Still Beautiful

Storm clouds over the Kastro

After a week of grey skies and squally weather Symi is in bright winter sunshine today.  The north wind froze the puddles on the Vigla overnight and it was only 4 degrees in my kitchen this morning.  February is often the coldest month of the year, even though Easter is only weeks away.  The first tourists arrive in April, including an international team of herpetologists, a classicist and visitors from all over the world who want to experience Greek Easter at first hand and enjoy the spring flowers.  The forecast for the next few days looks promising, with wind and clouds rather than hail and thunderstorms on the menu.  For those who associate Greek islands with endless sunshine and blue skies, I have taken some photographs of what Symi really looks like at this time of the year.  Still beautiful, but not the land of the travel brochures.

I wonder what stories this old barred window in Chorio has to tell.

Even the walls become gardens in the rainy season.

Back yard chickens are an increasingly common sight.

The Proteus has made her last trip of the winter to Rhodes before going in for her annual maintenance and inspection.  Dodecanese Seaways have put up their schedule for March which, at present, seems to be the same as February, with boats to and from Symi only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The Mayor is negotiating for the Blue Starferry to stop at Symi more often until the Dodecanese Seaways car ferry, the Panagia Skiadeni, comes into service.  Getting people to and from Symi is only part of the equation – it is getting vehicles and freight on and off that is the real challenge as the old network of trading caiques that was operational around the islands as recently as 25 years ago has long since been replaced with big refrigerated trucks and long-haul lorries which require big car ferries to deliver their goods.  

Leafless and dormant - the oldest oak tree in Lieni waits for spring.

Lemons in Lieni

Despite all the gloom about Greece in the international press there are plenty of people, regular visitors and new comers, who are expressing their solidarity with the Greeks and booking their holidays here.  It is when times are hard that true friendship shows.  Thank you very much to all of you.  The politicians cannot take away Greece’s beautiful scenery, lively culture and friendly welcome.  These ancient hills and bays have seen thousands of years of history – the latest news is only a brief blip on the timeline.

Have a good week.


Norman Askew  – (Friday, February 17, 2012)  

I wouldn't think of going anywhere else

Anonymous –   – (Friday, February 17, 2012)  

hope very much to be back again this year, in total we have been visiting for 10 years

Ib Jørgensen  – (Tuesday, February 21, 2012)  

Dear Adriana

Then would be good to hear in a little more detail how the situation is perceived by the good people of Symi - what are their expectations of the future?

Ib Jørgensen
Aalborg - Denmark

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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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