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

Rhodes tips

Rhodes tips

Tomorrow, I am off to Rhodes for the day to blurrily see an optician through glasses that need updating. Apart from having my eyes tested as I do every year, I want to ask about contact lenses. I’ve not worn them for 17 years, but before that, I wore them from the age of 17, so it seems an appropriate number of years to have waited before seeing about using them again instead of, as well as with, glasses. The boat is early, around 6.30 I think, I will check the tickets later, and that will mean I have several hours before the appointment at 11.00. It will also mean a long, leisurely walk around the three harbours of Rhodes to somewhere like the Plaza Hotel for breakfast (€7.50 for the full buffet at the last visit).

Random Rhodes photos from March

Random Rhodes photos taken one March

I’ve said it before, but this hotel is a good place to ‘hang out’ while you wait for an appointment or a flight because the bar is open to all, serves drinks, coffee and snacks all day, and they have a pool you can use if you want, as well as the usual facilities. You’re able to leave luggage there, and the only thing you should do in return is use the bar, restaurant or at least buy a drink or a coffee. It’s also pretty central and easy to get to by taxi from the ports or by foot if you don’t mind the walk. There’s a new walkway now all the way from the commercial harbour to the gate at Mandraki. Be careful if you walk through St Paul’s Gate, the old stone bastion between Kolona and Mandraki, to cut off the road via Symi Square as you tend to find aggressive ‘beggars’ there. I once had a woman come up to me and greet me as if we were long-lost buddies only then to turn verbally abusive when I told her I wasn’t interested in buying her tat. Just ignore politely and walk on with your ears closed, or follow the main road through the other gate and over the bridge.

Symi Greece photos

If you don’t want to or can’t walk from the boats to the hotel or wherever then there are usually taxis you can take from Akandia (if using the Blue Star ferry). These can get used up quickly if you’re not first off the ferry, and you might want to book in advance. In this case, I use Rodos Taxi. You can find them online with that link, and book in advance. You may pay a couple of Euros extra, but at least someone will be waiting to whisk you to the airport or wherever. You must, though, book online at least one day in advance; otherwise you can’t do it online and will have to phone, but the number is on the site. There are other services available too, and I’ve used a couple to collect people from the airport, pre-paid and leaving the passenger nothing to pay unless they want to tip.

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And talking of tips, that’s it for my getting to Rhodes tips for today.

Symi Greece photos

A few bits and pieces

A few bits and pieces

Just catching up on my general chatter. We popped down to Yialos yesterday to collect some things from the post office, get some money from the bank and call into the surgery to check something out. The post office is around the back of Yialos, in the streets behind, should you ever need it. It’s behind the International Taverna, not far from Taxas supermarket, or you can find it from the left-hand side of the back of the town square, turning left at Christalo, the household shop.

From the south side looking across the harbour

From the south side looking across the harbour

There are two banks and about five cash machines on Symi now. Actually, I think it’s six as there’s one in Harani on the way to Nos beach. There’s another by the pharmacy on the south side of the harbour, one at Smartphone by Meraklis taverna, another just around the corner opposite Pandora and St John’s church, one at the National bank and one at Alpha bank – there may be more popping up that I’ve not noticed. At busy times, like last week, they can run out of cash, and yesterday the one I used was only giving out twenties (which I prefer), and then, only up to a certain amount. They do get refilled regularly, but at busy times, there’s not a lot they can do if demand is high and it’s not refill day. You can always withdraw money from any account by going into one of the two banks with your passport and details.

From the north side looking to the south

From the north side looking to the south

And as for the surgery, it runs on a ‘wait your turn’ system, so no appointment is necessary, but you must be prepared to wait your turn. I was lucky yesterday and only had to wait a couple of minutes. The doctors speak English if you need them to, and there are nurses there in support plus a receptionist. The surgery is, again, around the back, you might say. Beside St John’s church on the left, and it’s open in the morning and evening every day apart from Sundays – not sure about Saturday evening. There are also two pharmacies; one by the bridge and one on the south side towards the taxi rank.

From Tilos, looking towards Symi

From Tilos, looking towards Symi

I just thought I’d mention those places (with non-related photos to brighten the page) as that’s where I was yesterday, and it made a change from talking about bars and tavernas, walks and sunrises all the time.

From my balcony to Nos, with a long lens on the camera

From my balcony to Nos, with a long lens on the camera

 

No title

No title

I’ve not been able to get out for my morning walk this past couple of days thanks to a bad throat, but that seems to be getting better, slowly, so I’ll aim for another early morning wander up the mountain perhaps tomorrow. Being stuck at home with a book to read is not such a bad thing, but I do miss the morning wander, even if it produces only the same old photos. I am heading down to Yialos later to do the necessary things – bank, post office etc., – and that can be my exercise walk for today, especially the coming back up the steps part.

Patterns of planting (?) in the Pedi valley

Patterns of planting (?) in the Pedi valley

I’ve not really had my mind into anything of late. I’ve been trying to start on new book ideas, trying to think of blog ideas, but nothing much is firing the inspiration, maybe due to the bad throat, or maybe due to generally running out of things to say. I’m not an ‘out and about’ person much these days, so don’t know all the ins and outs of what’s going on around me, which would make for more interesting blog posts. All I can really tell you about is what I see around the house and from the window which is mainly, boats, sea and weather, while around the house it’s mainly maintenance issues and the desk. But I am going to Rhodes on Friday to see the optician so that could make for a thrilling read for you one day.

Morning sunlight in the living room window

Morning sunlight in the living room window

So, due to lack of inspiration, I’ll leave you alone to get on with your day while I get on with mine.

A few days ago

A few days ago