Panormitis 2017

We went over to Panormitis late on Tuesday afternoon.  Although this was 'off peak', there were still plenty of people there and we had to park quite a long way up the road and walk down. The first thing that struck me, walking down the road, was that the iconic bell tower is currently wrapped in scaffolding.  It isn't only Big Ben in London that is undergoing a much-needed face lift.

The second thing that caught my eye was the carpet sellers.  No, I have absolutely no idea what chap on the right is doing!

Every year a fair is set up just inside the gates, on the open ground between the war memorial and the start of the main monastery buildings.  Most of the stalls come from Rhodes. The first zone, once one has run the gauntlet of the carpet sellers at the entrance, is given over to Greek fast food of all kinds. Roast corn on the cob and chestnuts, anybody?

There were plenty of grill 'houses' selling souvlaki, including one set up by the high school of Symi.  There were also vendors selling candy floss, elaborate ice cream cones in bilious colours, sticky cakes, loukomadia (Greek doughnuts) and all sorts of other sugar bombs.

As our nearest Marks and Spencer is in Rhodes, many Symiots stock up on socks at the annual Panormitis festival.  Toys are something else not readily available on Symi so another hit among local shoppers.

Lurid underwear and yet more socks!

Kitchen utensils, cheap screwdrivers, mobile phone covers, alarm clocks, dodgy electronics...  you can find all sorts of jolly junk for a euro at the Panormitis festival.

From the secular to the sacred, on Wednesday 8 November the proper ceremonies dedicated to St Michael the Archangel took place, attended by the Mayor of Symi, Lefteris Papakalodoukas and his councillors.  Photograph by Dawn Sproson.

Photograph by Dawn Sproson

Photograph by Dawn Sproson

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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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