Easter Greetings from Symi

Xristos Anesti to all my Greek Orthodox friends who are celebrating the Resurrection today.

 

 

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April Postcards from Symi

blog 22 April 2019 a
Having a little Cape Town moment, the Vigla sports a rare ‘tablecloth’.
blog 22 April 2019 b
A goat on a mission.
blog 22 April 2019 c
She went over the old call box, along the colonnade, hopped over the wall and disappeared up the alley.
blog 22 April 2019 d
Feline supervision is essential to ensure that all is perfect for the new season.
blog 22 April 2019 e
Yum. Broadbeans.
blog 22 April 2019 e2
A mother and child moment.
blog 22 April 2019 f
A tranquil Pedi – before the sunbeds and parasols are packed out for the summer.
blog 22 April 2019 g
The ghost of a cake shop long gone.
blog 22 April 2019 h
Poppies on the Pedi road.
blog 22 April 2019 i
Free range, Symi style.
blog 22 April 2019 j
Symi colours.
blog 22 April 2019 k
Apostoli’s taverna, still in boatyard mode.
blog 22 April 2019 l
There’s wild chamomile everywhere down in Pedi at the moment. The smell is like Golden Delicious apples.
blog 22 April 2019 m
Cock of the walk.
blog 22 April 2019 n
A sledge, waiting for a boat.
blog 22 April 2019 o
Wheel barrow hitching a ride on a quad bike.
blog 22 April 2019 p
There has to be a logical explanation for three taverna chairs balancing on a boat in a yard in the Pedi valley, but I really don’t know what it is.
blog 22 April 2019 q
All tied up.

Symi Spring-cleaning and April Showers

blog 12 April 2019 ablog 12 April 2019 b

blog 12 April 2019 b1
The wooden sledge for moving boats in and out of the sea hasn’t changed much since Homeric times.  The plastic chairs, however, bring it right up to date.
blog 12 April 2019 c
An old slipway in Pedi.
blog 12 April 2019 c1
Seaweed at Apostoli’s.
blog 12 April 2019 d
Why gardening on Symi is such a challenge.  There’s not much that can cope with being submerged for most of the winter and then baked in the sun for months in the summer.
blog 12 April 2019 e
When the pond overflows down the driveway…
blog 12 April 2019 e1
… the pond’s amphibian inhabitants move too.  Unfortunately I don’t think these guys are going to survive as they are already cut off from the main pond as the water evaporates and the shallow water is disappearing fast.
blog 12 April 2019 f
Changing Lightbulbs.
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Hello!
blog 12 April 2019 h
Wild Chamomile

blog 12 April 2019 h1

blog 12 April 2019 i
ASymi Residences, the new hotel in Pedi.
blog 12 April 2019 j
Stairway to Paradise.
blog 12 April 2019 k
Wild Fern Garden.
blog 12 April 2019 l
Wild Sage.
blog 12 April 2019 m
Graveyard for Slightly Used Pedalos.
blog 12 April 2019 n
The End of the Line.  A casualty of last Saturday’s storm.
blog 12 April 2019 o
Random Decor?
blog 12 April 2019 o1
A Place in the Sun
blog 12 April 2019 p
Waiting for the Pedi Beach Hotel to open.

 

Actually to call them April Showers is a bit of an understatement.  Deluge is more like it and on Monday the rain was so heavy that all the water courses flowed, coming down in torrents through the square in Yialos, under the bridge and into the harbour.  The water remained muddy for several hours after that.  Lightning strikes knocked out phone lines in parts of Chorio and a number of home owners had floods indoors when their roof gutters failed to cope with the downpours.  An inconvenient quirk of Symi’s pretty neo-classical architecture is that the gutters are channels in the tops of the walls, converging on some sort of down pipe inside the wall leading to the house’s rainwater cistern.  If the down pipe gets blocked or the rain is so heavy that it cannot drain away down the pipe fast enough, the gutters overflow over the sill under the eaves and down the inside of the house.  Very exciting if you are inside at the time – but worse to come back to if your house has been closed up for the winter and no one has been inside to clean up the resultant mess.

