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

Katarraktis

Katarraktis

I woke up to rain and thunder on Wednesday morning. The rain persisted until about half-seven when it eased off to leave us with cloud. The hillside opposite us on the far side of the harbour is green again, as are the hills behind the village, and the Pedi valley. The grasses and herbs are coming back, the spring flowers are coming out and, apart from yesterday’s glitch, the weather has been settling down.

March 13th_2

I’m hoping it doesn’t rain again as we have to pop down to the dentist for a check-and-clean. It’s not so much not wanting to get wet on the walk down or up, it’s the run-off from the hills and upper village that’s the problem. You may have seen videos from Symi where the water is pouring down the Kali Strata like a waterfall and when it does, you have to be careful. The backstairs to the village (as opposed to the Kali Strata), the old path that leads up from the north-west corner of Yialos, is called the Katarraktis (καταρράκτες being waterfalls), and you can imagine how it got its name.

March 13th_1

If you want to walk up the Katarraktis, it’s not that hard to find where it starts. I usually start on the street that runs behind the cafes parallel to the harbourfront. This is the street where you find Meraklis and St John’s church. You can also walk past the Opera House Hotel and find the start of the steps and slope that way, or start at the north-east corner of the back street. After that, it’s uphill all the way on ancient stones and slopes, steps and corners that offer a good view of the back of Yialos if you stop and turn. Just keep going up the main steps, and you’ll eventually come to a house and a church. You continue up between the two where you can turn left to pass the church and find the Lemonmitisa path to the village square, or carry straight on to enter the village. There’s no shade on the route up, and you will need sensible shoes, no heels. It’s slippery on the way down and not a climb to be taken lightly if you ask me. I prefer the Kali Strata, but the Katarraktis makes a change from time to time. But not when it’s raining.