Postcards from Symi

As the temperatures moderate the island's insect life is reviving.  Thirsty bees clamour for water at every tap and animal water dish and the butterflies are back.  This beauty was in the shade house where I grow my peppers and aubergines.

Another restoration completed.  This old house on the Kali Strata was reroofed about 2 winters ago and fully replastered.  In recent weeks the paint work was completed and a fine piece of pebblework laid at the threshold.  Symi's main attraction is the island's beautiful neo-classical architecture and the Kali Strata, the nineteenth century highway of about 350 steps connecting the old top town of Chorio with Yialos, the main harbour, has some of the finest examples.

The upper reaches of the Kali Strata are deserted when I walk to work in the morning but in the evenings, when the shops and cafes are open, the same steps are humming with people.  The corner where the cat has paused is the place where I stop to photograph the yachts lying off Harani and the clock tower, a familiar view on these pages but one which changes daily throughout the year as boats come and go.

The same black cat.  I wondered what the cat was watching so intently and a few minutes later a labourer emerged from the lane, pushing a wheelbarrow.  In this climate anyone doing manual work starts at 7 a.m or even earlier to avoid the heat of the day. 

A tantalising glimpse of the harbour from between the mansions on the Kali Strata.  This keyhole reveals a different view every time I stop to look.  While changes to the buildings on the shore are more subtle and harder to discern, the orderly arrangements of Symi's hard-working 'mooring men' provide a different pattern on the water every day.

The view from my desk at Symi Visitor Accommodation gives me everything from tall ships and classics to power yachts and ferries, a view we share with the world, not just through the photographs on this blog but also via our addictive webcam.

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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