A Gloriously Sunny Day in Rhodes

It is that time of the year when many of us who live permanently on Symi and work in the tourist season take our own holidays or head off the visit our families abroad. Late October is also the time when many foreign property owners shut up their houses on Symi for the winter and return to the world of central heating, wall to wall carpets and double glazing for the cold months. Symi’s architecture is delightful but even Greece has winter and a certain amount of stoicism is required to live in unheated houses with stone floors and nineteenth century amenities when the cold wet Mediterranean winter sets in. With the uncertainties of this year’s ferry schedule the exodus started early and both the Hermes and the Plaza hotels in Rhodes are doing well as more people than usual are obliged to spend one or two nights in Rhodes while in transit.

While many visitors to Symi arrive in Rhodes on direct charter flights from their nearest international airport, anyone travelling outside of the main Greek tourist season will of necessity have to fly scheduled. This usually means travelling via Athens. This is not as bad as it sounds, particularly if you are flying with Aegean Airways as you can then book your luggage right through to Rhodes and not have to worry about chasing suitcases en route. With the on-off-on-off merger plans between Aegean and Olympic there has been a lot of streamlining of the schedules so while there are fewer daily flights there is no longer the uneconomic nonsense of two half full planes taking off within 5 minutes of each other. The Airbus A321 on which I flew from Rhodes yesterday was full and, as there was a stretcher case on board, the same plane was also used for the Athens-Heathrow trip which was also full. Although we all had to disembark in Athens and then go through security again as though it was a different plane, the process went very smoothly and even with passengers only able to embark through the front entrance the flight left on time. We were actually early reaching Heathrow and spent 20 minutes circling before landing. Terminal 1 seems to be a bit quicker to get through than the old Terminal 2 and my driver was amazed that I was out in 35 minutes from landing.

After a gloriously sunny day in Rhodes on Monday the area of low pressure over Italy finally reached the Dodecanese in the early hours of Tuesday morning and my 5 a.m taxi trip to Rhodes airport was in drizzle. It was raining in Athens and also in Heathrow and it is still raining in Bournemouth as I write this so it seems to wet from one of Europe to the other. While wellington boots are too heavy to travel with, my lightweight Birkies from the Best shop on Symi are just the thing to pack for wet weather footwear. If you have a pair for gardening and are thinking of visiting Symi in the winter, they are just the job. As I think I have mentioned before, storm water drainage in our corner of the Mediterranean is inadequate at best and does not take into account the often torrential nature of the winter rains. This link gives a good idea of what happens on Symi in a downpour.

Ferries permitting I should be back on Symi on 10 November. In the meantime James Collins will keep you up to date with his blog on www.symidream.com/wp and for a window on the day’s weather on Symi log onto our webcam. For more information about travelling to Symi please read Andy’s travel blog on our Symi Visitor Accommodation website. You can also find us on Facebook.


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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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