Summer 2020 is Over

Today is 30 September but on Symi it feels a lot like 31 October. The speed with which seasonal activities are shutting down on the island this year is startling, but understandable in the Year of the Virus. With so few tourists around and a cloud of uncertainty it does not make sense for small businesses to struggle on into October, looking for the money to pay staff, insurance and buy perishable stock that will not be sold or eaten.

A solitary fisherman in Pedi bay.
Early morning in Pedi. I took this while waiting to take the 8.30 bus into Yialos.

As we slip into October the ferry schedules are tailing off into winter mode. Dodecanese Seaways has significantly cut back on the service to Symi and, as was the case earlier in the season, some days will be filled in on an ad hoc basis with little advance warning. Blue Star ferries still comes through three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday and Wednesday are incredibly early, entailing being down on the dock before 5 in the morning and arriving in Rhodes shortly after 6, long before anything is open. Friday is considerably more civilised, with the boat leaving Symi just after 8, making this the most popular day for trips to Rhodes for the locals. The SAOS Stavros plods on regardless with only slight changes to times for October.

I never know what I am going to see what I look out of the window. This rather sweet little boat hasn’t seen the sea for a very long time and is, no doubt, unlikely to see it again if it is up the mountain, in the landfill.

There is a lot of speculation and chatter regarding what is likely to happen – or not happen – about the Panormitis Festival this year. Will the usual week-long fair be allowed to take place? Will pilgrims be allowed to come to the monastery from all over the islands and sleep in dormitories and on the verandahs? Is it even worth wondering about it when we still have October to get through and a week is a long time in 2020? Watch this space – if I hear anything, I will let you know!

Author: adrianashum1960

Writer, foodie and self-sufficiency enthusiast.

6 thoughts on “Summer 2020 is Over”

  1. Hi Adriana I vividly remember catching that early morning Wednesday ferry back in the early 80’s; luggage had to be collected from our accommodation the previous evening as the donkeys couldn’t get up sufficiently early. More like their handler (Panormitis as I remember) had the early doors problem!

    There always seemed to be somewhere open for coffee when we got into Rhodes. There was a great cafe bar under the arches by Mandraki and always something somewhere still open from the previous night! Happy Days Maggie

  2. Symi summer is over and we have not been part of it this year. It’s difficult to described the mixture of emotions fealt through not being able to visit Greece at all this season. Symi in particular but small parcels of help from you, Symi dream, Symi friends at al help in not a small way.
    Back in 1985 we nearly bought a house on the harbour side and had great plans for the repairs needed but, talking to a retired Brit at the time who said ‘buy it if you can afford to lose it’ because the Turks were making noises about annexing near Greek islands so we didn’t proceed with the purchase. The conversation covered a lot more subject matter but that the nub of it.
    To say we have been kicking ourselves ever since is an understatement.
    It’s too late in our lives now to look at buying again but the whole sorry saga has not stemmed our love for Symi and Greece in particular.
    We do own a decent parcel of land in Pelion that needs building on and is currently up for sale.
    Anyone interested ?
    Love to all
    Bob and Wendy Beever.

  3. We’re 10 days into quarantine after returning from our first trip to Symi but our memories of the island will sustain us through the difficult winter ahead.
    Good luck and thank you to all the kind local people who made our stay so memorable and we wish you safe passage through the coming months and a brighter future in 2021.
    Such a beautiful island and next time we’ll definitely make Pedi Beach.
    After walking up Kali Strata with good intentions of carrying on we stopped off for a quick one at the first bar – and two hours and a lot of drinks later simply turned back and headed down again.

  4. Looking forward visiting Symi again the coming week, despite getting there has become a hassle over the years, and this year a mountain to climb. We are 4 generations visiting your wonderful island every year, and we are so happy that we are allowed to go this year as well.

  5. Thinking of visiting and wondering how reliable is internet on Symi. Last years island hopping in Greece took us to places where it was a rather mixed, on and off again, affair. Alas for work I need it.

    1. Hi Matthias, it really depends on where you are staying. High-end rental properties in the main residential areas usually have good internet connectivity, particularly if the owners are in the same situation as yourself and have to be able to work while staying on the island. More modest accommodation may have internet but it may be a cheaper more basic package or without any space to actually sit and work comfortably. 4G coverage on Symi is very good and now covers virtually the whole island. Just remember to switch off roaming so that you don’t lock into the surrounding Turkish network and incurr high roaming costs.

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