Greek Traditions of Hospitality

A Place in the Sun.
This old tom cat has found a comfy place for a nap.  

Symi Frozen Lamb.
There is ice on those puddles.

March began with some exceptionally cold weather – so cold that we actually had flurries of snow in parts of Chorio, Xisos and Nimborio on Wednesday afternoon.  It is unusual for Symi to experience sustained periods of freezing weather lasting several days, although it is quite normal to have occasional winter nights of ice when the wind blows strongly from the north and when Turkey has heavy snowfall.  Looking back in my diary, late snow is not that uncommon in this part of the world.  The weather is expected to warm up again over the weekend as the wind changes to the south. This may bring some showery weather which is also normal for the time of year.

With Easter and the first visitors of the year expected in April, preparations for the season have begun.  Most people wait until the last minute to do external painting as one needs good weather to do that, but shops and businesses that have been closed up all winter are being opened up and aired and there is a hum of cement mixers and the whiff of fresh paint in the air.  The Stani cake shop is already comfortably settled in its new premises next to the Symi VisitorAccommodation office and Symi Spacephone has moved from the Aktaion to the old Symi Women’s Association shop in the centre of Yialos.  Soroco boutique is moving into the old Stani cake shop next to Merakles taverna and the old Chouchi Gold shop is being refitted as, believe it or not, a pedicure parlour with nibbling fish!

Easter is very much a family affair in Greece so large numbers of foreign visitors are never expected at that time but the Greek tradition of preparing to welcome guests for Easter is one that will never die out in Greece, no matter how difficult times may be.  The Easter celebrations are a good excuse for family members living and working in Rhodes to come back to Symi and foreign visitors often find themselves invited to join family festivities.  Greek traditions of hospitality are indomitable.

Have a good week.



A beautifully painted front door in Chorio.

A Frozen Angel on the Kastro.

Bitter Oranges in a Garden near Alemina, Chorio.

Jan –   – (Saturday, March 03, 2012)  

Re the weather, people might be interested in the comparatives with previous winters published in Jean Bienvenue's West Crete blog at

Jean's photos on his website are also well worth a look.


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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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