It's May so it must be Symi

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It's May so it must be Symi

Postby Pollychops » 21 May 2014, 18:45

You can never have too many bars, mind you in you did a bar crawl what condition would you be in at the end......if you ever got there.
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Postby D and E » 22 May 2014, 08:54

So Wednesday saw a late change in plan and the Posseidon boat trip has been postponed to Friday when it will be making a stop at Panormitis and as P and H have never been to the monastery, or the excellent baker, this will avoid us doing the 06:50 bus run over :)
But then where did Wednesday go ?
After the morning frappe in Cafe Agialos we made it as far as The Corner Bar - a "hike" of at least 25 metres ! A small chilled draught beer was had : well two actually as we watched the day trippers start to arrive. The next leg of the adventure got us as far as Elpida's which is another excellent venue for watching the organised and sometimes disorganised tour parties trying to follow a garish umbrella.
Lunch was at one of our favourite spots - the Tza Ti bar round by the boatyard. In our opinion it is perfect. It's small seating area is on the seaward side and is shaded by olive trees; they play excellent background music and the Bruchetta with tomato and basil or mozzarella and Parma ham is so fresh and flavoursome that this is a highly recommended lunch venue. They also do super plates of salami and hams that are well worth trying. Sitting looking out to sea with chilled retsina and Bruchetta is always one of the highlights of the holiday.
A saunter back to the wonderful Thea apartments and a siesta was followed by the arrival of a very large cruise ship (photo on Twitter @rutakingthep) which stopped for a few hours. The harbour side bars were packed when we walked down for the evening ouzo.
Walking from the bar in the square where we had our ouzo and played cribbage we came upon a van selling cheese so having tasted, it couldn't be resisted and that is our breakfasts sorted for our second week.
Dinner was at Meraklis which was very busy as it so often is. We shared starters of tuna salad which was very tzatziki like and fried haloumi cheese. D and P had the bream - whole fish on the bone simply cooked on the grill and at €13 fixed price (rather than by weight) quite superb. E had papoujaksi (aubergine with bechemal and a bolognese type sauce baked in the oven) and H had moussaka. And with some shared Horta between us followed by a complimentary grappa and piece of Madeira type cake yet another wonderful meal was experienced.
Today (Thursday) is the first day that the water taxis from Yialos are running. As D and P did the bread run there was quite a bit of activity as the boats were being made ready.
For information Dimitris restaurant at the foot of the School Steps is no longer. We were told that the family have emigrated to Australia. This was a firm favourite when we fancied a meat fest.
And now to plan the day.
Yasou 8-)
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Postby D and E » 23 May 2014, 06:44

Thursday and we went to Nos Beach.
The walk of course included frappe and beer stops and we did go via the church above the boatyard on what was a wonderfully warm and sunny day.
Nos was full of life with a large group of school children over from Rhodes for the day. The restaurant at Nos is the perfect setting being right on the sea and throwing some bread in and watching a shoal of fish devour it always raises a smile. Lunch of beetroot and skadalia, a mixed plate of grilled aubergine, peppers, mushroom and courgette, plus the exquisite meatballs and a Greek salad was superb. A walk back with a beer stop in the Nireus Hotel and an ouzo in the Corner Bar and then meeting old friends - S and L, concluded our afternoon.
A taxi up to Yannis Rainbow bar and then dinner in Giorgios followed. A Mezes of chilli pies, bourataki, white beans, liver and lemon chicken follow by a walk back down the Kali saw us end another perfect day on Symi.
Today is Friday and so the countdown to Wednedsay and departure is a reality. Having all set our preferences for day's out and evening venues for dinner there is a general consensus which is turning into a plan.
So as the sun starts hitting the harbour which is like a millpond the smell of freshly baked bread summons us for our stroll to the clock tower before breakfast and if all is well the Posseidon trip round the island beckons.
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Postby Pollychops » 23 May 2014, 07:54

Thanks for another fine post, just reading whilst lying in bed considering what to do, go to work or have a day off. Decision made...........off to work!!! Can't wait to hear what your plan is form the remainder of your holiday.
Millpond......ideal for my kayak adventure.
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Postby JuliaB » 23 May 2014, 08:19

Oh nooooooo! No Dimitri's . . . always our favourite spot for kalamari. Where now?
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Postby Gemma1 » 23 May 2014, 08:25

Really enjoying your posts especially as we seem to have gone back to winter here. It poured down most of the day yesterday and was decidedly chilly - the fire was back on last night.

