Christmas, Cabbages and Conifers

An early sign of Christmas on a shop in Chorio. So far everyone in the harbour has been too busy with the mud to worry much about putting up decorations but in the parts of Chorio that escaped unscathed, there are few tentative tokens of festive cheer.

The kiosk at the Kampos bus stop is also feeling festive.

Look at the size of those cabbages from Kalymnos!

Not much happening in Yialos this week.

The bridge survived surprisingly unscathed considering the thousands of tons of rocks, cars and rubble that rammed into it.  The figures in red just visible on the far side of the bridge, near the fish market, are electricians replacing the lights on the bridge which were smashed. The water is still muddy as there is still mud draining away from the square and the back of the harbour.

Yialos square this week.  Until the last of this red mud washes away, the water at the head of the harbour will remain muddy.  To the right of the digger, and the no entry sign there is a brown pile of what look like turfs. This is actually the synthetic surface for the children's playground. This has all had to be lifted as the playground was buried under mud.

Away from the mud zone, on the lower steps of the Kali Strata, the Virginia creeper lights up the stone steps.

One day someone will doubtless come along and hack away the creeper to restore the abandoned building behind it but in the meantime let us enjoy its luminous beauty.

Empty seas and startling contrasts.  My humble camera cannot cope with such extremes of light and shade.

Thomas, the patriarch skip cat on my corner, sunning himself with Chorio in the background.

Chorio in the sun, Nimborio in the shade.  You can see the scars of new wash-aways and water courses on the steep cliffs that form the northern shore of Nimborio bay.

You are looking at the roots of a large cypress tree in what was a terrace at the top of my property.  We didn't have any cypress trees, either vertical or horizontal, before 13 November.  This tree washed at least 100 metres down the Agia Marina river from the cemetery or even further up the hill.  The stones that tumbled down with it stripped the bark off the trunk, leaving the wood exposed.  An extreme delivery of winter firewood!

The rest of the tree.  It neatly rammed between two Kermes oaks, destroying old stone walls and an old shepherd's croft in the process.   Those little colourful bits of red and blue are the remains of plastic flowers from the cemetery. There is a trail of them all the way down into the valley.

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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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