Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

Photos today!

Photos today!

Mainly photos today and fewer words; I’ve had a bit of a busy day and am running out of time while suffering from word blindness. Early morning walk for an hour, 4,000 words typing, emails to send and respond to, an interview for a blog site typed up (another 2,000 words), two chapters of a book to read and make notes on, an hour playing the piano and a blog post all by 5 pm. A bit brain addled. So much so that I just wrote ‘typoed up’ rather than typed up, but that was probably far more appropriate, and I should have left it in. Anyway, off to cook a salad now… I mean chop up a salad… I doesn’t know what I mean. Don’t know… I give up.

Symi Greece Simi

Nos

Symi Greece Simi

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Symi Greece Simi

I had a jeep just like this back in 198-something

Symi Greece Simi

In a boat yard

 

Symi Calendars 2018

Symi Calendars 2018

The Symi Festival moved up to the village square on Monday night for a concert. We saw some and heard the rest, but I didn’t have my camera with me as we’d been out for drinks at a friend’s house. Meanwhile, there were services and fireworks to celebrate the start of the Assumption events, as yesterday was the feast day of the Assumption, an important Orthodox day in the Greek calendar. The island is busy with visitors coming for the festival and the music and cultural festival as well, and it’s good to see.

Symi Greece Simi

A working harbour

Because of our slightly late night (for us) on Monday, I didn’t get out for a walk on Tuesday but did manage to get to work early as I do. So, today will be a collection of images taken the other day around the village and harbour. Neil took these, and that’s a good way to mention his next year’s Symi calendar. You can find the link over on the right, in the column there with book links and other things of interest. When you’re ready to order one (and I will leave the link up all through the rest of the year), simply click across to Lulu. You can change the currency and online shop to one local to you. That will make it cheaper for postage. You’re able to browse the calendar online before you order. You may need to set up an account, which doesn’t take long, and once you have, you can then check the status of your order.

Symi Greece Simi

Symi Greece

I know some people have bought one already and have commented to Neil on how impressed they are; always good to hear. It might be a bit early for thinking about next year, but if you’re planning on presents for Christmas, for example, then my advice is to shop early, so you don’t have a last minute panic.

Symi Greece Simi

Holiday essential?

Anyway, that’s just a thought on the calendar. I’m off now to get on with something else, and I will see you tomorrow.

Symi Greece Simi

At the Olive Tree

Symi Greece Simi

Symi Greece

 

Symi road walk

Symi road walk

As you know, we try and get out of the house early for a walk before and during sunrise; that’s because, after sunrise, things start to heat up. Even so, I usually return home looking like a drowned rat, strip off my soaked t-shirt and hang it up to drip-dry in the courtyard. Yesterday we headed off up the road to beyond the bridge. Although today’s photos are from another walk, this is what you can expect to encounter on an early morning walk from the village square to the bridge. You will also find out what I mean about ‘bridge.’

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Ag Triada at dawn

The first person we usually see is Lefteris at his kafenion. He arrives early to set things up and gives us a cheery morning wave as we pass. The Jean And Tonic bar is sometimes still lit up or has its courtyard doors open as the staff tidy up after another all-nighter. Occasionally you might find a moped passing you on the lane to Taverna Zoi where we turn left to stroll down to the main road. From then on it’s uphill all the way. Further along, we usually encounter two ladies in black walking up to the cemetery at Agia Marina where they tend the graves of lost and loved ones. Another ‘good morning’ is exchanged. Often, we get a toot from Sotiris in his white van as we walk up through Leoni, following the twists and turns in the road as we climb higher and pass Lavinia Studios.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Sunrise over Turkey

I stayed there when I first came to Symi in 1996, and this part of the journey always reminds me of that day I set out to walk to Panormitis. (See Carry On UP The Kali Strata for that adventure). In those days, the road stopped half way across the island, at least the smooth tarmac did; after that, it became a rubble road. Now it’s fully surfaced all the way. After a couple more bends we are above Ag Triatha and, depending on the time of year, the sky over Turkey is now streaked with orange as the sun approaches. Yesterday there was mist in the valleys over there, a ‘grey-hang’ as they say in my made-up world of Saddling. (My loyal readers will read about that when we get to the next instalment of the Saddling Quartet, in time.)

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Through the trees on the road

Sometimes we see goats or sheep on the road, but every day we see some of the military officers heading to the barracks at Roukouniotis. I believe that the ‘ordinary’ soldiers, those on trailing, stay at the barracks (unless they are locals) and the officers are allowed to live off camp if they can afford it. When I say, ‘live off camp’ I mean, live off the base, not earn a living from doing drag, though they may do. Who knows? Our neighbour passes us on his working days, so that’s another cheery wave from a captain or sergeant or whatever rank he is.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Ah, there it is

Chickens make the occasional appearance for no reason, as they did yesterday, but that’s usually it unless a passing farmer or shepherd (‘Looker’ in Romney Marsh language) passes us. The Kantina up there has now moved lower down, but we pass that and the 0.5 Km marker – not sure what that’s 0.5 km to or from – and to the ‘bridge.’ This is where the road crosses the old river bed on arched supports. Just along from there is the bench which marks the 1.5-mile distance from the square. Here we glug down some water, turn and head back downhill. We have been passed here by Tassos and his mules coming down from his smallholding, and depending on the time, more soldiers drive past on their way to the barracks.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Pedi valley hills

The way back is usually just as quiet, but one regular wave comes from the skip-lorry driver who is already out and about collecting the rubbish to take to the dump. He’s probably been at work before most visitors to the late-night bars have gone home. Back in the village, there’s then the smell of fresh bread to contend with as we pass the bakery, and then that’s more or less it until we reach home. There, now you can put your feet up and revel in the knowledge that you’ve just walked three miles before seven in the morning.