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

Symi Animal Welfare – Spring Report 2017

Symi Animal Welfare – Spring Report   2017

Today I hand over to Symi Animal Welfare who have sent this Spring report and photos for posting:

It’s Spring time on Symi, with glorious sunny days and calm seas… The island has emerged from its usual winter ‘hibernation’, and the port is suddenly a hive of activity as the locals prepare for the new season. So, it was a perfect time for us to organise a vet visit, with lots of street cats now out & about in the sunshine. We arranged for our favourite Rhodos vet to come over for a weekend, and ‘set up’ in the house that we use at the back of the port which is in an ideal location, very quiet but with easy access. We are indeed very fortunate to have use of this private villa for the vet visits and would like to thank the owner for his generosity.

Symi Animal Welfare - Spring Report 2017

The vet, Panayiotis, was assisted by his lovely wife Maria, as the veterinary nurse, and we had a very capable and enthusiastic group of helpers to assist the SAW team. There was much to be done, in only 2 days and both Saturday and Sunday were quite intensive! The target was for 35 cats, but we are pleased to report that a total of 38 cats were neutered, 14 males and 34 females and that 2 male feral cats were euthanised as they tested positive for feline HIV.

Symi Animal Welfare - Spring Report 2017

The vet brings his own equipment and drugs, but this time one process was made easier as we have acquired a new sterilisation machine, kindly donated from a clinic in Germany! We would like to thank all the cat ‘carers’ and ‘catchers’ who gave donations for the vet visit, and the helpers & volunteers who gave up their time to assist us. Most of all we would like to thank Panayiotis and Maria for their tremendous hard work and dedication which made this vet visit a great success!

Symi Animal Welfare - Spring Report 2017

A formal report on our Cat Neutering Programme has been submitted to the Greek Cat Welfare Society, with a request for funding towards future vet visits. This summer SAW will have lots of new collection boxes in many businesses around the harbour and in Chorio. We rely entirely on donations, and all your support is very much appreciated.

Symi Animal Welfare - Spring Report 2017

We look forward to seeing many of our regular visitors again this summer on Symi, and lots of new faces too!

Best wishes from the SAW Team,

Suzan, Antonella, Christina, Hazel & Tove

Symi Animal Welfare - Spring Report 2017 Symi Animal Welfare - Spring Report 2017

Ideas for places to eat on Rhodes

It’s quite common for visitors to Symi to have to spend some time on Rhodes. This is usually to do with boat connections. So, I am often asked about the best places to go to eat, or the best bars to have a drink in, and so on. What’s best for me isn’t always best for someone else so it depends on what you are looking for of course, but when I’m wandering around the new town or the Old Town I’m always on the lookout for new places to try. I also like to call back into places I’ve used before as I know what I am going to get. And there are a lot of places to choose from.

Ideas for places to eat on Rhodes


Being in the Old Town on Friday last week, I was sad to see that Boukia Boukia, a very traditional Greek taverna, is no longer there. It may have moved, I don’t know, but it has been replaced by another taverna which I’ve yet to try. The long-running and popular ‘China Burger’ has also closed and is now a souvlaki place, still with tables and quite a big menu, but no longer Chinese. Safron, the Indian restaurant, is due to open again this Friday with limited space (the outside part is not yet ready) so book first if you are going.

Ideas for places to eat on Rhodes

A blessing

If you’re there and you’re looking for something different, healthy and not expensive, try the salad and soup place opposite the Casino gates, just up the parade of shops from the Indian spice shop, also worth a visit. We called into a place that’s new to us, this was only the second visit. I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s in ‘MacDonald’s Street’, the one that runs from the college up to the taxi rank. Up at the top, on the right, it has pizzas, souvlakia and a taverna in three adjacent buildings. It’s good to be able to get traditional Greek food that’s not a giros, though you can have that too. Over at the old fish market in Mandraki, we use the Symi café (opposite the cheap, clean, attended, public toilets) and we used to go to Indigo next door, but that has now moved. George’s Giros place nearby is still good value if you want one of those.

Ideas for places to eat on Rhodes

The ‘donkey tree’, Rhodes Old Town

Over the main road at Mandraki, there’s the Yacht Club bar, not cheap but generous measures, and further along that quay is Kontiki. Huge portions here, so you may not need a starter and a main. And, dashing back to the Old Town again, The Walk Inn is fast becoming a popular destination of ours. This is a pub/eatery with a good menu, fresh soups, fresh pizzas made there, and then and other goodies. Down at the seahorse fountain in the square with the parrots (I must learn the real names of these streets) is a café called Mike’s. We have used this one in the winter and summer, as it’s open all year round and it’s where the locals go. And by Akandia Gate, on the way to the Blue Star ferry quay, just inside the gate, is Nimos, which is run by two guys who used to live/work here on Symi.

Ideas for places to eat on Rhodes

View from Mike’s kafeneion

I am sure there are plenty of other places and you have your own favourites, but these are the ones I’ve been using in the last few years. I should also add that we use the Plaza bar and restaurant too; good prices, great staff, good food and not too costly. Just up- the road is Napoleons, also worth a visit. There, a few ideas for you when you are next on Rhodes and waiting for a boat or a plane, or when you’re just visiting.

Ideas for places to eat on Rhodes

Made welcome at Mike’s

Back from Rhodes

It’s Sunday morning as I write and we’re home from Rhodes. I’m currently cooking lunch for my birthday party (slow cooker, easy) and trying to get a nasty virus off Neil’s laptop (not easy). The sun is shining, it’s very warm, in the sun, and everywhere is calm. The celebration of Evangalismos and then the Independence Day parade have happened too. I am sure I have lots to tell you about our trip to Rhodes, but I’ll do more of that during the week, but here are a couple of moments that stuck in my mind and then a few photos. More details to follow.


The Street of the Knights at sunset.


Once of the St Evangalismos celebrations in Rhodes, Friday

I made two notes in my notebook, both of which I thought were rather funny. The first happened when we went into a place to arrange tickets. We have been using the agency for ages and so always get a warm welcome and have a quick catch up on the news with the agents. We called in there on Wednesday morning, and our usual lady was looking pensive. After the hellos and greetings, it was, ‘How are you?’

She didn’t look very happy. ‘I am having a very bad day,’ she said. ‘I am distracted.’

Indeed, she did look very worried about something. ‘Oh no. Nothing serious I hope. Is everything okay?’

She thought deeply for a moment and sighed. ‘I am cooking fish later, and I can’t decide how to do it.’

I know, it’s a very stressful thing, cooking fish, but I am glad that was the only issue.


Waiting for the 5.00 a.m. boat on Wednesday

Later in our trip, we sat down for a late lunch at a taverna we have used before. It has a huge menu, and some of the things are different. That is, different from the usual Greek cuisine menu. So, when I see Cannelloni, for example, I think, ‘that will make a nice change.’ So I ask, ‘Do you have cannelloni?’

‘Well,’ the waitresses replied. ‘I just saw something in the kitchen, but I’m not sure what it was. I’ll go and find out.’


the Old Town moat in spring

I thought that was funny as well. We also had some successes: good health check reports, great time with our health insurance rep who met us and drove us around, set up the appointments and looked after us. We also did lots of walking, 25,000 steps one day which fair confused my FitBit as I don’t normally do more the 4,000, some sitting in the sun, meeting friend for a lazy lunch afternoon in the Old Town… lots of things to tell you, but right now, I have a Normandy chicken to prepare before I go and chillax for the rest of the day. Still, we’re back, and the blog will be back to normal now. Here are a couple more random photos from Rhodes.


Sorting out the kiosk roof


Light lunch (shared)


Tourist time