves over by the clock tower. Brightly painted fishing boats are chugging out to spend a soporific afternoon nosing among the tiny coves that scallop Symi’s steep coastline. The Symi ferry is dozing at anchor, flags fluttering in the breeze. Turkish gulets are bustling about, jockeying for space on the quay. The navy patrol vessel is reversing smoothly from her berth, off on another tour of inspection. It is easy to forget that Symi is sitting on an international border and is, until such time as Turkey becomes part of the EU, literally the last outpost of Europe.

We have been informed that the Dodecanese Pride has been sent to Cyprus to assist with the evacuation crisis. She is expected to be back on her scheduled route on 25 July but travellers are advised to check www.12ne.gr for updates to the schedule and make alternative plans in case the situation deteriorates further and she is needed for longer.

This has nothing to do with Symi but once upon a time, back in 1992, we sailed from Cyprus to Lebanon, one of the first yachts to visit after the cease-fire. Although much of the country was bombed out chaos, without electricity or any kind of infrastructure to speak of, the spirit and dignity of the people was truly amazing and it was a place I have never forgotten. It is tragic that after years of painstaking rebuilding the populace are once again seeing their lives reduced to rubble. The New Testament tells us to turn the other cheek but those who are governed by the Old pursue an eye for an eye with a furious persistence that defies all reason. Was this really what Moses had in mind?

Have a peaceful weekend and spare a thought for those who cannot.


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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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