Greek Easter falls on the last weekend of April this year, giving everyone a bit more time to prepare for the start of the Easter.  Just as well really, considering that there is yet more rain forecast for Monday next week.  The charter flights into Rhodes started about a week ago and Dodecanese Seaways started a daily catamaran service to Symi this week.  This was a bit of a mixed blessing as the weather disrupted the schedule and some people experienced a very bumpy ride on Wednesday.  Mal de mer aside, I have seen a few tourists about, exploring Pedi on foot with Nordic poles (Tuesday) and with hire bikes (Thursday).  Neither of the tavernas is open at the moment.  Apostoli’s is still in boatyard mode and Katsaras is working frantically between storms to get their waterfrontage open.  Both minimarkets, however, offer hot coffee and one can buy rolls, chocolate and so on for an impromptu picnic.  Of the hotels, the only one that is sort of open is Galini , the small pension on the road, opposite St George’s church.

With the elections coming up, more candidates are coming forward for positions on the town council.  Will the status quo be disrupted? This could be interesting!  As Brexit has been stalled until October 31 those British expats on the Symi Voters Roll can vote in the Mayoral and EU elections this year, possibly for the last time.  Among other things, the opposition candidate, Ilias Tsavaris, is pushing for more resources to be directed to the forgotten areas of Chorio and Pedi.  As parts of Chorio still bear the scars of the storm of  13 November 2017 and the old town area, which is where a large proportion of the population lives, has been underfunded for years, this could be a hot ticket.  If you are on Facebook, you can keep abreast of all these developments as campaigning hots up.

Meanwhile, the Easter lambs are munching their way through the daisies, the chamomile is fragrant under foot, the tadpoles may or may not turn into frogs and toads and the street lights are back on in Pedi.

Have a good weekend.

Regards,

Adriana

 

Pedi in the Poppy Season

blog 3 April 2019 a
Even churches need spring cleaning. St George’s church in Pedi.
sdr
Designer flocks with ear tags take the place of lawnmowers round here. Well, why waste good food?
blog 3 April 2019 c
An orderly view.
blog 3 April 2019 e
A disorderly view.
blog 3 April 2019 f
The end of the road.
blog 3 April 2019 g
Villa Jasmine, the house with the blue shutters, was a popular Symi Visitor property. You can now book through AirBnB.
blog 3 April 2019 h
Pedi bay
blog 3 April 2019 i
Wet lands in Pedi.
blog 3 April 2019 j
This seasonal pond in Pedi is swarming with tadpoles. We hope that they reach maturity before the pond evaporates completely.
blog 3 April 2019 k
Reflections
blog 3 April 2019 l
This was supposed to be a marina in Pedi but something went a bit wrong with the dimensions so it is a haven for small boats instead. Yachts can moor on the outside. Unfortunately there are no actual shoreside facilities available as yet.
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Checking out the food chain. Pedi cats are generally very well fed, even in the winter months.

Pedi Peregrinations

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Nets
blog 12 March 19 a
This home owner has channeled the seasonal stream that passes his house.
blog 12 March 19 b
In a courtyard by the sea.
blog 12 March 19 c
Moss, weed, water grasses and algae are all flourishing in the flooded areas of Pedi bay.
blog 12 March 19 d
A fig leaf for spring.
blog 12 March 19 e
Sunlight catches wet rocks on the slopes above Pedi.
blog 12 March 19 f
Revealed.
blog 12 March 19 g
One of the places where the fresh water is seeping out of the rocks and into the sea.
IMG_20190309_064208_472 (2)
Boat-painting season on the beach at Apostoli’s in Pedi.
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The truth about crop circles.
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Clearing the football pitch and running track after the flood of 13 November 2017.
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Does blue suit me? Even the local livestock are doing their bit to clean up the sports field.
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Rural idyll.
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Twins!
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Clean Monday sky
sdr
Early morning view.
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This was the island’s only bus when I first came here. Thanassis who is now a taxi driver was the bus driver. It was just narrow enough to make it down the steep short cut through Chorio and drop people off at the Chorio Hotel.
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The calm before the storm – Clean Monday afternoon.
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Considering the lilies of the field.