If I remember correctly I had my first Symi dinner at Dimitris when I first stayed at the Irini at the back of the harbour. Don't think I've eaten there on the last couple of trips as you're limited how many different restaurants you can try when you're only on Symi for a week.

The papoujaksi sounds very nice, I've never tried that. I must make a note of some of the different things you've had to eat and try a few new things when I'm on Symi in September :)
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Postby D and E » 23 May 2014, 08:51

Hi JuliaB,
How about Tholos ? beyond the boatyard and past Odysseus : recall having excellent kalamari there a couple of years ago. And their lemon potatoes are legend ;-)
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Postby Pollychops » 23 May 2014, 12:31

Tholos is one of my favourites, love enjoyong the food and sitting back and admiring the view of the town and harbour as it get darker and the lights start to liight up the view.
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Postby JuliaB » 23 May 2014, 16:40

We love Tholos too. Will be heading there before long.
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Postby Jan » 23 May 2014, 17:07

May I be a real pedant and suggest that the aubergine dish is spelt papoutsaki? It means 'little shoe', which is what the aubergine looks like if you have a vivid imagination (or have imbibed a few pre-supper ouzos).
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Postby D and E » 24 May 2014, 07:03

The Posseidon trip evaded us again due to unforeseen circumstances.
So a relaxing morning of reading and watching the activity of the harbour from the wonderful setting of Thea Apartments was followed by a light lunch at Cafe Avio which is the first on the square. Their omelettes are excellent as is their pita bread sandwiches as reported before.
The port was very busy with day trippers yesterday which was good to see with the sponge shops, Takis leather and Anna's next door to Elpida's all particularly busy - we hope that the activity turned into hard sales.
Experiencing the activity through a couple of cafe stops in the Stelar Bar and Elpida's saw the afternoon disappear - where does time go on Symi ?
With the taxis within 20 meters of the apartment the decision on how to get to Chorio is not difficult : hike the Kali Strata or jump in the taxi ? I'm afraid the taxi has won 5-1 so far. So ouzo in Yannis where newly arrived familiar faces were seen and it was lovely to say hello to Mr and Mrs JuliaB again.
Dinner was with Lefteris in Zylygos (our second visit) where the imam (aubergine smothered in onions and herbs and oven baked) and meatballs started us off followed by lamb and lemon potatoes (D and P) and chicken souvlaki (E and H). A complementary coconut cake finished the meal off nicely and so we wandered back down the Kali and off to bed.
Saturday morning sees what should now be the norm for Symi - blue skies and beautiful sun over a shimmering harbour. Time for D and P to set off on the bread run.
Yasou 8-)
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Postby Pollychops » 24 May 2014, 11:54

Hopefully the rest of your holiday will be all blue skies and beautiful sun.
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Postby Pollychops » 24 May 2014, 11:57

Hi Jan, it's actually spelt Papoutsakia.
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Postby D and E » 25 May 2014, 07:21

So Saturday became a bit of a shopping day with scarves, bags, sandals and other bits and pieces all being bought - now to puzzle out how to get these into already stuffed cases for this coming Wednesday.
The tickets are bought for the return ferry but as we have an evening flight we can take the 16:30 boat.
When booking the tickets at Symi Tours they made us aware of a bus trip they are doing : to Panormitis and then to Marathounda with photo stops at the top of the Vigla for €7 so that's another day sorted.
With only a few days left we are now doing the return visits and so lunch was at Tza Ti where once again the Bruchetta with tomato and basil, Parma ham and mozzarella and the cold meats plate was perfect : a complementary freshly made strawberry and citrus sorbet was very enjoyable.
For dinner we returned to Trata where we had a Mezes of horta, the wonderful stuffed mushrooms (only a half portion left so word is out !), small cheese pies, excellent Mousaka and beef stifados.
As the Champions League final was on in the adjoining bars D and P ended the evening with a couple of ouzo's; and another as it went into extra time :D
Our last Sunday and the bells of the churches are sounding out so off for bread.
Kalimera
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Postby Gemma1 » 25 May 2014, 10:25

D and E wrote:

When booking the tickets at Symi Tours they made us aware of a bus trip they are doing : to Panormitis and then to Marathounda with photo stops at the top of the Vigla for €7 so that's another day sorted.



