Symi trip report - September 2014

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Symi trip report - September 2014

Postby Gemma1 » 06 Oct 2014, 09:15

Symi - September 2014

Caught the 2335 train from Leeds to Manchester Airport and arrived at a deserted Terminal 2 at 1am for the 0650 Germania flight to Rhodes. There were some seats by the Germania check-in desk and I sat down with my kindle while I waited for check-in to open. There were a few others waiting and check in opened shortly before 4am. The flight left on time and it was lovely to see Justine, the Symi Olympic rep on duty at Rhodes airport. We didn’t have to wait long before the transfer coach left the airport and there were only a couple of drop offs before the coach arrived at the port. I left my suitcase in Justine's care and went for a wander round Rhodes old town. Had lunch at Symposium Taverna down one of the side streets – an excellent Greek salad with bread and a small water was 7.5 euros. After a couple of hours wandering round the quaint streets of the old town returned to the port to wait for the Dodekanisos Express from Rhodes to Symi which left at 1900 and took just under an hour. Yialos was very busy when we arrived, partly due to a large cruise ship berthed in the harbour, and traffic was having difficulty in traversing the narrow street. We made our way to the Symi tours mini bus which dropped us off at the bus stop in Horio where we were met by Kevin from the Sunrise who walked us on to Anastasia, collecting our luggage from outside the Horio Hotel enroute. I was allocated studio room 2 which is compact but adequate with a double bed, table and chairs, small wardrobe, fridge and hob and shower room plus the shared balcony/terrace with small table and chairs.

After unpacking I walked on to the Sunrise where dinner was a tasty cheese and onion toasty, accompanied by 3 glasses of wine – total 11 euros. It was lovely to see a few familiar faces and I returned to my studio for a good night’s sleep.

Went to the supermarket to stock up on essentials before setting off down the hill to Pedi. After walking round the bay and a quick look round the new supermarket I walked back to Horio and had a very nice tuna sandwich outside the Sunrise where I was soon joined by several cats.

After lunch walked down the Kali Strata to the harbour which was very busy with day trippers. Treated myself to a slice of chocolate mousse cake from the cake shop (2.2 euros) before climbing back up the Kataraktis where I had to stop several times to catch my breath whilst admiring the view below.

Had a pre-dinner drink at the Sunrise and used the Wi-Fi before going to Georgio's for dinner. Had the stuffed chicken, which was delicious, accompanied by ¼ carafe of wine and a small bottle of water for 13 euros. Returned to the Sunrise for a nightcap.

Walked down the Kali Strata and through the village square before walking up the hill to the cemetery and on the path towards Emborio. There was a picture of a fierce looking guard dog on the gate by the turkey/chicken farm - though I’m not sure the black Labrador with its wagging tail would have scared anybody. I love this walk along the path to the monastery of Agios Georgios Drakoundiotis with its stunning views of Emborio and the coastline. Walked down the path from the monastery to join the road and continued past Maria's taverna as my intention was to walk up to Agios Nikolaos Stenou – a walk that I’ve done several times in the past. However it was a very hot day and there is no shade so I only made it halfway before walking back down the steep path and stopping to recover on the stony beach in the shade of a tree – my fitness levels obviously haven’t improved in the 2 years since I was last on Symi! There was a pleasant breeze on the beach as I admired the view and relaxed in the company of a very pretty dragonfly. The taverna was busy so I walked on and stopped at the Kantina at the next beach for lunch where a very nice Greek salad with bread and a small bottle of water was 5.5 euros. Walked back along the road to Yialos as the Symi train went past and continued on passed Harani boatyard where the Lazy Days is rotting away – very sad. Went back to my favourite cake shop where I bought a slice of delicious cheesecake (2.5 euros) which I ate on the balcony – you’ve got to have something to restore your energy after walking back up the Kali Strata ;-).

That evening I walked down to Yialos with the intention of having dinner at the Dolphin but when I walked past it looked full so walked on to the new Katrianettes where I had tzatziki, moussaka, and a glass of wine and small water for 15 euros. Walked back up the Kali Strata for the second time that day and on to the Sunrise when a small bottle of water was soon followed by 2 glasses of wine as I chatted to some of the regulars.

