Slipping into Winter Mode

Early Tuesday morning and the Seabourn Sojourn lying in Nimborio bay. That is the small island of Nimos in the background.

As you can see, apart from the cruise ship, Yialos was practically deserted.

A lighter from the cruise ship bringing passengers ashore. They disembark at the customs shed by the bridge.

Ready to host lunch guests from the cruise ship later in the day.

One of the last gulets of the season.

In the course of Tuesday the bunting was put up for Wednesday's parade.  Yes, that is a megayacht peaking out on either side of the clock tower.  The Sea Dream is still coming over from Rhodes on a daily basis but there aren't that many day-trippers around anymore.

Wednesday morning and the gypsy basket sellers have set up in the square. These traditional handmade baskets are used for harvesting olives and other crops - or for placing by the front door in the winter to collect slippers, umbrellas and other objects.  In the run up to the Panormitis festival on 8 November a steady stream of hawkers of all kinds will arrive on the island. They sell a few things in the harbour before moving across the island to Panormitis monastery where they set up a sort of fair on the open ground behind the Panormitis war memorial.

Wednesday 28 October - Ochi Day, the day when Greece said 'No' (Ochi) to fascism during the Second World War.  This is the wreath-laying ceremony at the island's cenotaph and war memorial.

The whole community turns out to watch the parade of soldiers and school children.

The school children proudly sweltering in their school uniforms - it is still a bit warm to be wearing jumpers and long pants.  Yes, that is a display of sponges you can see in the background!

Meanwhile, in all the quiet places the growing season continues to unfurl.  This is a wild cyclamen growing on the steps below the high school.  The snails haven't found it yet so the leaves are still perfect.
Symi is slipping into winter mode. The plastic canopies are down on the cafes that stay open and everyone else has packed up and turned out the lights.  The Ochi Day celebrations on 28 October, followed by the Panormitis festival on 8 November, are a welcome opportunity to relax after all the hard work and long hours of the tourist season and enjoy some autumn sunshine before the wet days of the Mediterranean winter set in in earnest.  Families get together after the parade to drink coffee and chat while the children tuck into gyros and ice creams, affordable treats in these days of austerity.

The weather remains clear and sunny with daytime temperatures around 22 degrees, dropping to about 18 degrees at night. The northerly breeze is cool so it can be chilly in the shade. At the moment there is no rain showing up in the long-range forecast so it should remain like this for the Panormitis festival in 10 days time.  Some years the weather has been really miserable for the festival, either with torrential rain which is rough for those pilgrims who sleep on the open verandahs of the monastery, or with gale force winds that prevent pilgrims from getting to Symi in the first place.

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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