That sounds interesting and excellent value at 7 euros :) I've been to Panormitis before but never to Marathounda and I was wondering about trying to walk up to the top of the Vigla in September - this might be an easier option ;) I look forward to reading about it :)
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Postby Eliza » 25 May 2014, 11:08

We went on the Panormitis trip at Easter and enjoyed it. Well worth 7euro.
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Postby Olga » 25 May 2014, 19:59

I could kick myself, we looked at the notice in the office doorway, and then I went into the jewelers (Alexandra)talked to George about politics, and then forgot all about booking the trip, it would have been a great way to spend the day, as we (like Gemma1)
have been to Panormitis a few times, but never to Marathounda. Ah well maybe next time.
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Postby D and E » 26 May 2014, 06:44

Hi Olga - it is very easy to be distracted by that jewellery shop as E is living proof of !
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Postby D and E » 26 May 2014, 07:02

Sunday saw us return to our favourite beach.
Lakis's 10:00 am bus did the extended run beyond the kiosk and so those wonderful views of the Pedi Valley were laid out before us.
George was just pulling in and we jumped on board to head for St.Nicholas.
Despite it being Sunday and the taxi boats from Yialos now running it was still relatively quiet although slightly more busy than the week before. The taverna is now in full swing and the small bar area fully stocked.
Lunch was faultless Greek salad, tzatziki, calamari and meatballs.
The swimming was wonderful and returning at 4pm with a short wait we got the 4:30 bus back.
Evening saw us taxi up to the Village Hotel and take the short stroll round to Yannis Rainbow for ouzo and then to Zoe's to say our goodbyes for another visit and enjoy a Mezes of meatballs in tomato sauce, giouvetsi, beetroot, tuna salad, bourayaki and beans gigantes and with a complementary apple with cinnamon to end - so simple but so refreshing - it was time to walk down by Manteio's past the church and pick up the Kali where the Opera Bar used to be.
And so it is Monday and the bus trip to Panormitis and then Marathounda for lunch starts at the Symi Tours office at 10:00 : that does mean that E and H will be close to Alexandros the jeweller :o
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Postby Olga » 26 May 2014, 23:59

Hope you had a great day, We have been trying to convince George that Alexandros should start to sell online, although this could have serious consequences for the bank balances of his numerous fans I think. Love the culinary tour.
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Postby D and E » 27 May 2014, 06:48

