Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

A Day of Boats

Yesterday was a day of boats. Mind you, from now until October will hopefully see a day of boats every day, but yesterday, I noticed and counted for the first time this season. Soon, I intend to put a widget up on the blog, over there >> in the right-hand column. It will be a link to FerryScanner.com, a place where you can book ferries in Greece; Athens to Symi, Rhodes to Symi, Kos to Symi, anywhere to anywhere… That kind of thing. I just need to sort out a bit of code and I’ll set it up. But that’s not the reason I’m mentioning the boats…

www.ferryscanner

I can’t remember when the day boats started coming in last year, but this year, we’ve had a few calling in since early April, if not late March. Yesterday, as far as I saw, we had:

The Blue Star

Dodecanese Seaways (catamaran)

Dodecanese Seaways (Panagia Skiadeni)

The Sebeco (twice)

The King Saron (Sea Dreams)

The SP Cruises (Zeus)

All of those, apart from SP, you can book to travel to/from Rhodes as a standard foot passenger as well as a day tripper. The Blue Star and Panagia can take cars/bikes/goats, and there is limited room for bikes and maybe two cars on the catamaran.

(Taken last year)

(Taken last year)

The point is, there were lots of people on these boats, which is good news for the harbour – as long as we don’t run out of water because we haven’t had any rain, and apparently, we’re in for a long, dry summer with the potential for fires, droughts and other biblical events. And the other point is, hopefully, from tomorrow, you will be able to book your ferry from a link on this site, so if you’re a regular reader of my vaguely island-life-related nonsense, you can arrange part of your Symi travel directly from here. Actually, you can take a look now and see if/how it works as I’ve already included the link (above) and I’ll do it again now:

https://fas.st/t/NfoCEN4E

Another Day Out

I had a pleasant day out on Friday when I popped over to Rhodes for some bits and pieces and teamed up with Jenine for most of the day. I set off into a calm and slightly humid morning and arrived at the top of the Kali Strata just as the ferry came around the headland. Years ago, that would have had me running, but these days, I know how long it takes to reach us from there, how long it takes me to get down, and anyway, if it says 7.45 on the ticket, it won’t leave before then (it’s not allowed to), even if it arrives early.

20240412_071748

So, I wandered down past the school, along towards Haritomeni Taverna and down to join the main road and along the quay to more or less walk straight onto the boat, and off it again just over an hour later for a slow walk around to the Plaza Hotel for a cup of tea. (Note to regulars coming through that way this summer, you need a key card or a code to access the restrooms downstairs, but customers can ask for access with no problem.) After that, it was off to my first appointment which didn’t take long, then I met up with J and we headed into the New Town and the shops. A new pair of trainers for me from the excellent trainer shop just up from McDonald’s and on the other side of the road. Real Addidas, €50.00, not sure if that’s good or not, as I don’t usually buy such things, but they are more comfortable than any others I’ve bought. Not only a good price but a good service and a very friendly chat too. Then, to Zara for J to sort out some purchase or other, then to Pull & Bear for shorts, you know how it is…

We had lunch as tourists in the old fish market, a chicken souvlaki plate for €11.00, but three sticks of chicken and loads of other bits and pieces, and then, the highlight of the day (not) a trip to Ikea. I thought J was there to buy a chopping board, but she was actually there to order a kitchen. Not just order one, but design one. The last time I did this was in MFI in Brighton back in 1997, and it took over two hours. Well, it was just about that by the time every assistant had become involved, we’d had a nice long chat about Symi and other things, and it was all done with good humour. The shop is small, as it’s more of an ordering station, so it didn’t take me long to look around and then sit and watch the computerised demonstration of how this kitchen will look, right down to the door knobs…

My afternoon view

My afternoon view

Released from the place, we headed back to town with just enough time to have a refreshment at Nimmos Taverna inside Akandia Gate where a guy who was seven and riding his little green bike around Symi only yesterday is now a six-foot-two waiter with plenty of friendly banter, and so are his brother and dad who also work there. From the taverna, it is only a short walk around to the Blue Star which we boarded, and as usual, sat outside at the back all the way across.

20240412_174519

There’s something magical about dusk this time of year, the crepuscular light that gives the mountains a watercolour quality, and makes the air only semi-transparent as the sun goes down…

20240412_191407

From then on, it was a case of being lucky enough to squeeze into a cab up the hill where we met Neil outside the bar for a catch-up on the day before heading home. A good day out, though the costs all mount up, and we are doing it again on Wednesday. Hopefully, after that, we won’t have to go back again for a while, not that we don’t like it, it’s just that it costs a bit and takes time out of my routine. It does though, give me something to talk about on these pages.

