My SymiWillSymi Goes Still 08/11/2006, 01:48

The sunlight coming through my bedroom window this morning was strong and warming, and I lay enjoying it for a good half hour before I dragged myself out of bed. The balcony doors got flung open and within a few minutes Mikroulis and Shell had climbed the vine to say ‘Good Morning’ and get their start-the-day nose-scratching. They also got some cat food, but I’m sure this was a complete surprise to them and not at all what they were really after.

As you can see from the pictures, it’s been a beautiful day, and many of the shops have opened up to cater to the extra people that have been coming in for the celebrations at Panormitis tomorrow.

Although the road to the Roloi was quiet and empty, we were surprised to find that Aris Taverna was still packed at three o’clock in the afternoon, as though a crowd had come to Symi thinking it was still August. The cushions had been brought out again at Pat’s Bar and a small group of people were drinking and chatting. I have been told that the weather tomorrow will be even better, but Symi will be deserted as the whole population makes their way across to Panormitis.

Christos and I left it too late today to hire a car for tomorrow, and are hoping that we’ll find a moped for hire in the morning. If not, then we’ll try the bus. If that fails, he can carry me on his back. Fingers crossed, eh?

We bought our Red Bull fix at "To Emporio" and sat by the taxi boats and used them to wash down our lunch. Lakis came and sat next to us and enjoyed having his head scratched. I have still no idea where he sleeps at night. Rumour has it that he has a deluxe kennel somewhere with a widescreen plasma TV. I find this hard to believe, but nothing would surprise me about old Lakis.

As the sun began to sink, we set off towards Harani so I could dip my fingers in the sea at Nos beach. Turning the corner at the Roloi, we were plunged into windy shade. Tsati Café Bar was closed up and Coco was nowhere to be seen. We wandered on dogless and saw that next to Lazy Days, two other large boats had been pulled up out of the water.

The Poseidon and the Triton II are receiving their winter make-over, as are the Eirini and Panagiota II and a host of other smaller boats. Nearby, a sweet fluffy puss was waylaying people and demanding a toll of a minute’s head scratching before allowing them to pass. She refused to behave herself even after being told she was going to be immortalised on film.

At Nos, the sea was beautiful. Café Paradeisos was shut up and the sunbeds were stacked in one corner. I dipped my fingers in the sea and remembered my last swim there just a month ago. It seems like years have gone by since then.

Leaving Nos, we carried on along the Nimborio road until it met the track up to Evangelistria church.

The sun was sinking fast as we climbed, and when we reached the church, only the most easterly of the houses remained in the sunlight.

As the temperature fell and the dusk deepened, we walked back down towards the boatyard and then home.

The change that has come over the island in just the past three weeks is amazing. Many summer visitors have asked what Symi is like in winter, and there’s no simple answer; it’s quite different from in the summer but definitely not worse. If you’re lucky enough to get the chance to come here in winter, then I can suggest no better place to spend Christmas or New Year. The welcome you’ll get will be warm.

Until tomorrow, be good!



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