A Symi day out from Ian. Ian is a first time visitor on Symi. He blogs at http://www.thelightroom.blogspot.co.uk/
We fell in to our first trip to Symi, only having booked our first holiday on the Island the week before. The usual research that goes in to a holiday never happened, no maps had been bought and no itinerary designed and no must visit list made. So at the orientation get together with Katia our tour company rep we signed up to do a trip across the island to visit the monastery of Michael Roukouniotis, a walk through the woods to the wine presses, on to the monastery of Panormitis where we were promised pies and at the end a trip at the beach at Marathunda.
It was very hot as we waited for the bus at the Hidden Courtyard but soon we were sitting in the cool of the bus. At the first stop, just off the road above the town, we looked at the view of the town. The view was fantastic looking down on Horio and across the harbour with the hills of Turkey in the distance.
The next stop was the monastery of Michael Roukouniotis. We wandered all around the site looking at the old church sitting under the newer church, admired the frescos and the twinned trunk of two trees growing in the grounds of the monastery. Then as the heat got hotter we were on to the walk through the forest to see the ancient wine presses.
Here we got lucky. We stopped by the Megalo Sotiris monastery and it was open. Never slow in looking at a bonus monastery we all had a quick look around before heading off into the woods to see the wine presses.
The woods thankfully were cooler and the hours walk wandering through the pine trees and looking at the presses and Mihail Kourkouniotis church, was not as tiring as we feared but the path we were following was across some rocky terrain.
Dropping down to the road again to be meet the bus we had our first view of Panormitis.
The road to Panormitis is a series of sharp hairpin bends that drop down to the monastery. By the time we arrived the only pies left were cheese so as we wandered around we were looking at everyone wondering if it was them that eaten all the pies. As time was short we did not do the museum leaving that for next year. A drink at the taverna and it was back in the bus and on to the beach at Marathounta. Here the big decision had to be made food or a swim. As it was very hot the swim won so after fighting the goats we had a short swim in the clear water of the bay.
The trip back in the bus was fun with the stereo blaring out traditional bazooki music. What was interesting was the speed of the bus seemed to be directly related to the beat of the music. This was fine until the last bit of the trip dropping down from the hills into Horio which synchronized with the climax of a very fast piece of music!
Other photos from Ian: