Warming Up

Heading for the beach - the best place to be in this heat and humidity.  Most of Symi's beaches are surrounded by steep cliffs and cannot be reached by road or easily on foot.  Water taxis operate out of Yialos and Pedi, connecting the beaches along the east side of the island - Nimborio, Agia Marina, Agios Nikolaos (St Nick's), Agios Giorgio's (St George's), Nanou and Marathounda.

The Blue Star Diagoras is out of commission now for her annual maintenance so today marked the start of the Blue Star Paros which will be doing the Symi route for the next few weeks.

The Dodecanese Seaways Panagia Skiadeni, dwarfing the clock tower and police station yesterday afternoon.  If you look carefully you can see the Noddy train passing along the waterfront on the left.

Yachts milling around in Yialos in the early morning. We aren't seeing much megayacht activity yet but there are plenty of cruising yachts and flotilla boats in the area at the moment.

Harani is a popular area to the side of the main harbour.  The boatyard in the corner is just for boat maintenance these days - the only boatyard on Symi where boats are built from scratch belongs to the Haskas family down in Pedi, the next main.  There are several hotels, bars and restaurants in Harani and we also have some rental properties there, including the Merchant House, Villa Karnayo and Villa Nicola.

Symi's architecture is predominantly neo-classical in the harbour area, yet it is amazing how many variations there are on this style.  Some of the largest house on the island were built in the Harani-Mouragio area, in the vicinity of the police station, as the rich sponge merchants wanted to be close to their businesses and keep an eye on their fleets.

The ancient valonia oak in Lieni pursues its own rhythm dictated by the seasons and immune to the whims of man.  It has doubtless witnessed countless cycles of poverty and prosperity as Symi's fortunes have waxed and waned.

I wasn't fast enough to catch this globe artichoke for culinary purposes - in the warm temperatures everything grows very rapidly - but it is going to give us a few days of aesthetic pleasure instead.

A Virginia creeper gone mad on the Kali Strata.
It is a warm hazy day on Symi. The maximum temperatures are now around 30 degrees at midday but feel a lot warmer due to the humidity.  The breeze offers a slight respite in the late afternoon and evening and night time temperatures are around 20 degrees.  The sea is warming up nicely in the sheltered places like Pedi bay and St Nicholas.  Symi is very quiet at the moment, much quieter than is usual for this time of the year. We are receiving reports from other islands and popular tourist destinations around Greece and it seems Symi is not the only one feeling the pinch at the moment.

The flag below shows all the Dodecanese islands and is part of a campaign against the proposal to remove the VAT privileges in the Dodecanese islands, an arrangement that was implemented many years ago to compensate for the high costs of shipping goods to the most remote islands in Greece. In the past VAT increases have been moderate and businesses have managed to absorb most of the cost and only increase their prices moderately, but the new proposals would be too great and prices would have to go up considerably at a time when local consumers are already strapped for cash and tourism is down. The last time a similarly dramatic VAT increase was implemented a few years ago, when VAT was increased on meals in tavernas and restaurants to the highest tax bracket, hundreds of businesses closed down around the country within a matter of months as neither the owners nor the customers could absorb the new prices.  That increase was promptly reversed when it became apparent that the net result was negative, but it came too late for those businesses that closed down and their employees.

Have a good weekend.


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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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