Wind and Wood Smoke

A cold and choppy sea.

It was so rough this morning that the Blue Star Patmos did not stop, leaving lots of frustrated travelers fuming on the dock.

Pigeons may have small brains but they are certainly sensible.  This cornice on the National Bank is a nice warm sunny spot, out of the wind!

It may be a bit bumpy in the  harbour today but in the winter, when there are few boats and all the tourist trappings are packed away, the view of Symi's distinctive neo-classical architecture is unobstructed. That long stone building with the light green woodwork in the middle of this photograph is the highly-acclaimed Old Markets hotel.

The bus stop in Yialos.  The blue bus is the one that serves Panormitis monastery. Conspicuous by its absence is the yellow bus which serves the Yialos-Chorio-Pedi route as it is still away for maintenance.  Those cubes on the quay to the right are pallets of stone flags, similar to the ones already laid around the centre of the harbour, so we can expect a continuation of the paving project in the near future.  The ramp at the far left leads to the high school, the upper section of the Kali Strata and Chorio. 

It is not just the architectural detail that  is revealed when the sunhats and beach towels are packed away.  Walking back from the ATM at the Alpha bank this morning I noticed that this tourist shop is using an Easter themed plastic table cloth (plastic table cloths are sold by the metre in Greece) as a partition.  The other side is rather more sophisticated wood paneling as it is a posh boutique.

Breakfast for some of the street cats of Yialos. Symi Animal Welfare and various dedicated locals look after the various cat colonies in Yialos, Chorio and Pedi during the winter when taverna pickings are lean.  The shiny bag on the left seems to have shoes in it and has probably blown off the table so this is not a Symi interpretation of  the fairy story, 'Puss in Boots'!

The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation office this morning.  It is not particularly obvious but the boats are all rolling in the swell.

Work has started on the new road from the new commercial harbour.  Apparently it will curve around the hill and join the existing road just beyond the bend at the top, where you can see that blue tanker parked. When the harbour is completed, the big boats will dock there instead of by the clock tower and heavy vehicles will go up the new road and over the hill to the Pedi road where all the warehouses are, significantly cutting down on heavy traffic passing along the waterfront in Yialos.  
It is a cold, clear and windy day on Symi.  Temperatures are not expect to rise above 6 degrees centigrade today and with the wind chill it is actually only just above freezing.  Water froze in exposed places overnight and there was ice on the mountain.  Tonight is expected to be even colder. When I venture out of the office I can smell wood smoke from all directions as there are cast iron wood burners in several of the surrounding businesses and homes.

The Blue Star was unable to dock in Symi this morning.  Regular readers of this blog will remember that this was often the case in the days of the Diagoras (now ploughing the waves between Morocco and the Canary Islands) but it is unusual for the more modern Patmos with its sophisticated bow thrusters and more efficient underwater profile to chicken out. We hope she can dock on the way back from Rhodes tonight as this is the island's supply line for post, food, fresh produce etcetera and the next vehicle connection with Rhodes is next Wednesday! The Dodecanese Seaways catamaran should come through tomorrow en route to Kos but this only has limited vehicle and freight capacity and doesn't have the height to take trucks and vans.

Have a warm weekend wherever you are.  It is now less than two months to the spring equinox!


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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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