A Monday on Symi in January

Rather a grey Monday on Symi but the little monastery over on Nimos was enjoying a spot of sunshine.

"Hello, is it me you're looking for?"

The old Glafkos hotel on the Kali Strata hasn't been inhabited for many years and is in a sad state of disrepair.  I remember going to a party there in 1996 when it was no longer a hotel but a Swedish artist, Wolfgang Rehbach, was living there for the summer.  It had the most wonderful wall paintings of Arcadian landscapes.  The mansion next door was in far worse condition and walls had actually blown down in a winter storm when it was bought and restored to glory you see on the right.  Perhaps one day the Glafkos will also enjoy a similar renaissance.

This is the route many of the local teenagers follow to get from Yialos to the high school just below the Kali Strata. This short cut runs just below the Kali Strata and cuts out a lot of steps although, as you can see, part of the path is decidly rustic.

It has been a harsh winter so far and many of the palm trees in cold north-facing locations are looking distinctly unhappy.  This one looks as though it is still undecided.

One of the unique things about Symi is this juxtaposition of ruins and restorations and occasional new builds in the traditional style.  Symi is an architectural heritage site so anything built from scratch has to be in keeping with the traditional neo-classical style for which the island is famous.  At the same time all restoration projects are also closely supervised and at the end of the day, if the Archaeologia, the body that supervises this, doesn't approve your paperwork you don't get electricity until you have remedied whatever they are found wrong, including painting the house the wrong colour.

The view from Symi Visitor Accommodation this morning.  As you can see, one of the fishing boats has just come in.

Now is the time to plant potatoes and Symi Flower has Spunta, the most popular seed potato cultivar in the region, in stock.
After a fairly clear and dry weekend the clouds are gathering once again and the rain is expected to reach us in the early hours of the morning.  Strong winds gusting up to 65 km/ph are forecast and the wet weather is only expected to clear again late on Wednesday.  Temperatures are going to drop in the latter part of the week as the wind changes to the north with highs of 9 and a drop to as low as 3 on Friday night.  As this will be accompanied by strong northerly winds we may see ice in exposed areas.  We really are having a proper winter this year!

One piece of good news coming out of Greece this week is that Athens International Airport, Eleftherios Venizelous, has just been accredited as carbon neutral, the 25th airport in the EU to achieve this status. This means that all those solar panels surrounding the airport are doing their job and the airport has successfully reduced its environmental impact.  Considering how hard Greece is struggling at the moment, that is quite an achievement.  

Have a good week - and keep warm!


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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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