Seasonal Obsession

Symi is sheltering beneath a gentle grey blanket of cloud and for the first time in months I put an umbrella in my bag before setting off this morning. This may not be perfect weather for beach goers but the Triton was full for the trip to Datca this morning and I passed stout-booted walkers heading resolutely up the Vigla as I was coming down. Those visitors who are not so energetically inclined spend their time in the coffee shops and kafeneions or exploring the shops in Yialos and Chorio. Cooler weather and well-equipped self-catering accommodation often add up to adventures into Greek cookery and it is not unusual to see visitors stocking up in the supermarkets. The day excursion boats from Rhodes tend to be full at this time of year too as it is often too windy for the beach on Rhodes’ exposed coastline but still fine for the larger excursion boats to run.

The whole of Greece is battening down for some stormy weather this weekend (see and there is much clearing and painting of gutters and replacing of cracked tiles going on on the rooftops of Chorio. After nearly five months of drought it is time to prepare for the rainy season and Wednesday evening’s downpour was something of a ‘wake up call’ for those who have been putting off essential roof repairs for months. Unlike other styles of Greek vernacular architecture which have overhanging eaves, the neo-classical roofs on Symi terminate in a gutter set into the tops of the walls. This then drains down a pipe, often within the wall, and, traditionally, into a large cistern under the house to provide water during the dry months of the year. If the plaster of the gutter starts to crack or the gutter becomes blocked with leaves and other debris during the summer, the heavy rain that is characteristic of the rainy season at this time of the year quickly finds its way into the house. Hence the seasonal obsession with roof maintenance!

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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