Hot and Hazy

Sorting out anchors for a morning departure.

Symi now has a glass-bottomed boat (bottom left). That is a water taxi on the right with the orange floats.  Most of Symi's beaches are only accessible by sea due to the sheer coastline.

It is hot and hazy on Symi with a light breeze waving the jasmine on the Symi Visitor Accommodation balcony. At this time of the year with an office view like this it is a wonder I get any work done. An ever changing parade of boats and people passes before my balcony and I can quite understand why visitors with accommodation in the harbour find themselves spending most of their holiday on the terrace or balcony, mesmerized by the view. Fortunately these days with my office bifocals much of it is a blur unless I change my glasses! Here are some photographs for those of you who spend all day in an office block overlooking a car park. Remember, you can always dip into Symi with our webcam which brings you views of Symi every 30 seconds, 24 hours a day - power cuts permitting!  You can also take a virtual tour around Greece with all the webcams featured on

Up in Chorio life is much quieter and change usually happens more slowly but even so there are some transformations as ruins become houses and visitors who have been away for a few years often find that what was an isolated house surrounded by ruins is now part of a neighbourhood of lovingly restored houses. Despite the economic gloom there is still an astonishing amount of restoration work going on, not all of it as high profile as the eye-catching terracotta mansion on the Kali Strata or the recently opened Old Markets boutique hotel.

The Cottage in Chorio -
paler shades of yellow and blue this year
 and those oleanders have really grown. 
The door opens into the master bedroom downstairs which has its own sitting area.

A ruin surrounded by restored houses opposite the junior school in Chorio. 
Note the solar powered hot water system on the right. 

On a social level, quite a lot happens in Chorio. A residential rather than tourist orientated area, locals and tourists mingle, dining in the same tavernas and shopping in the same shops. For example, Giorgio and Maria’s taverna, which is open all year round, has live Greek music every Friday night in the summer and is as much frequented by visitors as it is by local Greeks. This is one of those old style Greek tavernas where one ignores the menu and goes and looks in the pots in the kitchen to see what is on offer.

The Olive Tree opposite the Hotel Fiona is having a fund-raising evening on Saturday night, in aid of the doctors’ surgeries of Symi. In the present climate of economic gloom and government cut backs initiatives to help put something back into the community are more important than ever. When times are hard more is achieved by everyone pulling together than by pursuing individual agendas. The Olive Tree’s Royal Wedding Street Party in April was attended by 70 people of all nationalities and raised over 250 euros for the Doctors of Symi. We hope that Magic Mike’s card tricks are similarly successful.

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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