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

A Hot and Cold Ramble

A Hot and Cold Ramble

I received an email last week concerning the weather. Rather, concerning how some bloggers on Rhodes have stated that they hardly experience a cold day, and yet I am always blathering on about having the shutters closed and being cold here on Symi. How come? Well, along with some photos Neil took the other day, here are some ideas.

Symi Greece

I can’t, as they annoyingly say in American TV shows, ‘talk to’ the issue with any great meteorological authority, but I can guess and use my experience. On my blog, I write what I see and experience, so yesterday, I popped out into the courtyard to check the temperature. I realised I had left the thermometer in the sun, and so it read 32 degrees. This was at midday. Out of interest, I then popped it into the bedroom for an hour, and it dropped to 10 degrees. In the courtyard shade, at midday, it has, of late, been wavering around 14. So, no, that’s not that cold. Sadly, I don’t sleep in the sun in the courtyard, if I did I’d have to get my head down between eleven and twelve-thirty as, at this time of year, that’s the only sun it gets.

Symi, Greece

In the summer, the house heats up, and I mean the stone it’s built from and the concrete that the ‘workhouse’ that houses our offices, is made from. In the winter, the opposite happens. The walls cool down and stay cold. It was eight degrees in my office this morning, despite the warm weather yesterday, and it’s been like that since November. We’ve had rain of late (more debris washed down from the hills, but not as bad as late last year), and so we’ve had clouds, and the wind has been low, so it’s not been that cold. However, with no sun on the house and with our main room facing north and having French doors, and two windows, it only heats up when we turn on the heater, and then (as it’s over 12-feet high and open to the mousandra and corridor to the rest of the house), only stays warm for a short while.

Symi Greece

Which, in short form, is a way of saying: we live in a cold house in the winter and a warm one in the summer, but not everyone does. Some folk face south, some can afford more heating, some have better fitting windows and doors… And so on. As for Rhodes… I really don’t know. We in Symi tend to be a few degrees warmer than the reported temperatures on Rhodes in summer, and maybe we’re simply a colder island in the winter. No-one is very far from the sea and, if they are, they are up in the mountains. The point, for me, is, I don’t mind being too cold or too hot because, when one, there are always ways of becoming the other. I keep the shutters closed to keep the heat in, but would open them if we had the sun on the windows between November and March, which we don’t. At this time of year, it’s warm in the sun and feels very cold in the shade.

Symi Greece

Whatever the temperature, you’re sure of a warm welcome in Symi, as I am sure you are in Rhodes, whether you’re facing north or have more heaters that we do. But, keeping the house warm is the main aim here in winter… Except for when it starts to get damp. These days we warm up the workhouse in the mornings while the main house has its windows flung wide and shutters open to clear the house of damp. Come lunchtime, there’s a switch around as we settle in and, until the two-bar heater does its job, sit under blankets to warm up. Which is what I am going to do now.

Athens To Symi: March Blue Star

Athens To Symi: March Blue Star

(Random images of boats included, one from Cyprus.)
We’re now looking forward to our honeymoon in March. Well, we have been looking forward to it since we decided to go to Croatia. We are heading to Split (the place not the verb), and so I have been looking around for what’s on and open there at that time of year. We’re thinking of a bus to Dubrovnik for a night there too, which will mean a 15-minute’ comfort break’ in Bosnia, as that country has about 23km of coastline that interrupts Croatia on the way. I was also looking to see if there was anything on in the theatres or concert halls in Split at this time (21st to 27th March), but so far haven’t found anything. Will keep looking.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Seen in Cyprus

We also want to come back to Symi from Athens on the Blue Star, and so I am just popping over to their website to see if we can book the cabin yet… And we can. And I have. The boat is the Blue Star Patmos and, if you’re interested, the cost is €171.00 for two people in an inside 2-berth cabin, no car. Discounts are available for families, military personnel and others, but not us. Still, it cuts out the need for a flight to Rhodes (quite cheap depending on the time of year) and also the need for a hotel in Rhodes, taxis and the boat across to Symi. What’s more, we’ve never done the trip before and, although most of it is at night, it should be an adventure. I’m now trying to remember if it’s the Patmos that has the nice cafes and restaurant, or the Paros – so long since I’ve been on the Blue Star. I shall find out. I don’t mind as I have visited both islands anyway so am happy to support either Patmos or Paros.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

This trip has been made possible by those friends and family who generously donated to our honeymoon appeal/wedding present fund. Thank you! (I sound like a charity.)

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Meanwhile, I now have enough volunteer beta readers for ‘The Witchling’, thank you too, and I should be in a position to get the PDF of the draft sent out to you lovely people in a couple of weeks.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos