The Meltemi is Blowing Hard

Flags fluttering in a sea of rigging outside Symi police station.

Symi Morning Rush Hour - The Thursday Cruise Ship from Cyprus

A long way from home.

The meltemi is blowing hard and the day’s excursion boats have been cancelled.   The ferries, however, are running as scheduled at the moment.  It is unusual for us to have a Force 7-8 at this time of the year but not entirely unheard of. The wind should abate tomorrow and the forecast for next week is calm.  In the meantime we are enjoying cooler temperatures and excellent visibility. The wind has whipped up the sea into a froth of white crests and every secure anchorage had a boat in it last night.  Pachos, the old cafĂ© below our office, is busy this morning as people are waiting to find out if the water taxis will be allowed to operate at all.

The Pedi Valley is carpeted with sun-dried leaves that crunch under foot and pile up in rustling drifts against the stones.  The leaves don’t wait for autumn in a Mediterranean climate, but start to fall from drought with the first heatwaves.  Symi last had rain at the end of May and it is now mid August.  The hillsides are a brown scrub of frazzled thyme and sage bushes, punctuated by tough silver-dry thistles.  The thistles are usually the first to recover, turning slowly green from the top down towards the end of September. The only patches of wild greenery in evidence at the moment are caper bushes and they need so little to sustain them that they grow quite happily out of stone walls and roof-top gutters.

The Water Boat in Pedi.  The fence in the foreground is the newly surface 
football pitch with athletics track at the bottom of the Pedi Valley.

Falling leaves and dry grass in the Pedi Valley.

August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, a major holiday in Orthodox and Catholic countries and therefore a bank holiday in Greece.  This weekend will be the busiest weekend in the whole of the summer season as even those Greeks who cannot afford a proper holiday this year will at least take Monday off.  Here on Symi this weekend there is the finale of the BASE jumping at St George as well as the traditional celebrations in the churchyard at the Alethini monastery on the Pedi Road.  This is a bouzouki party that continues well into the early hours with plenty of traditional Greek dancing and much supported by the Symiots as well as visitors.

I have received a message that some of the details of the accident at the BASE jumping event are incorrect in my blog.  Interested parties can check out the official website www.probaseworldcup.com1 and also

Have a good weekend.


Jackie Smith  – (Friday, August 12, 2011)  

Hi Adriana, What is the cruise line that sails from Cyprus to Symi? (The Thursday ship that you pictured above.)

Post a Comment

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

Copyright (c) 2001-2017 Adriana Shum.

All Rights Reserved.

Keep in Touch with Symi