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…

Symi: Horio

Symi: Horio

Today I thought I would upload some more photos, taken by Neil on a walk around Horio last week. Those who have been to Symi will know Horio… Well, not everyone who comes here will. I am guessing wildly and probably widely, but I reckon that only a small percent of day visitors to the island make it to Horio. Lets’ say around 2%. Why?

Symi: Horio

Symi: Horio

Well, mainly, I guess, for a couple of reasons. 1) They don’t have time, being herded from boat to umbrella to craft demonstration to lunch to coffee to boat, and off we go again. 2) They only see photos of Yialos and, although the guides probably tell them about the village, they can’t find it. That’s been helped by new signage towards the end of last year. 3) They may get lost on the way up, or see the steps and think, ‘No way!’ and turn back. 4) other reasons I’ve not thought of.

Symi: Horio

Symi: Horio

It’s a shame that more people don’t make the trip up. You can come by foot if you like a good walk (about 10 minutes at a slow pace up 370 + steps depending on route), but there’s also the hourly bus and the taxi services. Once here, many who do make it ask for directions to the church. I assume they mean either the Lemonitisa or Castro churches that you can see from the harbour and not any of the other 13 + parish churches and chapels. It’s always a dilemma. When you see a sweating, puffing tourist who has made the journey by foot (and bravo to them), should you direct them, but tell them that the church is unlikely to be open? Or do you tell them and witness the disappointment? I just show them the way, and usually point them along the road past our house because, I figure, even if they miss the church, they will at least get a rewarding view of Yialos and the hills.

Symi: Horio

Symi: Horio

Anyway, that was that and here are the photos. You can find all of these places by delving deeper into the village than just ‘the church’, but that’s an adventure for another day.

Symi: Horio

Symi: Horio

Symi: Horio

Symi: Horio