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

Blackout and showers

Blackout and showers

I heard the ‘bing bongs’ from the town hall on Wednesday, but didn’t hear the announcement, because the shutters were closed, and I was working. That’s why I had no idea the power was going off on in our part of the village on Thursday. I assume that’s what the announcement was. Luckily my laptop has a four-hour battery so I could carry on doing some work.

Greece Symi Dream photos

9.00 a.m. in the kitchen, the only room with open shutters.

So that’s what I am doing now (Thursday), sitting in the semi-gloom with the shutters by the desk open so I can see to write. The sea is blue-grey with white caps, and the clouds are grey and varied, being blown about in wind that’s forecast to get up to force seven later this morning. As soon as I open the shutters, I can feel the drop in temperature as the wind blows through the closed window. It fits well enough, but the glass lets through the chill, not that it’s that cold.

Greece Symi Dream photos

A rare view for me in winter

We had a spare gas canister that we bought for just this kind of event and went to change out the old, empty one so that we could boil water. The canisters are easy to manage, you simply put them in the plastic base of the camping stove and twist the base back to the top and burner. Only, this one must have been faulty. As soon as the tin was pierced by the burner, there was an enthusiastic escape of gas, followed by a great outpouring of liquid gas and the accompanying smell. A quick dash outside with a leaking gas can followed by opening windows and doors and everything was back to normal except without a hot drink.

Ah well, a trip to the shop later may be needed. It’s raining now, with a hint of hail, though Harani below is well lit, so there is also some sun, and I’m going to save this and then upload it later when the power comes back on. Meanwhile. It’s back to that good old fashioned way of writing; pen and paper.

Greece Symi Dream photos

It was a bit of a stormy day yesterday

Later: just back from a visit to the corner shop and discovered that the power will be out in a line from the windmills to just up the lane from us, until 1pm. The laptop has two and a half hours battery left so I might be able to get something written before…

A Walk Up The Road

A Walk Up The Road

I found some of Neil’s photos, again from last week, when he walked up the main road from Yialos to Horio. This is a decent stroll and not as difficult or as far as you might think when you see the road from Yialos. It’s an easy one to find too.

Symi Greece photos

The harbour morphs into the main road around the bus stop area, on the south side of Yialos, though the ‘main’ road actually runs all the way around the harbour, narrowing to become a quayside road before widening again on the way to Nimborio, but we are going in the wrong direction. If you wander to the taxi rank, and then the bus stop and keep going, you’ll find it narrows in places, which can be quite thrilling when on the bus or watching a lorry come down. Keep on keeping on, and you’ll pass Petalo, the new beach area on the way to the petrol station and new jetty. The steepest part of the hill climb starts there but don’t last long.

Symi Greece photos

You will find great views from the path, but watch out for the trees that grow right in the middle of it – the path, I mean. You occasionally have to sidestep into the road to avoid them, and the path’s paving can be a bit uneven underfoot, to say the least. There is also one blind corner crossing if you want to stay on the path, but it’s best to keep to the left all the way to the hairpin bend and then cross when the coast (road) is clear. After that, you can stay on the righthand side for the better views.

Symi Greece photos

Before you know it, you’re at the windmills where you can walk left to reach the Pontikokastro (the round monument beyond the windmills) and beyond to Agia Marina, or you can carry on down to Pedi. You can also turn right and descend into the village arriving at the Village Hotel a little while later. From then on, the world is your oyster, or the village is your clamshell, or whatever. Walking from up here at Syllogos Square to Yialos via the Kali Strata, and then back up the road takes me about 45 minutes, the road part taking roughly 30 minutes depending on where you start from and how fast you walk.

Symi Greece photos

That’s it, I’m now walking back to happiness (writing) and staying out of the rain. The most recent shower has just passed, but I’m still not risking putting the washing out to dry.