Monday and the Symi Tours trip.
After a frappe, at 10:00am the Symi Tours minibus picked us up just opposite where Posseidon berths in the harbour. The trip was fully subscribed but being only a minibus you are part of a small group. We had a short detour to pick up two people from the Pedi Beach Hotel so this is something for anyone staying in Pedi to note. We headed up the Vigla and stopped for 10-15 minutes to allow photos to be taken of the stunning panorama from Nimborio to Pedi with Yialos and Chorio set out way below you it is an unforgettable image (photo is going on Twitter @rutakingthep once I finish this post).
You are given a map and are accompanied by a driver and a guide who points out places of interest. Another 10-15 minute stop allows for a photo opportunity looking down into Panormitis. Seeing the monastery and the bay from this height was a first and I will post the image on Twitter.
You arrive in Panormitis at 11am and have an hour. The day boats (2 were in when we arrived) are there until about 11:30 so we had a beer first and waited for the monastery and museum to quieten down before having a look round.
We then had the 10mins journey to Marathounda and had until 2pm to swim and have a leisurely lunch. The taverna at Marathounda is excellent (as is the swimming in the crystal clear waters). We had the lightest zucchini balls we have tasted with a Greek salad, Symi cheese (goats we think) and tuna salad and with a complementary sweet of plump sultanas in syrup we were replete. Marathounda should not be missed either by taxi boat or by this new means of visiting. The goats will provide you with all the entertainment you need (photos on Twitter).
The bus returned directly to Yialos (via Pedi Beach Hotel to return our fellow passengers that we had picked up) and we were back by 3:30pm. There appeared to be universal appreciation of the trip and we understand that this may be extended to three times a week and may incorporate Toli Bay where there is another excellent taverna. This is great news as normally only walkers, car / scooter hirers or, like D and E experienced, the kindness of a Symiot takes you to this place.
This trip is an opportunity to head inland and see Symi from another angle. Well worth it and we wish Symi Tours every success with this.
Evening saw us return to Odyseus, round from the Hanari boatyard, after an ouzo stop in the Corner Bar, Elpida's and cocktails on the the jetty at the Nireus Hotel. As described in an earlier post Manolis has got himself a chef that is providing a very different dining experience and we cannot commend this highly enough : any "foodies" visiting Symi this year should walk round : we do not think you will be disappointed but would love to hear what you think.
We had a Mezes of an amazingly fresh salad of lettuce with walnuts, crumbled Roquefort cheese, orange, cherry tomato, cucumber with a Symi honey and balsamic dressing (outstanding); a fresh whole grilled squid with tartare sauce (memorable); the feta parcels in honey; spetzafia (the sausage with onions and peppers) - both repeat dishes from our earlier visit so that says it all; and one of the most prefectly grilled pieces of chicken. We finished with a complementary plate of the lightest tiramisu accompanied by sliced orange and apple. A truly excellent dinner.
The menu extends way beyond what we have experienced and includes seafood based pasta dishes; fresh fish at fixed price as well as priced by weight; grilled meats and a range of very interesting salads and the prices are comparable with all the other restaurants we have visited which average out around €55 including water, retsina and bread and that is for the four of us NOT per head.
It really has been wonderful being able to mix this new style menu into the equally good and more traditional places that we frequent.
Sorry for the slightly longer post but yesterday was a wonderful day and we felt it was worth sharing.
Today (Tuesday) is our last night on Symi although we do have until the 16:30 ferry tomorrow so as is now the norm, the skies are blue, the sun is coming up and the plan of the day needs discussion over an espresso fredo to kick the brain into gear.
Kalimera.
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Postby Gemma1 » 27 May 2014, 08:28

Don't apologise for the longer post - my eyes lit up when I saw it :) Your trip sounds ideal for me - were they all couples on it or were there any single people? I went to Panormitis on the local bus so you don't get those photo opportunities.

A couple of hours at Marathounda sounds ideal for me too as I'm not really one to spend all day on the beach and it's a bit far to walk back from Marathounda if you've had enough ;) . Sounds like excellent value and it can be my 'new' thing to do on Symi this year as I try to do a new walk or something every year (last trip it was the walk to Toli Bay)

I'm surprised how reasonable your meals have been as usually budget 20 euros for my evening meal and only ever eat fish that's a fixed price, not sold by weight. It just shows that Symi doesn't have to be expensive :)

Enjoy your last day on Symi - and thanks for bringing Symi closer to all of us that have to wait a while for our Symi fix this year ;)
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Postby JuliaB » 27 May 2014, 16:21

Good to see you again, D and E!Have a safe journey home. Now going on to Twitter. Hope there's the selfie of E and the goat! ;)
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Postby Pollychops » 27 May 2014, 21:00

The Symi tours trip sounds like very good value, we have had a look on their website to see if we could pre book but can't read Greek!!! We will send them an email to see as o think this will be snapped up when we are there in July. Tonight's your last night and we are having a bet on where you dine so will look forward to your next post.
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Postby D and E » 28 May 2014, 08:22

Hi Gemma1 : there were singles as well as couples on the trip and after the first photo stop everyone was chatting : after the lunchtime ouzo's and retsina everyone was best friends :-)
Hi JuliaB : hope you found the photo of E and the goat : enjoy your second week.
Hi Pollychops : yes we also and do something new each visit but it took us about 10 years until we ventured to Marathounda on a taxi boat ! - as we say "avrio"
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