A Drizzly Day on Symi in February

The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation office this morning.

Yes, we do get fresh cauliflowers and celery on Symi.  They are winter crops in this part of the world.  No one has to teach the Greeks to eat in season - they always have done.  It has only been relatively recently that we have been able to reliably buy tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines in the winter. They come from poly tunnels in Rhodes and Crete.  The usual Greek salad in tavernas in the winter is actually a green salad based on Kos lettuce and various wild greens and herbs not available in the summer.

Low cloud rolling down the Vigla warns of more rain to come.  That is the bell tower of St John's church in Yialos. The buildings on the hill behind are in one of the oldest parts of upper Chorio, dating back to when the donkey path up the Kataraktis was the main route up to the village.

The view from the bridge in Yialos. The water level is very low due to a barometric high over the area.  The water, which used to be very clear, is still discoloured by all the soil that washed into the harbour in the flood on 13 November 2017.  At least the sunken boats and wrecked cars have all been removed.  There are still odd chair legs and bits of bicycle sticking out of the silt though. Further up, in the upper parts of Chorio around Stavros Church, work has not even begun on rebuilding the destruction that the torrents caused and for many Symiots and expat residents it will be a long time before life returns to normal.. The Pedi valley and the football pitch are still awaiting attention too.

The slip by the customs house this morning.  With the low water level today this marvellous green carpet of weed has been revealed.  No doubt incredibly slippery.

As you may have gathered, there isn't much for men to do on Symi in the winter except fish or chat to friends who are fishermen.  In the summer those blue booths are the ticket counters for the water taxis to the beaches.

Empty vistas.

One can always feed the pigeons.

Symi is a very vertical sort of place.  The steep slopes of the amphitheatre harbour look like a hanging garden. That is an almond tree among the conifers, unfurling its spring greenery as the blossom falls.

Lemonitissa church on the Kastro overshadows Pallas Athena on one of the island's oldest jewellery shops.

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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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