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

Able to get here? Good for you, dangerous for us.

Able to get here? Good for you, dangerous for us.

I’m writing this yesterday as I usually do because my head is never quite in the right place first thing in the morning. Today (Monday) is the day most places can reopen, and that means up here in the village, the Rainbow, Lefteris, The Sunrise and, I assume, other cafes and bars will be opening their doors… well, their outside seating. As far as I know, it’s outside seating only and with distancing, and the rules can be revoked or changed at any time, so ‘don’t go silly’, is the message. It will still be a while before we see any visitors and when we do, it will only be from other islands or the mainland, at least to start with.

April 29th_06

Now then, we’ve had a few enthusiastic messages from people saying things along the lines of, ‘Yay! We can come to Symi now,’ and adding a smiling emoji along the way. Well, possibly, yes, you might be able to, but how is another matter, and when another one also. Yes, it’s good that places can open up again, and Symi is, as we know, a very welcoming place. However, please remember that we have been isolated here, as have many smaller islands. Although you might feel safe coming from a highly infected country like the yUK, you’re going to a practically non-infected country and certainly a non-infected island, such as Symi. Good news for you, worrying news for us. So, even if you can get here, find an open hotel, don’t have to quarantine for the two weeks of your holiday, have health insurance that will cover you, and are a huge Symi fan with lots of friends here, please remember that you’re coming to a place where there’s been no, or very little chance to build immunity. We’re even thinking that if close friends or family want to/can get here this year, maybe they should stay in their own accommodation rather than our house.

May 13th_08

I maybe blathering from my own point of view and off the top of my head, but that’s what I do. Hey, don’t get me started on what’s now happening in the yUK with that unelected bureaucrat who did what ‘any father would do’ and put the lives of many at risk for the convenience of the few. No wonder the yUK isn’t on Greece’s list of countries from which travel to Greece is allowed. Sheesh!

May 13th_03



I don’t know what your weekend was like, but ours up here on the north side of the village was a bit blustery. The wind was from the north-west, pushing the smell of drains back up the pipes in the laundry room (nice), blowing all kinds of things over the courtyard wall, and forcing us to shut the shutters and keep warm. It reminded me of October or early November with the fresh smell of cold in the air, the sea whipped up with white crests, and the harbour empty of tourist boats. Still, not complaining as when I say cold, it was actually around 20 or 22, it just felt cold after the heat earlier in the week.

May 23rd_2

I spent my time beavering away on yet another new story, as I do, while Neil had to go to Rhodes to get his paperwork ready to start work at the Rainbow this afternoon. I’ve heard (from people in the yUK) that ‘Greece is fully open for tourism as of the end of May…’ Well, I don’t know about ‘fully’, but when Neil popped over to Rhodes for the day there were restrictions in place, so even if you live in a country that Greece accepts visitors from, you won’t find it easy to get around, not at first. A medical form to complete when you buy your boat tickets, a check before you get on the boat, social distancing, specific seats only, half capacity, only one person per cabin on longer journeys, and so on. So, check the Greek news and websites for information from on the ground, rather than hearsay on Fakebook. All I can tell you so far is that Dominic Cummings has not yet been seen breaking his government’s own rules about travel to Greece, but if he does, there will be a good reason why he can break them and the plebs can’t.

May 23rd_1

But… Apart from all that, today is the day Neil starts work again, which will be helpful for us, but possibly a bit boring for him, and hopefully, successful for Yiannis and the bar. Lefteris Kafeneion is also reopening today as are other places, bit by bit, but until we have visitors… Well, it’s still just wait and see.

May 7th_03

Changing weather

Changing weather

Woke to cloud yesterday and lower temperatures. Went for a short walk up the road and back down through the village, just go blow the cobwebs away, and just in time to see the sun coming up.


The news from here is that bars are reopening on Monday, or at least, they can if they want to, and Yiannis intends to open the Rainbow. I believe, but am not sure that it’s outside seating only, and with tables at certain distances, only so many people only per table, and households can sit together, but not others. The question is, who will be there to have an afternoon drink during the siesta hours that Neil works? The next question is, will he be able to get to Rhodes tomorrow to have his medical paperwork signed off? The tests were all done before we went away in early March, but the doctor has been unable to get to Symi since. These are papers that bar and café workers need to work with food; nothing to do with what’s going on now. But all that’s for next week. I am heading off for a weekend of what look like changeable weather and will leave you with a set of photos taken yesterday. I’ll be back on Monday.

May 21_6 May 21_5 May 21_4 May 21_3 May 21_1 May 21_2