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

More Steps

More Steps

This week I have been going to the harbour every day to check the post office. I am waiting for some papers from Rhodes which were posted on Friday. I’m not sure exactly which boat the post comes on, but they hadn’t arrived by Tuesday. We went down on Wednesday even though the post office was closed because we’re getting into the regime of at least walking up the Kali Strata each day. On days when we don’t, we’ll try walking up the hill from here instead. It’s Thursday as I write and later we’re doing another assault on the post and the steps. I’m also waiting for my new glasses to arrive and some other things, so it’s a good excuse to get me away from the desk.

Cruise ship

Cruise ship

On Wednesday in Yialos, I counted at least five day-trip boats, the Dodecanese Express and also a cruise ship, so the harbour was fairly buzzing in the late morning. It may not look like it in all the photos as many people were in the shade and my phone camera didn’t pick them out. The Poseidon was busy and just setting off, the taxi boats had lots of passengers, and many of the cafes were nearly full. All hopeful and a good sign, as long as it keeps up and the day-trippers are not bringing their all-inclusive packed lunches with them.

Yianis and crew about to set off

Yianis and crew about to set off

And then the walk back up the ‘lazy steps’ which is not actually their name. The ‘lazy steps’ are further along the harbour where those who weren’t working or didn’t want to work, used to sit in the shade. Still, the slope ‘n’ steps is a good walk. Not as long as the Kali Strata walk up, but steeper with more steps being almost too high to manage. That’s a 1.5-litre bottle of water there which is just over one foot high so you can see (below) the height of some steps.

The only way is up

The only way is up

One big step

One big step

Repairing the school

Repairing the school

Thanks to Jean for alerting me to the progress of the nursery school kin Yialos. As you may know, this was critically damaged in the storm last November. Now, it seems, work is progressing well, and the building looks, on the outside, almost as good as new. (Assuming I have the right building!) I believe the work is funded by your donations received from an appeal – and possibly by national and EU grants? It’s situated by the basketball court at the back of Yialos if you want to walk by and take a look.

school 2

In home news, those who were following my trip recently and the cancelled flight business here’s the update on my claim with EasyJet. I first tried a site that offered to do it all for you for a %, which was fine by me as I am lazy and wasn’t expecting anything back anyway and didn’t take out travel insurance as a) I never bother on short/cheap flights, 2) I already have medical cover on my health insurance and c) once a thing is paid for the money’s gone as far as I am concerned. Still, in his case, I thought I’d give it a go. The first company took all my details and a couple of days later got back to me saying they couldn’t help. This made me think that EasyJet has already found a way of saying the delay/cancellation was not their fault, even though they must have known it was going to happen before the cancelled plane took of for Rhodes on its previous trip.

school 1

The second company I tried, after loading up the info, told me their site was broken and please call back later. Hm, maybe. Meanwhile, I’d contacted EasyJet themselves and a day later, someone rang me to talk me through how to do the claim online, which was a bit surprising. So, I’ve done that, and it’s now with them. They will take a good couple of months to get back to me with some excuse. After that, I’ll try to find some kind of European Union ‘claim your delay’ thing as I am sure I have seen such a service/right advertised.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

And that’s it for today. Have been up since 3.30 (no idea why) and am off to walk to Yialos and back for some gratuitous exercise.

Carry On Up The Kali Strata

Carry On Up The Kali Strata

Which is what I did yesterday. I just popped down to the post office and the bank, not that popping back up again is much fun. Actually, it was, and I am still able to manage the walk without being out of breath. Mind you, I do tend to lose half my body weight in sweat which is a bit embarrassing if you stop off at the top to buy something from a shop. It’s not the time to try on clothes, that’s for sure.

So today, I thought I’d share some of the photos I took on that trudge up the hill (which I enjoyed). A tip is to stop now and then to take pictures, as that gives you an excuse for a pause without anyone thinking you’re shirking your exercise. Another tip is to have a bottle of water with you, and a third is to stay in the shade as much as possible. You hear people say that they copy the locals and zigzag up the steps to make it easier. I’ve never been sure about that. Yes, people do, but maybe that’s because the mules do and thus folk think it’s better. I reckon the mules have to because of the way they walk, and I don’t find it any easier to zigzag than to go straight for the direct route which must surely involve fewer paces. I go where the shade is, so some tacking is unavoidable. However you do it, remember that there’s also a book by the same name, ‘Carry On Up The Kali Strata’, and it holds all kinds of info and stories and articles which are often fun to read.

And now, the walk:

Kali strata (2) Kali strata (3) Kali strata (4) Kali strata (5) Kali strata (6) Kali strata (7) Kali strata (8) Kali strata (9) Kali strata (10)

Pew. It was 32 degrees.

Pew. It was 32 degrees.