My SymiWillPanormitis Day on a moped 08/11/2006, 22:19

It’s Archangel Michael’s (Arhagelos Mihail) day today which means that everyone in Greece called Mihalis has their “name day” or “onomastiki yiorti” if you want it in Greek. Name days are bigger than birthdays in Greece, much bigger, and you get presents…along with everybody else with your name. As Arhagelos Mihail is the big cheese at Panormitis, the Panormitis Festival is held in his honour around the 8th November. My blogging duty required me to get over the other side of Symi, so down we went to Glaros and rented a scooter. Great fun.

I have decided that I won’t bore you with my bleatings as much as usual today, and instead you can have loads of lovely photos.

First stop on our moped was the petrol station to fill up at a cost of 3 euros. Christos was already whining that riding pillion was scary. Wimp.

Next stop was for this not-to-be-missed photo opportunity. It’s been a damn fine day today! Warm, bright, and cloudless.

Another stop to look down on Horio and across to Nimos…

…and to admire how green and beautiful the Pedi valley is in November.

Datca was clearly visible across the water. It always seems strange to realise that it’s really Asia over there.

The hills around Nimborio looked so barren.

On we went, racing to get to Panormitis before Jord and Josie caught the "Aegli" to Rhodes to catch their flight back to wintery Britain. We made it…just. Christos clinging on for dear life, wimpering incessantly about travelling at 50 Kph round steep, twists and turns. We parked as close to the monastery as we could get (not very close) and scuttled off to the jetty.

Jord and Jo were in the queue to get on board and we sneaked past the ticket inspectors to say our goodbyes and “Kalo Taxidi”s. I hope the trip was good for you J & J! See you in London soon, maybe?

The bells had been ringing non-stop for over half an hour and the crowds were pressing themselves around the steps of the monastery. The candle-sellers were making a brisk trade of metre-long candles.

The procession arrived with the obligatory military escort and honk honk of a brass band. In the midst of the melee was the bishop, numerous other religious persons, and Symi’s newly re-elected Mayor, Lefteris Papakalodoukas. The brief service over, the bishop blessed a stack of loaves and handed them out to the eager crowd which then pushed its way in through the gates, nibbling chunks of bread, to queue to file past the famous icon inside the church.

After passing the icon, the faithful lit their candles before heading off for lunch!

The refectory of the monastery (the “trapezaria”) was serving free nosh and the queue to get a plateful was far less orderly than in the church.

Missing lunch, we squeezed our way out of the monastery and down the steps.

The boats were filling up fast. The "Symi", the "Pride", and the "Express" were all due to leave within the half-hour.

The panigiri of a church is a fair held on the name day of the church’s saint. Today’s fair consisted of sizzling grub, yummy sweets, toys, clothes, bootleg CDs, as well as the horrid sight of finches caged like battery hens.

We left on our moped to return to Yialos and stopped off briefly at Marathounta beach…

After reaching Chorio, we decided to carry on down to Pedi. The beach by Katsaras Taverna looked so different compared to a few months ago when I swam here with Claudia.

We returned the moped, ate a yummy lunch at Aris and were pleased to find Coco, soft and shiny, and resplendent with his squishy goitery cyst. Bless him!

It’s almost three in the morning now! I am sorry this blog is so late today. I hope you like the videos and all the photos,

Be good and look after yourselves,



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