After breakfast walked up to the Acropolis and in the distance watched the Symi bringing day trippers to the island. Left the Acropolis and wandered round Horio’s back streets for a while before turning left by the big church and eventually joining the main road. Walked slightly uphill to Agina Marina cemetery and continued past the cemetery on the quiet road to the Zoodhochos Pighi monastery where I stopped for a while admiring the view in this peaceful location where there is one of the biggest trees I have ever seen providing shade to the monastery.

Walked down to Horio and had lunch in the harbour (4.5 euros for a turkey sandwich and small water) with the intention of booking on the Symi Tours trip to Vigla, Panormitis and Marathounda on Monday but unfortunately it was cancelled. Returned up the Kali Strata via the cake shop where I treated myself to a delicious Orio chocolate mousse dessert for 2.5 euros – delicious.

Had a pre-dinner drink at The Sunrise followed by dinner at Zoe's – aubergine salad followed by delicious beef stifado with a glass of wine and small bottle of water was 18.5 euros. Returned to the Sunrise for an enjoyable evening listening to George and Marcus.

Set off at 9 to 'climb' the Vigla. Walked through Horio and onto the mule path before emerging onto the main road for a while and then taking another mule path. Joined the main road again before taking a left turn on the concrete track up to the mast on top of the Vigla. The walk took just under 2 hours and the views over the island were stunning – well worth the effort. Coming back I decided to take the scenic route and turned left on the main road before taking another left onto a concrete track at the top of the hill. The track went through the valley passing the church of Ag Ioannis Tsagrias where I stopped to rest in the shade for a while. Continued on through a fragrant pine forest until the track petered out near a small monastery. Set off on a rocky path but couldn't see any markers so decided to turn back rather than run the risk of getting lost on the hillside. Just over halfway back I was offered a lift back to Yialos which I gratefully accepted and had a chicken gyros for lunch in the harbour (2.4 euros) before walking back up the Kali Strata – exhausted!

In the evening I had a very pleasant evening at the Dolphin as I was very kindly invited to a birthday celebration with several Symi regular visitors. We all shared garlic pizza bread and I had tuna pasta for my main. The bill including wine and water worked out at 17 euros each. Caught the 2330 bus back to Horio for final drinks in the Sunrise.

After all the walking yesterday I decided to have a beach day. Walked down to Pedi and then took the rocky coastal path to St Nik's. Sunbeds cost 3 euros here but this is deductible from the cost of your lunch. I had tuna salad with bread and water for 6.5 euros.

Mid-afternoon I walked back to Pedi and had some yogurt and honey in Tolis taverna which cost 4.5 euros.

That evening I met up with some friends to go to the wine night at Symi Dream followed by dinner at the Secret Garden where it was bouziki night. I had the meze which was 13 euros for 6 dishes and half a litre of wine. The dishes consisted of olives, aubergine salad, feta cheese, meatballs, white beans and spicy sausage casserole. Apart from the olives which I don't like it was all really nice and the sausage casserole was delicious.

After breakfast walked up through Horio before taking the mule path with its stunning views over Yialos and Chorio and joining the main road by the Mihail Perivliotis monastery. Turned right along the main road for a while before taking the track close to the army point and then the rocky track down the valley which followed the water pipe for much of the way. Emerged at the back of Yialos and had lunch in the harbour before taking a final walk past Lazy Days in Harani boatyard and up the hill to Evangelismos church. Returned to the harbour and took a slightly different route back to Horio using steps and slopes and passing the school.

Had my final dinner at The Dolphin – tzatziki with bread, lovely chicken pasta in a creamy sauce, a glass of wine and a small bottle of water was 13.5 euros. Had a last wander round the harbour before catching the 10pm bus back to Horio (1.5 euros) for final drinks at the Sunrise.

It was an early start as luggage had to be outside the Village Hotel by 6.45 before walking down the Kali Strata for the final time. Justine the rep was in the harbour with our ferry tickets for the 0745 ferry back to Rhodes. On arrival in Rhodes the transfer coach was waiting to take us to the International Hotel to wait for our 1100 departure to the airport. Had a very pleasant breakfast in Rhodes before getting the transfer coach to the airport. The plane was about half an hour late leaving Rhodes due to a no show whose baggage had to be removed from the plane but apart from that the flight was uneventful and we arrived back in Manchester at 1700.

Another lovely Symi holiday comes to an end.
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Symi trip report - September 2014

Postby D and E » 07 Oct 2014, 11:13

Great blog - thanks Gemma.
Impressed by your walks.
Like you we are on the early ferry tomorrow so a chilled day around Yialos today.
Take care - until next time.
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