The Wind is Free

It is a bright sunny day on Symi. The thermometer stands at 45 degrees and the harbour is quiet. The day trippers are dozing in the shade of the many cafes that line the waterfront. The water taxis are away about their business. The only sound is the precise plinkety-plink of some traditional Greek island folk music drifting up from a fishing boat tied up near the customs house. Bright bikinis and beach wraps flutter on racks outside the tourist boutiques and an occasional puff of warm wind sends a sunhat bowling down the quay.

There are not as many mega motor yachts visiting Symi this year. Instead sailing yachts seem to be more popular, as you can see from these photos which I took on the way down the Kali Strata this morning. Perhaps eco-awareness is finally making power give way to sail. After all, the wind is free.

Floating crane in Pedi with the new mole visible on the left

This year’s municipal water rationing has started – most of Chorio and Lieni have been without water since yesterday morning, to the frustration of Symiots, residents and tourists alike. There is a great deal of eagerness to see if the new wind-powered desalination plant will improve Symi’s water situation but it has yet to commence operation . It will be interesting to see if it is as efficient as the one on Ruegen in the Baltic Sea which has been in successful operation since 1995. Regular visitors may recall that when the idea of a wind-powered desalination plant for Symi was first brought up, the intention was to follow the Ruegen model, as was reported in the front page story of the 100th edition of the Symi Visitor newspaper in December 2005. This was a 3 bladed turbine. The one which has now been erected on the top of the Vigla is a two-bladed turbine which should be more efficient for power generation.

In high summer ferries are always a hot topic as Symi is an island without an airport and ultimately everything arrives here by boat. In response to the many emails I have received on the subject, here is the current update on the hydrofoil front. After a brief appearance, the Aegli hydrofoil is out of commission and is unlikely to reappear this summer. We once again remind visitors to check schedules before travelling to be sure that the boat you thought would be running when you made your plans in March is actually operational on the day. We have been told by visitors, however, that both ANES and Dodecanese Seaways are being conscientious about contacting people who have booked tickets in advance when there are schedule changes. To contact the shipping companies direct go to and

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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