Family Time

Christmas is approaching and every night more lights are visible in Chorio as householders compete with their neighbours. Caiques are a popular motif, a reminder of the islanders’ enduring links with the sea. After all, Christmas trees were introduced into Greece by the Bavarian court in the 19th century, in much the same way as Prince Albert introduced them to Britain when he married Victoria, whereas boats have a far older significance for the Greeks.

The lanes of Chorio are fragrant with the scent of vanilla, cinnamon and mastic and the shops are well stocked with chocolates, nuts and sweets to put out, ostensibly to prevent the kalikatzari, the Christmas goblins, from bringing bad luck into the home, but in practice to give everyone an excuse to nibble. Traditionally Greeks fast until Christmas Eve, but this does not exclude goodies such as confectionary, only meat and oil. From Christmas through to Epiphany on 6 January it is time to feast and spend family time together.

At the moment it looks as though the weather is going to hold until Wednesday when the next rainy spell is expected. Fortunately there are no high winds in the offing so everything seems set fair for a pleasant Christmas for everyone on the island. The ski resorts on the mainland have had good snowfalls. The exodus from the cities has begun. The ferries are fully booked. The airports are busy. And Greek television crews are patrolling the country’s fresh produce markets, exclaiming over the rising prices of pork/tomatoes/oranges as though there is nothing else happening in the world. Mind you, with turkey at over 10 euros a kilo they have a point!

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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