Some November Postcards from Symi

Wall-to-wall carpets are very rare in Symi - with the hot dry and dusty climate they aren't really practical.  Most houses  have stone, ceramic or wooden floors with washable rugs and loose carpets to take the chill off underfoot in the winter. Peripatetic carpet sellers such as this one are very much a part of the landscape in November and December.

Down in Yialos more and more seasonal businesses are shutting up shop for the winter.  Plastic bags help to protect the light fittings from the salt-laden winter air.

Shopfronts become undercover parking in the winter.

A couple of courses of removable brick work help to keep out storm surges and high tides which can flood the harbour in the winter months.

The present spell of dry sunny weather is great for washing things like cuddly toys which can take days to dry otherwise.  We don't have tumble driers on Symi - sunshine is free and in any case Symiot houses are not big and no one wants to waste precious space on an appliance that will only be used perhaps a dozen times a year.

Lantana on the Kali Strata.

The dividing line between urban and rural is blurred at best on Symi and now that the tourist season is over, the rural is starting to dominate, like poultry on one of the flights of steps off the Kali Strata.

Watching the rush hour go past on the Kali Strata.  Very few houses on Symi have vehicle access so any building work involves mule trains, donkeys and lots of man hours, moving materials to the site and carrying rubble away.  This is one of the reasons why houses on Symi are more expensive than in many other places.

Glittering emptiness on the sunny side of the harbour.

A work crew from OTE, the Greek telephone company, is on the island at the moment, repairing infrastructure damaged by storms dating back as far as May and putting in new lines.  When one lives on a small island one has to accept that sometimes it is necessary to wait until there are enough things that need doing to make it cost effective for a team to come over from Rhodes or the mainland to do whatever is necessary. These days every business has to keep a close eye on the bottom line to survive.

This is a very fragrant time of the year. The jasmine is flowering everywhere and the citrus trees are also starting to flower.

There may not be many people around but the local cats are growing bolder in their quest for food. This one was on  the roof of the shop next door. She then carefully tippy-toed along our balcony rail, hopped onto the roof of the storeroom and then sauntered down the stairs to Pachos.

A black cat ignoring the Symi Visitor web cam.

Fresh prunings in transit from someone's garden to livestock up the mountain, via a coffee break in Pachos.

Not a lot happening in Yialos today.
It is the Panormitis Festival this weekend. Preparations have been disrupted somewhat by the 4 day shipping strike which only ended at 8 a.m. this morning. This means that the usual Friday morning Blue Star Diagoras will only get to Symi from Pireus in the early hours of Saturday morning, en route to Rhodes. She will leave Rhodes again at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, passing through Symi at 08.30 a.m. on her north-bound route.  There have been quite a few refugee arrivals on the island this week and organising their onward journeys in the light of the strike has been a bit of a challenge but everyone is now sorted out. Solidarity Symi provides logistic information in addition to food, dry clothes, medicines, showers and shelter.

The weather remains sunny and mild with temperatures in the low twenties at midday, dropping to about 16 degrees at night with heavy dew fall.  It is a lovely time of the year for walking and many locals do just that, walking across the island to Panormitis, Roukoniotis or Kokkimides for the celebrations to St Michael on Sunday. It takes 3-4 hours to walk to Panormitis but Roukoniotis and Kokkimides are closer than that, although the latter is considerably steeper as it is perched on the top of the second highest peak on the island.

Have a good weekend.


Anonymous –   – (Friday, November 06, 2015)  

We returned to the UK after having a late October week on Symi. the weather here has been the usual mix of cold, mist\fog rain and winds (although not as bad as you had on the 21st of October). So to be able to catch up with whats happening on Symi on a daily basis via your blog and the webcam is a tonic for these drab dreary days that we now have. I thought I was a synical world weary traveller until I discovered that your island has managed to capture my heart and soul and won't let me go!
Keep up the good work by continuing to give a brilliant insight to the Symi that most of us aren't able to see first hand via your images and remarks.
Thank You.

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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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