A Small Greek Island in the Dodecanese

Shadow play on Nimos as seen from the top of Chorio.
Early rain means fat olives.
The Blue Star Diagoras speeding past Pedi Bay, on her way round to Yialos.
An old chimney stack in the old part of Chorio.
 It has been repaired at some point with an enamel basin to prevent rain coming down the chimney.
Another bright sunny winter’s day on Symi, a small Greek island in the Dodecanese.  Temperatures remain in the teens, dropping to single figures at night with heavy dew falls.  There is a low pressure system working its way slowly across the Mediterranean, bring the possibility of clouds and thundershowers from tomorrow.  This year November has been colder and drier than usual.  On the mainland it is very much colder now and an interesting sign of the times is reports of an upsurge in the use of old fashioned wood burning stoves for heating, even in the apartment blocks in Athens.  It is easy to forget that Greece has a winter and for much of Greece the winters can be every bit as harsh as those experienced in Northern Europe and North America.  Snow falls in parts of Athens and Thessalonica every year and in the mountainous rural areas people really batten down.  Here on Symi, where central heating is very unusual and the old houses with their high ceilings are difficult to heat efficiently, woodstoves and fireplaces are quite common and in the evenings the scent of woodsmoke is on the air. It is not uncommon in old Symi houses to find a moussandra sleeping loft above the kitchen and possibly even a soufa, sleeping platform, in the kitchen itself, to make the most of warmth from the kitchen fireplace.  In my farmhouse I have a beautiful Vergina cast iron stove which I bought in Rhodes some years ago which has a good sized oven and is suitable for cooking as well and that is what we cook on and heat our home with from the end of October through to April.  

It is very quiet on Symi today as a lot of people have taken advantage of the day trip on the Proteus to Rhodes today. ANES is offering discounts for the two days in the week that it is possible to do a day trip from Symi to Rhodes and in these cash strapped times this is a good incentive.  While the festive season ferry schedule remains a mystery and there is still no word of when the Panagia Skiadeni will be running, at least Symi has boats for the next few weeks, goods are arriving on the island and people can get to Rhodes without the additional expense of hotel accommodation.

This will be my last Symi blog for a while as I am leaving on Sunday for Rhodes to catch a plane to South Africa on Tuesday and will only be back on Symi again in early February.  In the meantime James Collins will keep you up to date on www.symidream.wp and my team of IT-challenged volunteers will endeavour to post occasional photographs on Out and About J There is also our popular  Symi Visitor webcam and Chat Page.  You can also find Symi Visitor Accommodation on Facebook where Symi devotees share their favourite photographs of Symi and regular and new visitors can exchange information.

Wishing you all a happy festive season and ‘Kalo Chimona’


Richard  – (Friday, November 25, 2011)  

Enjoy your trip back home and have a good Christmas. Thanks for the blog so far and we look forward to the next episodes in February.

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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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