Vanilla and Orange Flower Water

A floral welcome in Yialos.

The tin smith in Yialos with his handmade wares on display outside.

Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale in the lanes of Yialos and Chorio.

As usual, we are seeing all sorts of boats, from beautiful old wooden ones like the one heading out in front of the yellow speed boat to the chunky battle-ship inspired grey power yacht in the middle. This was the 8 a.m. rush hour departing!

No where on Symi is very far from anywhere else.  That is part of Chorio on the left and Pedi bay on the right.  It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the point where I was standing to take this photograph, around the head of the valley and down the motor road on the opposite side of the valley, which is marked by the edge of the trees, to the sea in Pedi.  There more direct old footpaths running through the valley but as they are fairly rough in places it can actually take longer going that way.

Afternoon storm clouds building up over Turkey. As the weather heats up we have had some splendid stormy skies, although the rain always seems to fall over Turkey rather than Symi.

This is the clinic in Yialos, adjoining St John's church. The buildings on the left are basic pensions.

Faces are a popular motif on the neo-classical buildings. This enigmatic face contemplates the view from a restored merchant house on the Kali Strata steps.

Perhaps she is wondering what to say to the gentleman on the facade next door.
It is a bright sunny day on Symi. The thermometer is hovering around 36 degrees centigrade.  The Symi, Panagia Skiadeni and Nikolaos X are tied up in the harbour and there are tourists browsing around, looking in shops and eating ice creams.  The patisserie round the corner is scenting the air with vanilla and orange flower water - the delicate aromas of traditional boutgatsa and baklava.

I was in the National Bank (Ethniki) this morning early as I needed to do some personal banking. There were two other customers apart from myself, one of whom was just leaving. There was no problem with my making a modest international bank transfer so no sign of capital controls kicking in just yet. There was someone else outside, using the ATM.  The weekly money supply has just arrived in an armoured delivery off the Panagia Skiadeni from Rhodes so the bank has been topped up with fresh cash supplies.  Business as usual, despite what the overseas press may be saying.

The island is getting busier, particularly with yachtsmen and gulets in the evenings and early mornings.  The restaurants and tavernas are seeing more traffic and it is becoming important to book a table at the more popular venues, particularly as there are lots of regular visitors to Symi on the island at the moment and they have their favourite locations.  There is a quiet hum of activity that is absent in the winter.

Have a good week.


Anonymous –   – (Monday, June 22, 2015)  

Lovely to see the photo of the pensione opposite the surgery. The first time we visited Symi in 2002 we stayed there, it was called Hotel Kokona then. We breakfasted under a flower laden pergola outside overlooking St John's churchyard. Thanks for the memory :) Val

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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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