Almost the End of the Week That Was

I’ll have to load up two blog posts today as I’ll be off to Rhodes tomorrow for a day trip, and won’t remember to post anything before I leave.

The day boats have been coming the other way too, and they’ve been full, or so I am told by those who go to Yialos in the morning – which I do when I need to. So, that’s good news for the businesses which have already opened. Many of them have, and most in the village have been open all winter anyway. The Kali Strat Restaurant with its outside seating hasn’t been, but is now again open for lunch and dinner should you be heading this way and up. The last I saw of Zoi’s Taverna there were building supplies outside, so it looks like that’s being done up soon, but it doesn’t usually open until May anyway, I think. The point is, there’s plenty open and plenty to do, though no taxi boats and beaches as yet.

20240409_154907

Yesterday I dragged myself up to To Vrisi for the first time in a while. Actually, there was no need to ‘drag’ myself, I walked from home to there without stopping, though I did rest at the top to take a quick video for the Facebook page. I had to pause a while so my heavy breathing didn’t come out on the tape, and you should be able to see that short ‘reel’ over there in a day or so – or whenever I get around to posting it.

Today, if I go for a walk, it will be a shorter one because a) I have a chapter to finish, b) I will be doing lots of walking tomorrow, and c) I have a busy afternoon with my music pupil and model-building companion. Next on the bench is another car (for him), and here’s his last build.

20240408_175506

I’ll finish for the week now, but will put up a set of pics for tomorrow so you have something to look at in the morning. In the meantime, I want to direct you over to the first book in my new Victorian mystery series, ‘Finding a Way.’ Why? Well, in the hope I will pick up some new readers, of course, but mainly, because of a review someone has left. Scroll down the page to the review titled ‘Find your way to reading this first book in a new series’ and then hit the ‘read more’ button. This kind person has gone to the trouble of leaving 1,000 very kind and honest words about the book – and he/she’s done it with the next two in the series as well! I was gobsmacked and more than a little pleased at words such as His brilliant use of words, particularly with the more colourful, learned characters, is almost poetic in nature, while still being incredibly funny to read.

Oh shucks. Stop it now. I’m off to finish chapter 111 of book four in the 3rd series of Clearwater World mysteries…

Ready for business (this was mid-afternoon after the boats had gone)

Ready for business (this was mid-afternoon after the boats had gone)

On the roadside

On the roadside

Oddments

Something odd has been going on with the Symi Dream Facebook page. Recently, I’ve not been able to share the blog to the page by using the ‘share’ button at the bottom of each post. That’s the easiest way for me to do things but FB won’t have it. I’m not bothered. I can’t write posts via the feed (still not bothered) but instead, have to log in, switch to the SD page/wall itself, copy and paste the link and do it that way, which takes a little extra time. Bothered? Not me. Any messages to FB about the page’s wall go unanswered by FB who are clearly not bothered either, and now the wall is filled with ‘Pages you might like’ or some claptrap, which I usually X my way out of. American boxers, sports pages, cookery things, Thai wrestlers (vaguely interested), anything and everything non-Greek and non-Symi. So, that’s something to be dealt with one day because right now, I couldn’t be…

Another odd this is that they flagged up yesterday’s share as a violation, which made me laugh. All the post said was this:

FireShot Pro Screen Capture #2181 - 'Facebook' - www.facebook.comFacebook’s behaviour is not the only odd thing I’ve seen of late. I took a walk to Yialos yesterday afternoon, where I saw my accountant driving a forklift truck. That was pretty odd. Last Saturday, Jenine arrived for dinner bearing the gift of an advent calendar. It was from Sotiris at the supermarket to say thank you for having her and the boys over for tea. Other odd things seen in the past include people carrying sheep or goats on their mopeds, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. On the other end of the scale, our internet connection speed is now 160 Mbs when we only pay for 100, but who’s complaining?

20240409_153737

I certainly wasn’t complaining on my walk yesterday. I went down the zigzag path to the west of our house, and came back up the road, noticing how the new water treatment plant works are coming along at ‘Council Corner.’ I bumped into several people and stopped for a few chats before reaching home to discover the number of steps on that walk was the same as the number of steps it takes me to walk up through the village, up the main road, past the quarry and to the next corner and back. Roughly 6,000, if you’re interested. The quarry walk is harder work because of the gradients involved. The walk up the main road from Yialos involves a gradual gradient and there are no steps.

20240409_154553

Anyway, I’ve got a few nice pictures of the sea and the route from yesterday, so you will be seeing those over the next few days no doubt.

20240409_160730