On the Furthest Boundaries of Europe

Symi has many mysterious and secretive doors.

Many of the ruins in the oldest parts of Chorio predate the nineteenth century neo-classical style that is characteristic of the harbour.  Vaulted chambers and arches traversing the lanes are quite common in the lanes around Agia Trianda and the Symi museum.

These two ancient dwellings, both restored, lean so far over they almost touch and it is only  just possible to squeeze through the lane between them.  The wall of the house on the right is decorated with tiny potsherds.

First of all, Jenine from the Olive Tree has emailed me an announcement about Sunday’s Street Party in Chorio. The party will start at 4 p.m and there will be live coverage of the Jubilee Pageant down the Thames which starts at 16.30 Symi time.  The Jubilee Tea will be 8 euros per plate and the proceeds will go to local charities. This includes the doctors, schools and Symi Animal Welfare.  The Symi Women’s Association will have a table of their wares and there is also an Italian lady coming from Rhodes with a jewellery stall.  I myself am donating some fresh vegetables and eggs from my garden as a prize for the tombola.

It may seem a little odd to be reading about QEII Jubilee celebrations on a blog about Symi, a small island on the furthest boundaries of Europe, but Symi’s community is very multi-cultural and pleasures are shared.  All sorts of nationalities have passed through Symi over the years and many have stayed, putting down roots here.  Symiots travelling the world in the Merchant Navy also brought home foreign brides. There are children at school on the island who are the result of marriages between Symiots and other nationalities. Belgian, Danish, French, Swiss, Italian, South African, Congolese as well as British to name but a few – Symi is more of a melting pot than one might suppose. There is even a large enough French community on the island for Bastille Day to be celebrated every summer.

Down in Yialos the celebrity spotting season has started.  Actress Salma Hayek was spotted signing autographs in the harbour last weekend and who knows what glamorous surprises the next mega yacht will bring? 

It might sound as though Symi is a noisy, busy resort with so much bustle going on but it is really quite a sleepy place, particularly in the lanes of the residential areas of Chorio as you can see in these photographs.

Have a good weekend wherever you are.


I wonder when these shutters were last opened.

Ferns and stone roses growing out of a dry stone wall in Chorio.

Looking up can bring surprises.  This unusual jacaranda has a canine custodian.

I noticed this cat when I was walking down to work this morning.  Whatever he is watching, it must be very small indeed because I could not spot anything on the paving.

Spot the cat.  Looking up the Kali Strata towards Symi Dream.  Giorgio's taverna, the Olive Tree, the Hotel Fiona, Lefteris cafeneion and the Rainbow Bar are all at the top of these stairs.  A little further up there is Syllogos restaurant, Zoe's taverna and a number of other small shops, bakeries and a butcher.

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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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