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

Back from Rhodes

Back from Rhodes

I’m back from Rhodes after my two-day visit for various things. I went over on the Sebeco, the ANES boat that now does several crossings a day. This trip takes about one-hour twenty and, from Symi, you land at the commercial harbour, the one between Kolona and Akandia. If you like, it’s the one where the cruise ships go. (See the photos, and yes, the boat does tend to rock a little when you go over the rough patch in the middle of the crossing. It’s like being on a very large speed boat.) From there it was an easy 20-minute walk around to Mandraki where I had booked a room at the Savoy hotel. It’s a simple place, basic, clean enough, could do with new locks on the doors, and I’d put it somewhere around a three-star. The staff were pleasant enough though looked rather bored, and their breakfast is adequate. It was also cheaper than my usual hotels and right in the heart of things if you have business in the new town.

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I took care of my appointments and shopping before heading to Napoleon’s for a moussaka for dinner and then spent some time at the Plaza bar because it’s comfortable, cheap and friendly. On Friday, after a couple of appointments, there was time for a little more shopping, each bout of it followed by a return to the room to drop bags and have another cooling-off shower before heading out again. I finally collected my bags and wandered through Mandraki via the Symi Café to say hello to Irini and catch up on the news, and then wandered into the Old town for lunch. I stopped, again, at Nimmos, a taverna right next to Akandia gate and only 10 minutes’ walk to the Blue Star quay where I was to catch the ferry back. Nimmos Taverna is run by Aris who used to work at Aris taverna in Symi. He now works at his own taverna with his son and a few other cheerful staff, and as always, I was made welcome. I like pausing there because it breaks my walk to Akanida and the boat is not far from your table, so you don’t feel you have to rush, and there’s not so far to go after you’ve eaten. In the past, Aris has offered me a lift to the boat on his bike, but I declined as I don’t do motorbikes any more, and the walk helps digestion after a Caesar salad, or a carbonara.

Commercial harbour around to Kolona

Commercial harbour around to Kolona

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Back on Symi, I was lucky enough to catch a lift up the hill. I wouldn’t have minded the walk up through Pitini (the most direct path to Horio) with my rucksack, by then heavy with purchases, but it was still in the high 30s and I wold have arrived looking like a drowned rat. Symi is currently hosting the summer festival with a large concert and a headline act last Thursday, other concerts both pop and classical, a play and talks and music this week, another concert last Saturday, and church festivals lined up through August too. There are banners posted around Yialos and Horio, and maybe elsewhere, telling you in Greek and English what is on, what time and, for a nice change, where. We used to rely on the Tannoy system to make the announcement during the day, but now you can see the venue in advance.

Nimmos taverna view, the Akandia gate is ten feet to the right

Nimmos taverna view, the Akandia gate is ten feet to the right

And so, back to the work routine for a couple of days, but after Wednesday things may be disrupted for a week as we have some family coming to stay, and I will meet my grandson for the first time. Very excited about that, but wishing the water tank hadn’t sprung another leak (don’t get me started). I am sure we can manage on 500 litres between six of us for a few days as long as we don’t shower for longer than two minutes each, and the drips from the leak are being caught in a bucket so I can use the water on the plants and not waste it. Hey ho, off we go!

Blue Star pulling in

Blue Star (Hellenic Seaways) pulling in