August is over. The crowds have gone. The children are preparing for another school year. Next week the ferry schedules change as Blue Star reverts to smaller boats on the Symi route. Good bye, Nissos Chios, Welcome Back, Patmos!
There is also far less traffic on the roads. British tourists tend to be apprehensive about hiring cars and driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. The holidaymakers from other parts of Greece and further afield who arrive with their cars on the Blue Star have also gone home again. If you do visit Symi in September it is well worth hiring a car for a day or so to explore the interior of the island and visit Kokkimides monastery, Roukoniotis monastery and Toli Bay. While there are organised mini-bus excursions if there are enough of you, having your own wheels gives you more freedom to stop and take photographs as well as linger at places that take your fancy. On a clear day you can see as far as Kos on one side and Rhodes on the other with the islands of Halki, Tilos and Nissyros also visible.
As the continent of Europe starts to cool to the north of us, so has the breeze that blows down the Aegean, bringing welcome relief from the searing temperatures of the Symi summer. It is still around 30 degrees at midday but after days in the forties, 30 seems quite mild. Nights are cooling off too. We plugged our boiler in for hot water yesterday for the first time since May. Not quite time to dig out the duvet and woolly jumpers just yet though. That doesn’t happen until early November!