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Postby Gemma1 » 29 Sep 2012, 10:40

Sorry if this is a bit long winded!

19/9/12
Flew out with Jet2 from Leeds Bradford to Rhodes. The flight was half empty and the plane was very cold! Landed slightly early on Rhodes and got on the transfer coach to Kolona harbour dropping off at numerous hotels en route. Justine, the Olympic rep, was at Kolona to meet us and stayed with the suitcases so I had a quick wander round Rhodes old town and had a chicken gyros for 2.5 euros.

Caught the 1815 Dodekanisos to Symi which took about 50 minutes. It was manic when we arrived in Symi harbour with people milling around everywhere and the Symi train trying to get through the middle of it. Got the mini bus from the harbour and within minutes I was back in apartment number 5 at the Anastasia with its big balcony with stunning views over Chorio and Pedi Bay.

Had dinner at Zoe's, tzatziki, followed by stuffed vegetables and a glass of wine was 15 euros. Called into the Sunrise on the way back and had a glass of wine � 2.5 euros � and a chat with Justine the rep. Also found out that the sirens I'd heard earlier were because the Symi bus had been involved in an accident with a motor bike. The bus has a cracked windscreen and other damage and the motor bike rider was taken to hospital on Rhodes on the ferry.

20/9/12
Walked down to Pedi and right round the bay then back to Chorio for lunch at the Sunrise. Had a lovely Greek salad for 4.50 euros with bread included. A large beer at the Sunrise is 3 euros and they have wi fi.

After lunch walked down the Kali Strata to the harbour which was really busy with the day trippers. Found my favourite cake shop which has moved to just behind the Symi Visitor office. Had a delicious slice of chocolate mousse cake for 2.2 euros.

Went to the welcome meeting at the Sunrise at 7 before going on to Georgio's for dinner. It was unusually quiet in there but the food was excellent. I had chicken in cream sauce with bread, a small (2 glasses) carafe of wine and a large bottle of water for 15 euros.

21/9/12
Walked up through Chorio and along the path overlooking the village to eventually join the main road. From there I continued past the army base and on the road to Toli. The walk took two hours and the last part was very barren. There were signs along the road for the Daphne taverna in Toli so it's impossible to miss the turn-off. For lunch I had a Daphne salad which cost 8 euros and consisted of a massive bowl of lettuce, cabbage and carrot with 4 slices of apple and a few walnuts! Not sure if I�ll walk back to Toli again but think I�ll stick to a Greek salad next time!

Stuck to the main road for the walk back to Chorio which took longer but meant I had the stunning views of Chorio, Yialos and Pedi and I paused for a while to admire the view at one of the benches by the side of the road. When I got back to Chorio called in at the Olive Tree for a slice of sticky date cake which was 3.9 euros. It was very nice but expensive IMHO.

Had a glass of wine in the Sunrise and made use of the free Wi-Fi and then walked down to the harbour for dinner where I ate at the Dolphin Italian restaurant. Pasta with ham in a tomato and herb sauce, bread and a glass of wine was 9.5 euros. Wine here is only 1.5 euros a glass � excellent value and I really enjoyed the meal.

22/9/12
Walked down the Kali Strata and then on to Emborio the scenic way past Elikonos cemetery. Had a cheese omlette and small water at the taverna at Emborio for 5 euros. It was quite nice but when I was eating I was surrounded by wasps � not pleasant.

From Emborio I walked up the hilly path to Agios Nikolaos Stenou with its stunning views over the Turkish mainland. It took 25 minutes to walk up and 20 to walk back down. Walked back to Yialos and had another delicious cake from the cake shop for 2.5 euros.

Went to the Sunrise for my usual pre dinner glass of wine and ended up stopping until midnight as got chatting to a few of the regulars including Colette, Kojak and co before they went off for dinner at the Windmill. George and Marcus were playing guitar and singing and it was a very pleasant evening. 4 wines, 1 Greek salad and a small water was 15 euros.

23/9/12
Along with 4 other people I went on the Sunday photo walk with Neil from Symi Dream which cost 10 euros per person. We had a very enjoyable stroll through the Pedi valley taking photos and picking up tips en route. The walk took just under 3 hours and afterwards I went to the Sunrise for a delicious bacon roll followed by yogurt with honey for 7 euros.

In the afternoon I walked up to the Acropolis and down to the harbour via the Kataraktis. After a wander round the harbour I returned up the Kali Strata. The Symi bus is now in Rhodes being repaired so there's no alternative to walking � unless you want to use one of the taxis which I understand costs just over 3 euros from Yialos to Chorio. I'd rather spend the money on cake and walk off the calories :-)

Had dinner at Zoe's again. Aubergine salad,delicious beef stifado and a small water was 16 euros.

24/9/12
Walked to Zoodhochos Pighi Monastery with beautiful views over Chorio and Pedi. The priest arrived shortly after me to refill his water bottles from the spring. He was very friendly and let me take his photograph.

Walked back to the main road and followed yesterday's walk through the Pedi valley. From there I walked on to Aghios Nikolaos Beach and had lunch at the taverna � chicken salad, bread and a large bottle of water was 10 euros. Spent an hour or so relaxing on a sunbed which was free because I'd eaten there. Had dinner at Catherinettes in the harbour � tzatziki, moussaka and a glass of wine was 14 euros.

25/9/12
Walked up through Chorio and past Mihal Perivliotis to the Agios Vasilios monastery. Didn't walk down to Lipathos Beach as there is no taverna and it's quite a steep climb down. The walk took about 45 minutes each way and in parts there are some steep drops alongside the path. When I got back to the concrete road I visited the small church behind Agios Nikolaos Ksisou, it was unlocked and the interior was beautiful.

