Dazzling Light

The view from my office window today - clear, cold and not a lot going on.

Walking down the Kali Strata this morning.  The sun is already catching the opposite hill.  Just on the other side of that ridge of hills lies Roukoniotis monastery and Toli bay, a popular beach and taverna in the summer.

Reflections shining on the water at Katerinettes in the harbour.  My rather basic Nikon battles with the challenges of the light at this time of the year.  When we aren't shrouded in mist and rain the light is quite dazzling.  That tug boat helps move the floating crane around for the new harbour construction over by the fuel station.

Deserted alleyway with thoughtful cat.  At this time of the year one can easily see more cats than people out and about at 8 a.m.

The birds are starting to return and there is much excited twittering.  This little chap sat still long enough for me to catch him in a photo this morning but usually one is just aware of happy chirruping and much high-speed darting from tree to ruin to tree to ruin...  Symi's urban landscape offers many places for birds and everyone is familiar with the family of swifts that lives in Taxas supermarket in the summer.  Yannis said this morning that he is expecting them to check in next week.

Nature tends to take over during the rainy season. This is a wall on the Kali Strata, near Villa Laza.

I was photographing the moss flowering on a wall in Lieni on Saturday...

... when I noticed this knife handle sticking out of the wall.  I have walked past this wall thousands of times in twenty years and this is the first time I have noticed the knife, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't been there for years.

The recent gales had blown open the door to a mansion on the Kali Strata so I took the opportunity to take a peak inside.  That  is the only lath wall still remaining.   One can see the scars in the plaster and gaps in the floorboards where other walls would have been.  Restoration projects can take many years to complete and entail a tremendous amount of paperwork as the island's architecture is protected.  Getting materials to a site and removing rubble usually requires men and donkeys as houses such as this one do not have vehicle access and it all adds to the expense.  This is why Symi is not a cheap destination.

The blinding light dazzles the splendid views this house will have, looking towards Nimos.  The new roof is quite a feat of engineering and all of it will have been done without the assistance of cranes.  Just skilled men with very basic scaffolding and ladders.
After a showery weekend the dazzling light that accompanies a brisk north wind continues to blind us wherever we look.  The wind is expected to increase midweek with strong winds forecast that may disrupt shipping and temperatures will be low on Tuesday and Wednesday (maximum of 9 degrees centigrade, minimum of 3 degrees centigrade), warming up a little towards the weekend as the next rainy spell reaches us.

The cold weather to the north is driving the birds south and we woke to the sound of twittering for the first time in many weeks.  It may be cold but there is a definite whiff of spring in the air!

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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