The Last May Postcards from Symi

Greek sponges, pumice stones from Nissyros, handmade leather goods - these are all to be found along the waterfront in Yialos, Symi's harbour.

At the back of the square in Yialos, beyond the cafes, pizzeria, bakery and gyros bar, you will find some boutiques, an agronomist/plant shop and the nautical museum with an antique and bric-a-brac shop below. The building on the right is the Symi town hall.  The ground floor offices house the water department and also KEP, the Citizens' Advice Bureau, which handles much of the day to day bureaucracy involved in living in Greece these days.

The nautical museum. This is now open after an extensive refurbishment.  Historically, this building is interesting in that it was the first house on the island to have electricity and had its own private generator.

Wherever you go in the harbour, there are interesting shops and cafes.  You won't find any chain store outlets here.  Each place is unique and the majority are family-run.

There are so many delightful and unexpected little details in Symi's architecture, it is worth paying attention when you walk about.  How many of you have spotted this face in the harbour?

Yialos is much busier now.  There are many more yachts in the harbour now as it is the start of the sailing season.

Reflections from one of my favourite peep holes on the Kali Strata.

After a very wet winter the creepers and vines are really enthusiastic.  Whoever owns this house on the Kali Strata is going to have to hack through a jungle to reach the upstairs windows.

Just visible on the right hand side of the picture is the Poseidon departing for the Agios Emilianos day trip on Tuesday.

The Blue Star Diagoras departing for Piraeus on Wednesday afternoon.  This is the early option for Wednesday arrivals in Rhodes as it leaves Akandia at 15.00 and arrives in Symi at 16.30 - much better than hanging about until 19.00 for the Panagia Skiadeni. 

Cylestial Cruises coming in, hot in the wak of the departing Blue Star on Wednesday afternoon.

These big boats manage to dock in Yialos without the assistance of tug boats - just good seamanship, bow thrusters and reliable mooring men on the quay. 

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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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