On reaching the main road I turned left and walked until I reached the turnoff to the army point. I took the right turn and when the road ended at a house followed the rocky path alongside the water pipe back down to the harbour for lunch. Had a turkey baguette and a small water for 5 euros. Paid a final visit to the cake shop for a slice of cheesecake before returning up the Kali Strata.

After the usual pre-dinner glass of wine at the Sunrise, went to Georgio's for my final dinner. Had fish which was huge and came complete with head and lots of bones though no eyes as it had been cooked in stock. The fish came on its own but I had already ordered a Greek salad starter which went well alongside it. Total including a small carafe of wine was 23 euros � my dearest meal. Returned to the Sunrise for a final drink with Claudia and Kevin as it�s an early start tomorrow.

26/9/12
Set the alarm for 6 but didn't sleep very well and was already up watching the sun rise over Pedi bay from the balcony. The luggage had to be at the Village Hotel by 6.45 and along with a few others then made my way down the Kali Strata to meet up with Justine in the harbour for the 0745 Dodekanisos Express to Rhodes.

As usual left our luggage at the International Hotel in Rhodes and I went for a wander round Rhodes old town. Bought some lovely earrings for 3 euros from a shop in one of the back streets and had a refreshing glass of apple juice at a cafe with free wi fi. It was lovely in the back streets of the old town but the main route was very, very busy. Returned via the harbour and had a tuna salad for lunch (6 euros) before getting the coach transfer to the airport. There had been a national / air traffic controllers strike in Athens from 10 until 1 so a lot of the earlier flights had been rescheduled. This meant the airport was really busy and we couldn't check in for our flight for over an hour . Our Jet2 flight left about 20 minutes late which wasn�t bad going considering some of the earlier delays. The return flight was full and much warmer than the outbound. Arrived back to Leeds Bradford to the pouring rain!

Another wonderful holiday on stunning Symi has come to an end and I can now recommend the Sunrise for breakfast, lunch and dinner ;)
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Postby Allan » 30 Sep 2012, 18:59

Thanks for that report, it must have taken a lot of typing!

Plenty of tips in there for good value eating and drinking places. That's something that's getting more important these days as money gets tight.

Glad you had a good time and sorry I didn't bump into you at the Sunrise. Next year maybe. :)
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Postby Yvettelee » 30 Sep 2012, 19:55

Really enjoyed reading that. Been back coming up to 3 weeks now and missing it. So it was nice to be transported back to the lovely Symi.
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Postby Andy W » 30 Sep 2012, 20:02

Gemma - did you mean your favourite cake shop was Stani, behind Symi Visitor Accommodation/Sunflower Laundry/Pachos, or have they opened a branch behind Symi Dream in Chorio?
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Postby Gemma1 » 30 Sep 2012, 23:05

[quote="Andy W"]

Gemma - did you mean your favourite cake shop was Stani, behind Symi Visitor Accommodation/Sunflower Laundry/Pachos, or have they opened a branch behind Symi Dream in Chorio?
[/quote]

Oops yes Andy, I meant behind Symi Visitor not Symi Dream. It's the one with the giant ice cream cornet outside it :)
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Postby Gemma1 » 30 Sep 2012, 23:10

[quote="Allan"]

Thanks for that report, it must have taken a lot of typing!

Plenty of tips in there for good value eating and drinking places. That's something that's getting more important these days as money gets tight.

Glad you had a good time and sorry I didn't bump into you at the Sunrise. Next year maybe. :)
[/quote]

I'm afraid I'm a bit of a saddo and took my netbook with me so typed up the day's notes at the end of each day. I started a journal the first time I went island hopping in 2000 and it's sometimes nice to be able to look back and remember where you went and what you did :)
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Postby plee » 01 Oct 2012, 01:39

I also really enjoyed reading your report. Its great that you put prices of food and that you seem to be alone? - Ive been debating as to whether to come to Symi by myself next year and your writing made it seem easy.
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Postby Gemma1 » 01 Oct 2012, 08:19

[quote="plee"]

I also really enjoyed reading your report. Its great that you put prices of food and that you seem to be alone? - Ive been debating as to whether to come to Symi by myself next year and your writing made it seem easy.

[/quote]

Yes plee, I went on my own. I have more holiday than my partner so usually go to Greece once a year on my own. I've only ever been to Symi on my own and now consider it my special place ;)
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Postby Kon » 01 Oct 2012, 13:11

Thanks for sharing Gemma ,great read up. 8-) :)
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Postby Adriana » 02 Oct 2012, 10:28

Apropos the price of cakes, it is worth remembering that Stani is a franchise outlet and all their cakes come from a large commercial bakery in Rhodes. The Olive Tree on the other hand is a health food cafe and they bake all their cakes locally using as much as possible locally sourced ingredients.
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Postby maziemoo » 02 Oct 2012, 19:20

a brilliant write-up Gemma, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Glad you had a wonderful time too.
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Postby benedetti » 03 Oct 2012, 12:56

Great to read Gemma especially the prices. Maybe we should start a blog topic... that would make interesting reading as long as the September October crowd were willing to be candid.
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Postby snoopy2 » 03 Oct 2012, 15:58

[quote="Adriana"]

Apropos the price of cakes, it is worth remembering that Stani is a franchise outlet and all their cakes come from a large commercial bakery in Rhodes. The Olive Tree on the other hand is a health food cafe and they bake all their cakes locally using as much as possible locally sourced ingredients.
[/quote]
Everything in the Olive Tree - including the welcome is worth every penny IMHO. Could live on the freshly made smoothies!!
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