Symi Spring Snapshots

blog 5 March 19 a
On the beach at Apostoli’s.
blog 5 March 19 b
A chilly little breeze.
blog 5 March 19 c
A shack in a desirable location.
blog 5 March 19 d
Beach house.
blog 5 March 19 e
No umbrellas.
blog 5 March 19 f
Pedi pastoral.
blog 5 March 19 g
This stone and wrought iron gate was washed into the bay by the flood on 13 November 2017. Watch out for it coming alongside the taxi boat jetty.
blog 5 March 19 h
Seaweed along the waterfront in Pedi. On the right you can see how the winter storms and salt spray have nibbled away at the reinforced concrete framework of a house. The framework might be earthquake proof but it isn’t weather proof.
blog 5 March 19 i
When winter storms literally come knocking at your door.
blog 5 March 19 j
Co-ordinated colours at Apostoli’s. In the summer this is a beach, in a winter it is part of the boat yard.
blog 5 March 19 k
A useful shed
blog 5 March 19 l
Almond blossom in the mist
blog 5 March 19 m
Almonds and olives
blog 5 March 19 n
Perhaps they should arrange for someone to collect their post in the winter.
blog 5 March 19 o
The men from DEH, the Power Corporation. No matter how cold the wind, they climb the poles with crampons and get on with the job.
blog 5 March 19 p
A carpeted foredeck
blog 5 March 19 q
Sunlight catching the wind on the water.
blog 5 March 19 r
Jungle cat, wading through the swamps of Pedi.
blog 5 March 19 s
This is supposed to be a barley field.
blog 5 March 19 t
How did this survive the winter?
blog 5 March 19 u
Rhapsody in red

Symi Blues in February

blog 20 Feb 2019 a
A small fishing boat in Pedi.
blog 20 Feb 2019 b
Where there are castles built by the Knights of Rhodes, there are also canon balls. It is only in Hollywood that canon balls explode. Real ones are made of stone or iron and there are literally thousands of stone canon balls in Rhodes as well as a few in Symi. This one is on a doorstep in Pedi.
blog 20 Feb 2019 c
Homage to Knossos and Sir Arthur Evans.
blog 20 Feb 2019 d detail
When it says Outdoor shower on the listing…
blog 20 Feb 2019 d
Well, it does stop the kids from tracking sand and salt into the house.
blog 20 Feb 2019 e
A Pedi fisherman’s cottage. I didn’t notice the cat among the fish baskets until I downloaded the photograph.
blog 20 Feb 2019 f
Water colours
blog 20 Feb 2019 g
There is water seeping out of the hillsides
blog 20 Feb 2019 h
and draining from gardens
blog 20 Feb 2019 i
and flowing into the sea … (BTW the shell case is a more recent relic, left by the Germans during the Second World War)
blog 20 Feb 2019 j
from neat canals
blog 20 Feb 2019 k
Kamares
blog 20 Feb 2019 l
A slightly fancier fishing boat
blog 20 Feb 2019 m
Almond blossom
blog 20 Feb 2019 n
Sand shovelled into heaps outside the Pedi Beach Hotel.
blog 20 Feb 2019 o
A calm morning in Pedi
blog 20 Feb 2019 p
Pedi pond. In the summer this vanishes totally, just leaving a few clumps of grass to mark its location.
blog 20 Feb 2019 q
Sandbags instead of sunbeds.

 

The weekly storms are still vicious but the sunny intervals between them are growing longer and milder.  There is a feeling of spring in the air and there are more people around.  It is that time of the year where it is warmer outdoors than in and everyone is relishing the sunshine.  Walkers of all ages promenade past under the watchful gaze of grazing sheep.  The ground is still to water-logged for much agricultural activity.  More heavy rain is forecast for the weekend as another storm system passes over Greece. As we near the spring equinox the storms increasingly pass to the north of us so while they may disrupt the big boat schedules they are not as destructive locally.

Wherever one looks on Symi there are bits of history tangled up with the present day.  The sense of continuity has a steadying effect.  Invaders and occupiers have come and gone and people are still here, growing olives, grazing sheep, fishing …

The photograph at the top of this blog shows the Kastro, Symi’s acropolis.  This has been a fortification of one sort or another for thousands of years although the most recent structure was a castle, built by the Knights of Rhodes.  Much of the remaining structure were destroyed during the Second World War when the retreating Germans blew up the munitions store they had there but there are still chunks of wall visible.  The main habitation was always huddled around the acropolis rather than the sea.  Trouble came from the sea.  Pirates, invaders – anyone on the shoreline was vulnerable.  Ancient settlements tended to be on high ground where you could see trouble coming before it arrived and defend yourself.  Symi’s hill tops and mountain peaks are dotted with the remnants of ancient fortifications and settlements.  They are not always easy to spot, particularly in the summer months when everything is uniformly dry and patterns are not so easily distinguishable on the landscape.

If you have any topics about Symi that you would particularly like me to focus on please let me know via the comments section or by emailing me or commenting on Facebook.  I would love to hear from you.

 

Adriana