Tag: Adriana’s Symi
Today’s featured image may have you puzzled but yes, it is indeed on Symi, just underground! Symi’s caves are very fragile and dangerous to access so their locations are not publicised. If you want to see more extraordinary photographs of Symi’s ‘underworld’ go to Barry Hankey’s blog.
We haven’t had anymore rain and the forecast looks dry as far as the Panormitis Festival on 8 November. Tiny things are continuing to germinate and delicate miniscule narcissi and other small flowers are poking through. Mind where you step in the Pedi valley!
And in other news… There was a shipping strike in Greece on Tuesday which has deranged the Blue Star schedule for the entire week. Tomorrow is Ochi Day, a big public holiday in Greece with marching bands and fly overs. As it falls on a Friday this year Symi is likely to be quite busy with Rhodians coming over for the weekend.
The beaches are wrapping up now. The water taxis have finished, the excursion boats have put up their ‘thank you for a great season – see you next year’ notices. Many restaurants and tavernas are either already closed or will close after the long weekend. (Only a limited number of venues stay open in the winter, to cater to the needs of the locals.) Likewise many of the seasonal hotels have wished everyone a good winter and started plastic-wrapping the outside lights. Down in Pedi both hotels are now closed until the spring. Next week the focus will switch to Panormitis as the monastery gears up for the big festival of St Michael on 8 November. The market stalls and food outlets start to set up next week and the car ferries will bring a cavalcade of vans and trucks from Rhodes.
The Sebeco finishes its service for the year on Monday 31 October so there is no longer a daily shuttle between Rhodes and Symi. After that we will be dependent on the Blue Star three times a week, the Stavros whenever Symi occurs on its circuit (variable and much influenced by local weather conditions in various small island ports) and Dodecanese Seaways (mainly weekends).
Some October Postcards from Symi
After the First Rains
Last weekend, on Saturday 15 October, Symi had the first rains that triggered the start of the island’s ‘second spring’. Heavy rain was forecast but fortunately missed us. Symi received about 15 mm over a 24 hour period, not a lot but enough to get things growing. Parts of Crete, on the other hand, received heavy down pours that triggered flash flooding with cars washed into the sea, significant damage to property and tragically the loss of two lives.
The combination of rain and sunshine has brought up the first flush of green. Seeds are germinating. The locals are digging over their vegetable gardens, ready for the first plantings of the new growing season.
Even the ants are busy, preparing for the winter ahead.
Symi is suddenly very quiet, particularly down in Pedi. In the evenings all we hear apart from the roar of the power station is the occasional cat fight and the hooting of owls. The marina is no longer party-central. ASymi Residences has put up the storm shutters for the winter and apart from a few dedicated sunworshippers the Pedi Beach Hotel seems to be winding down.
Agia Marina beach has already closed down and St Nicholas will soon be following – even if there were still lots of people around, Symi’s steep terrain throws most of the popular beaches into shadow for much of the day from now until April.
The weather is quite mild. Mid to low twenties most days, with the occasional 29 thrown in just to keep us on our toes. Evenings are cool. There have been some shipping disruptions due to gales in the Aegean. Rain and thundershowers may hit us this weekend, or they may pass us by and hit Rhodes and Turkey instead.
Here are some photographs I took with my old Nikon around 10.30 this morning. As you can see, my Huawei phone actually takes much better photos than my camera but I wanted to use the zoom.
Symi in the Snow
Late in the afternoon of Monday 24 January 2022 the first snowflakes started to fall on Symi.
The next morning we awoke to this.
News from Pedi
The ‘new marina’ in Pedi is slowly taking shape after over a decade in limbo. New lights and utility points have been installed along the quay and a crane is at work today, placing the concrete mooring blocks which have been cast on the shore over the past few weeks. The office and ablution block has been painted and a small posi-hut has been added.
Pedi has also had a power upgrade in recent weeks.
The new cafe on the corner by the jetty is not yet open although work continues steadily.
The taverna is open at Apostoli’s boatyard and the beach has been laid out for the summer.
St Nicholas beach is advertising a beach bar and disco on Friday and Saturday nights.
Agia Marina beach is now open.
Rumour has it that the Pedi Beach hotel will be opening its restaurant to the public during high season with Stavros of Mythos-fame as the chef.
July Postcards from Symi
At last we can take our masks off! Well, when we are out of doors and in uncrowded places at any rate. This comes as a huge relief as Greece bakes under a long heatwave with daytime temperatures sizzling over 40 degrees centigrade. Masks are still to be worn in shops and other enclosed spaces as well as on public transport. The curfew has also been lifted and permitted numbers for restaurant tables have been raised from 6 to 10. If you click on the link above you will find all the latest concessions as well as here.
Symi is still very quiet. June without British tourists makes for an empty island. Some British property owners and regulars to the island have come, regardless of Greece’s on-going ‘amber’ status, as they are fortunate to be able to be flexible about return dates and have been fully vaccinated but British tourists as such are conspicuous by their absence. Even among the other nationalities it is rare to see new faces.
For current information about travel to Greece, go to www.travel.gov.gr which is the official government website. Testing requirements for different countries are still variable but you can be assured that the system on Symi I referred to in my previous blog is working well.
The ferry situation, on the other hand, has never been better. The Blue Star now serves Symi on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (times and boats vary considerably. The Sebeco is running every day. Dodecanese Seaways comes through 3 or 4 times a week (Sundays are still variable) and the Stavros also comes through 4 times a week, twice in each direction. Greek Travel Pages is a good starting point for finding out what is going where when. Just type in your departure and arrival ports and the date you want to travel and it will give you a list of the options for that day.
Most of the beaches on Symi are now up and running or will be in a few days. Most of the hotels are now open, albeit with few guests. Right now not only do we have an abundance of ferries serving Symi but also a serious over-supply of accommodation of all kinds and a shortage of tourists to enjoy them.
Today’s Featured Image shows part of the spectacular view from the Constantinos View kantina, situated on the roadside on the way to Xisos and Panormitis. Open from midday until late with live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
May Postcards from Symi
Symi is emerging from hibernation now that the lockdown is starting to ease. Here are some photographs I took while out and about in the harbour early yesterday morning. As you can see, it is not exactly bustling but preparations are underway for a tentative start to the summer season which, in theory at least, starts on 15 May 2021. There is a lot that still needs to be clarified in terms of who is allowed to do what and there have been some very unpopular statements by politicians on Greek daytime TV suggesting, among other things, that while tourists will literally have the freedom of the country, the local residents will be sending SMSes for permits in perpetuity and that inter-regional travel will only be permitted with vaccination certificates or negative Covid-19 test results. This is fighting talk and governments have been hung out to dry for less so we shall see what the next few days bring.
In the meantime, here are some pictures to whet your appetite.