These days I so seldom go down into the harbour, when I do it feels like a different island altogether. They may be baling hay in the Pedi Valley but in Yialos they are selling sunhats to pink-faced tourists and cold beers go down like iced water in the desert. The thermometer nudged forty degrees last week and rows of thunder storms are marching through Greece, from the Ionian, across the Aegean to Turkey and beyond. The Mediterranean never really cooled down last winter and the rising temperatures are spawning lots of storm activity. It is not usual for the Greek met office to be issuing severe weather warnings in June.
As Sean Damer once observed, in his notorious Ethnography on Tourism on Symi, when we aren’t talking about the weather, we are talking about the ferries. Well, if you live on a small island without an airport and heavily dependent on tourism for survival, everything depends on both. The Attica Group who own Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries have now bought Hellenic Seaways. This has had some significant implications for Symi for the summer. The Patmos has been moved to a different route and the Nissos Chios is now doing the Wednesday and Friday routes, with rather drastic changes in arrival and departure times. For more information, please go to Andy’s excellent travel blog. The other change is the return of the ANES Symi II to Symi waters. This is to replace the Sea Dreams Symi which is now running the Skopelos route. The Symi II does not have a ferry license and is only running excursions from Rhodes. There are also photographs circulating on social media of a new shuttle boat built for ANES that is supposed to be serving the Rhodes Symi route on a passenger only basis. As this is still to complete sea trials and licensing procedures, there is no real information about when it will actually come into service and what the actual schedule will be. As usual the only more or less consistent player in the field is Dodecanese Seaways.
Meanwhile, my new property management business now has a logo and business cards which should be ready next week. My website needs a bit more tweaking. I am still sorting out some logistical issues with my business premises in Pedi so I am currently still working from home. The people whose Symi holidays I managed to salvage seem very happy which can only be a Good Thing. Various of the old Symi Visitor properties can now be found on AirBnB and other on line booking platforms. If you can’t find the one you are looking for, please email me on email@example.com and I will put you in touch with the relevant person.