The Heatwave Rolls On

Preparing for breakfast at the edge of the sea.  A waiter shakes crumbs off a chair to the waiting fish.

The 17th Symi Festival opens tonight with a 50 voice choir from the neighbouring island of Rhodes. The posters went up around the town yesterday and this morning municipal workers were busy, sorting plastic chairs in yard of St John’s church. Many of us remember when Nana Mouskouri opened the first Symi Festival and the harbour was packed with megayachts as her international fans flocked to the small island of Symi. Who knows? Perhaps one day we will return to such splendour but in the meantime we thank those who have given of their time to enable Symi to have a festival this year.

On Thursdays it is often a cruise ship from Cyprus...

On Friday it was the water ship from Rhodes - the third visit in a week as the island's
reservoirs ran dry. Like many small Greek islands Symi has no natural water.

Fast Track, the BBC World Service’s travel program, devoted this week’s program to Greece and the significant role tourism plays in this country’s economy. No where is that more true than in the islands, particularly the small ones like Symi which have no natural resources or industry. Symi’s sponge fishing industry faded away decades ago and the lone boatyard still building wooden boats down in Pedi is certainly not providing fast ships for the Ottoman fleet. What remains of Symi’s glorious past is preserved in her extraordinarily pretty architecture and it is that, combined with the spectacular cliffs and rock formations to which these houses cling, which provides Symi with her own unique tourist attraction.

Looking up the Kali Strata, the famous flight of 360 or so steps that connects
 the top town of Chorio with the port of Yialos.

The latest batch of Kali Strata kittens.

Many of the ruined mansions on the Kali Strata have been restored or rebuilt. 
This one, however, is in the clutches of a fig tree.

The pediment of Villa Afaia on the Kali Strata

The heatwave rolls on with temperatures in the forties. July is usually the hottest and driest month. As we move into August the days grow shorter and the humidity climbs but for now Symi is a sizzling hot lump of rock in the embrace of Asia Minor. The July full moon shines down on an island where it is often too hot to sleep and the late night hours carry the discreet splashes of those for whom a night time swim is the only way to cool off enough to sleep.

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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