Green Shoots of Recovery?

The population of Symi was roused from its usual mid-morning coffee break by several brisk toots on a horn as the Panagia Skiadeni, Dodecanese Seaways' new car ferry, announced her triumphant arrival in Yialos, Symi's main harbour. Although there was nothing on any schedule to inform of her coming, various trucks were waiting in happy anticipation at the clock tower.  They may yet be waiting a while longer as she is showing no signs of departing again.  Her schedule should be appearing on in the next day or so.

Green shoots of recovery?  The weather has warmed up considerably in the last few days and leaf buds are unfurling wherever one looks.  The valonia oaks are rapidly greening over and the figs have turned from bare stalks to standard bearers.

I was in Rhodes last week on business. The intention was to go on Sunday evening and come back on the Wednesday afternoon Blue Star but with the 48 hour strike of the Panhellenic Seamen the ferry schedule was thrown into disarray and I only returned to Symi late on Friday evening.  As I had time in hand I went on several long walks around Rhodes town, camera in hand, and took literally hundreds of photographs.  Here is just a small sample for your amusement.

One of the intriguing things about Rhodes is that wherever one goes there are archaeological sites - much to the despair of property developers who often wind up with their projects on hold while finds are examined, and their architectural plans changed to avoid destroying whatever has turned up. This amazing mosaic is part of an excavation under a housing complex in a Rhodian back street. Rattling around Rhodes in a taxi or vehicle one is unaware of all this as it is mostly hidden below street level, so if you are interested in the many layers of Rhodian history, don your walking shoes and peer over railings.

The moat around Rhodes Old Town also holds a few surprises that passing motorists are unlikely to see. This football pitch, for example.  It does not seem to have seen much use this winter.  Perhaps the children have grown up and gone away, or perhaps they prefer watching it on television to playing it in the extremely cold weather we have experienced this winter.

And where better to graze ones horse than in a moat? There is undoubtedly a far longer precedent for this than football in Rhodes Old Town.  No, that isn't a knight, dozing under the tree.  Just an unidentifiable piece of old scrap metal.

The moat at the top of Rhodes Old Town is far more sedate.  No football or grazing horses here.  Just heaps of stone canon balls and, surprise, an archaeological dig.  There are guided walks around the moat in the summer and it is a great way of seeing the Old Town from a different angle.

25 March is Greek Independence Day and in the days leading up to this holiday the shops in Rhodes were full of displays of traditional dress for the children participating in the parades.  For photographs of some of the Symiot children in their parade finery, please see Out and About where Jenine Woodhall of the Olive Tree cafe in Chorio has shared some of her photographs.

Have a good week.


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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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