A Warm Breeze

What do you mean, you want to put up this umbrella?

It is a hot sunny day on the island of Symi. A warm breeze is buffeting the jasmine on the balcony at Symi Visitor Accommodation and a small procession of thunder clouds is marching across the distant horizon, proclaiming showery weather over the Turkish hills. The Symi Visitor wedding team is over at Haritomeni restaurant, decorating the tables for Kate and Jody’s wedding reception later this evening. The office has been a flurry of excitement this morning and Wendy’s desk was briefly turned into a packing station for the traditional gauze and almond favours for the wedding guests. Seven pink and white almonds, wrapped in saffron net and tied with ribbons to match the bridesmaids’ dresses. As soon as the Poseidon returns from its day excursion it too will be decorated with ribbons and flowers as the wedding guests will travel to the little chapel at Agia Marina by caique after the civil service at the town hall. The bride and her entourage will be departing from Pitini House shortly and making her way down the Kali Strata accompanied by her family and friends and a group of traditional musicians. She will meet the groom and his party at the bridge and then walk together to Symi town hall where they will be married by the mayor.

Climbing up to Villa Jeanette and Villa Irene in Upper Chorio

Symi is quieter than usual for June but there have been quite a few last minute bookings from Spain and Turkey as well as the United Kingdom and most accommodation on the island is now full. The trend towards self-catering continues and while spending in tavernas is lower than previous years more visitors are to be seen buying the ingredients to prepare their own meals and revelling in the novelty of choosing fruit and vegetables from the lorry from Tilos and trying to identify the mysterious cuts of meat at the town butcher. On Symi fresh produce usually comes as nature made it, without the benefit of cellophane, polystyrene or fanciful labels of optimistic nutritional information. Apart from strawberries and occasionally mushrooms, which are put into open punnets so that they aren’t damaged in transit, everything else comes in crates and customers can choose exactly what they want. No unwanted surprises but no sell by dates either.

The Kastro as viewed from Stavros Church in Upper Chorio

Symi may be a small island in the outpost of Europe but World Cup fever is evident even here. The Greeks love football and Greece is playing against South Korea this weekend so the waterfront cafes and bars are preparing their big screen televisions.

This photograph shows the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban, my home town, as it looked in January. I may be prejudiced but I think it is the most elegant of all the stadiums built for the Fifa South African World Cup.

Have a good weekend.



/anthony –   – (Wednesday, June 16, 2010)  

I know that I'm a prejudiced old codger and totally politically incorrect, but I must admit it was pleasing when I discovered that - contrary to initial impressions - "Kate and Jody" are actually a conventional female bride and male bridegroom!

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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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