April Postcards from Symi

Symi's supply lines - the twice weekly Blue Star Diagoras and the Dodecanese Seaways catamarans.  Photographed on Wednesday morning.

Looking down at Yialos and Harani early this morning.

A returning fishing boat early this morning.  The huddle of people and vehicles over by the clock tower are waiting for the Blue Star which was about an hour late.

Flowers growing in painted feta tins, a well fed cat and a Vespa - near St John's church in Yialos.

The traditional tavernas are opening up in the lanes.

Pet birds enjoying the spring air - outside the newsagents.

Buckets are usually used to catch drips in the winter. This one in the harbour has been deployed to prevent winter rains from pouring down a chimney.

Pretty windows on the Kali Strata

Maria has her herbs out to dry on the Kali Strata.  She is something of a summer landmark on Symi, sitting on the steps and offering thirsty climbers water and then talking them into buying her bags of Symi herbs.

The loose panel in this shutter reveals the original bright green, before countless Symi seasons bleached away the yellow pigment, leaving a distressed teal blue that one would be hard pressed to emulate by artificial means.

Looming out of an oregano bush, the smelly Dracunculas vulgaris stands proud.  In a couple of days it will unfurl into something that looks like a very sinister giant purple arum lily and smells of dead rats as it is pollinated by flies.

Mowing the verges, Symi style
The weather is warming up.  More boats are coming in.  More shops, cafes and tavernas are reopening after the long winter sleep. There is the smell of new paint and the hum of sanding machines as woodwork is finally dry enough to work on.  Locals are still wrapped up, particularly if they ride motorbikes, but have paint spots on their clothes and do their main shopping at the hardware stores. There is a definite feeling that summer, while not exactly here yet, is just around the corner.

We have had a whole week without either rain or gale force winds and the next 'blow' is forecast for next week Wednesday so the intervals between fronts continue to lengthen. Sometimes in the afternoons we see thunder clouds over Turkey and hear the rumbling on the horizon but Symi remains dry.

Temperatures are around 20 degrees at midday, falling to about 14 at night with quite heavy dew. The breeze is still chilly and it can be quite cold indoors.  We are still wearing winter woollies in the office, shedding layers when we are out of doors.

Have a good weekend.


ليبرتي  – (Saturday, April 18, 2015)  

would like to see pictures of museums and galleries IN SYMI ISLAND

Vita  – (Tuesday, April 21, 2015)  

Hi :) I wanted to thank you, Adriana, for this lovely blog. I enjoy reading about the life on Symi and looking at the gorgeous photos you take.
Yesterday was the first time I visited Symi (as a day tripper with Panagia Skiadeni) but I certainly hope that not the last one. And we indeed met Maria on Kali Strata sitting with bags of oregano. She kindly waved us to go her way (we were a bit lost) and offered a cup of water (we had our own bottles) and herbs. When we said "Thank you, Maria", she looked slightly surprised :) Oh, and in Horio we got lost again (yes, again!) and this old woman showed us the way to Kastro and explained in both in English and Italian how to get there. Symi residents are awesome!
So I actually wanted to say thank you for all the information and work you put in this blog :)

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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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