Summertime Blue

It is a hot and steamy day on Symi. Temperatures are nudging 30 degrees centigrade and heat is shimmering off the stone flagged pavements. The view from my office window shows a peaceful harbour as the taxi and excursion boats are all out at the beaches or going round the island and the day excursion boats from Rhodes are only just starting to arrive. The sea is summertime blue. As there is very little wind the few yachts about are motoring sedately rather than belting along under full sail. The Proteus has just come into view so things won’t remain calm for long. In a few minutes it will dock and a cavalcade of beer wagons, long haul freight trucks and pick ups laden with fruit and vegetables with trundle down the gangplank and grind their way slowly round the harbour towards Chorio. The island’s supplies for the weekend have arrived and Friday night is a good time to go shopping for fresh produce, meat and dairy produce.

Visitors from big cities where everything is available at any time sometimes find it difficult to adjust to a rhythm of life where everything is dictated by the ferry schedule. Quite simply if it isn’t on the island it is not available – and that goes not just for daily newspapers, fillet steak and fresh flowers but also for post, SIM cards and mobile phone batteries. Old hands watch for when the relevant boat is due in and monitor what is coming off it. Word gets round quickly if a consignment of particularly succulent strawberries is seen coming off the boat, or the island’s post man is seen staggering under the weight of several mail bags. Forget the advice to avoid impulse purchases by writing a list and sticking to it – on Symi that approach does not work and quickly results in serious frustration. Instead it is a case of seeing what is in and looks good and shopping accordingly. Winter greens and broad beans are far behind us now but the voluptuous charms of sun-ripened tomatoes, curvy courgettes and opulent aubergines more than make up for their absence.

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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