March Postcards from Symi

Another cyclamen shot - because in a few short weeks they will be gone as though they have never been and the landscape will revert to the baked bare earth of summer. Let us revel in this verdant and fragrant abundance while we may.

Poppies are another spring flower seen in abundance in Greece from late March until early May, depending on the rains.

6 a.m. sunrise over Pedi bay.

One of the ruins on the Kali Strata is now sporting this impressive riveted steel door.

 A delicate fern growing out of an old grape vine on the Kali Strata.

Waiting for tidbits outside the butcher in Yialos.

Good Friday is only a fortnight away and some of the traditional Easter items are for sale in the shops.  Beautifully decorated prcessional candles are popular.  Originally decorated with religious motifs, they now have all sorts of decorations on them, both religious and secular.  

Symi isn't really cycling country unless you are very fit and have a good mountain bike.  These bikers must have arrived on the Blue Star this morning.

31 March and Yialos is still empty.

The water level is very low due to a barometric high over the area and the cats like to hang about on the exposed foundations of the bridge, batting at the fish and hunting for any scraps of bread.

The day's catch, on display at the fish market by the bridge.  There are far too  many fishermen around for the cats to try a smash and grab raid on this bountiful display but the fishermen do toss them the odd fish.

Although the tourist season proper does not really start until May, there is quite a bit of internal tourism over Easter as Greeks go to visit their families.  A lot of the shops and cafes are starting to get ready for the first guests and there is a major spring-clean underway.  the weather is warming up, the plastic 'tents' are disappearing from the cafes and the air is buzzing with power washers and the whiff of detergent.

The Merakles is ready in case anyone drops in for lunch and the boutique behind is having a thorough clean before the new stock is unpacked.

The sea and the land have supported the inhabitants of Symi for at least 3000 years and as tourist arrivals have dwindled in recent years, many Symiots have fallen back on those two resources to sustain their families through hard times.
March is drawing to a close.  The weather is warming up and we have had a few light rain showers, mercifully clean, in the past 24 hours.  Midday temperatures are around 19 degrees, falling to about 11 at night. We have had a couple of days where it has been 20 in the sun but it is still quite chilly in the shade.  There is heavy dew fall at night and anything left out is very damp in the morning.

I shall be in Athens next week and am not sure exactly when I will be back so my next blog is likely to be the following week which is, of course, Big Week, the run up to Greek Easter and a period of serious fasting in Greece.  Lent is not just a matter of giving up treats in Greece.  It requires serious self-discipline but all that abstinence is well rewarded come Easter Sunday!

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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