Bring On The Stifado

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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby Gemma1 » 13 Oct 2015, 07:23

Those grilled vegetables you had for lunch sound delicious. I confess I have never been to Nos beach as prefer a longer walk and a quieter beach but sounds like it might be worth a lunch stop ;)

I don't understand why Olympic don't use the Blue Star every week at only 8 euros for the crossing, though perhaps they get a good discount on the Panagia Skiadeni as they use it all the time. 8.15 is a much more civilised time to travel :)
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 13 Oct 2015, 07:33

Tuesday morning and our last full day on Symi as we are booked on the 08:15 Blue Star to Rodos tomorrow where we have booked a room for day use at the Best Western Plaza as our EasyJet flight is not until 21:10 tomorrow evening. So plenty of time to wander around the Old Town and even get our usual visit to Socrates Garden :D

Yesterday's "weather" didn't come to anything but we were woken during last night with very heavy rain. This has cleared the air somewhat and at 09:00 this morning we have full sun and blue skies and a huge cruise ship - Europa2 (always bring binoculars !) approaching - maybe one of those that has to stay out in the bay off Nos and ship passengers in by tender - we will see.

Yesterday we went to our usual frappe stop just to ensure the weather did not return. It was very humid and no sign of a breeze anywhere. Three day boats came in. We had a wander around the shops and a beer stop in the Corner Bar - no more draught until next year :shock: and then to Elpida's for a cheese & ham omelette for lunch. The weather had come to nothing so we went back to the apartment to pick up our swimming stuff and went down onto Nos beach where we got the grand discount of €1 off the two sunbeds which should have cost €3 each but we got the two for €5 as it was close to 2:30pm :D As the sun started to go down around 4:30pm the need for hard hat and hi-viz started with Dimitri and the boys rebuilding the beach :D

And so to Elpida's for ouzo and retsina and a chat with Captain Yannis of the Posseidon. Then to Odyssia for our last but one dinner. We shared the stuffed squid, the presentation of which was commented upon by an adjoining table (pic up next), which was once again first class. A perfectly balanced stuffing of blue cheese that did not overpower the squid. A top dish. We followed this with soutzoukakia (E) and the amberjack fish (D) which comes with a superb potato salad with capers. This is the second time we have had these dishes and both times they have been executed perfectly - a five star Trip Advisor Review will be well deserved. A complimentary sweet of semolina cake with cinnamon and topped with sesame seeds was excellent. With Catholica once again providing the retsina the bill came to €50. So often fish on Symi is sold by weight, although the likes of Meraklis has a fixed price silver bream at €13, so it is good that Manolis is providing a very good portion of amberjack (magiatiko in Greek) at €17 and has other fixed price fish dishes. After a chat with Angeliki it was home to bed.

PS. The tenders are starting to ship passengers from the liner to Yialos.
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 13 Oct 2015, 07:50

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The Stuffed Squid at Odyssia
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 13 Oct 2015, 07:59

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This Morning's Cruise Liner
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 13 Oct 2015, 08:06

Hi Gemma - an idea would be to walk from Yialos up to the cemetery and over the top by St George's church and then head back in via Nos - a mere stroll for you ;) As you say the beach can get very busy - with visitors and "building works" :D but the restaurant is worth a visit. For all the years we have been coming the people from the famous Mylopetra restaurant have gone to Nos for their lunch - every day !!
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 16 Oct 2015, 12:05

It's Friday and we are back in Mid Wales, it is overcast and was 8C when D popped up to the local farm for fresh eggs this morning.

This string left readers on Symi on Tuesday morning, our last full day on Symi. We decided to start the day the frappe way as usual and as that took us to between buses we were decadent (lazy) and took a taxi to Pedi (€5) getting off at the petrol station so we could walk past the boat builders. We always love to see the boats still being built by hand. We then had a Mythos at Katsaras, read our books on sun beds (correction - €3 each; it was the Fix that was expensive in an earlier post), swam, had a cheese pie lunch from the kiosk and took the 15:30 bus back over to Gialos. We were called into the Corner Cafe for a farewell drink with the family and then waved our farewells to Takis and Vasilis in the Stella Bar who were both busy. Back to Margarita's to pack, shower and head out for our final aperitifs at Elpida's. The first ouzo and retsina came with olives, cheese and tomato with a balsamic drizzle; the next with what we think was Burek (feta, egg and filo pie); and the third with octopus and pasta. D is going to see if his local real ale pub - the Ship & Castle in Aberystwyth can match that :o

E went next door to Anna's to buy some final bits and pieces as we had made room in our luggage by donating a fair amount of what we took over to the refugee cause. We often find some great Christmas gifts and of course added to D's growing collection of ceramic tealight houses - our fireplace is starting to look like a small part of Symi. As we left Elpida's her son, who runs the place in the evening, came running after us with a small plastic bag - "for winter" in which he had put some honey and a variety of nougat. It was a lovely farewell gift.

The toss of a euro put Tholos ahead of Odyssia for our final dinner - we really could hardly split them. Since the day before, Manolis, Catholica and Angeliki had made sure that we would remember to say a proper farewell so as we walked by Manolis "invited" us in, sat down and we had a last ouzo with them. Our neighbours from Margarita's, T&J, were there so we all had a chat before we finally reached Tholos. Without even saying what we would have the grilled prawns were written down as they had become our recognised starter of choice. E had the grilled aubergine with mince and cheese and D had the soutzoukakia with pasta. All repeat dishes that we had been so looking forward to and were not disappointed. A complimentary sweet of chocolate ice cream on a semolina and sesame cake saw us being the last people in the restaurant. The retsina once again turned out to be on the house and with tip the bill came to €45. This is truly amazing value for amazing food and even though we normally stay "up" in May we can never see a future visit to Symi that does not include Tholos.

D has a lot of Trip Advisor to catch up on !!!

Next morning Margarita insisted on taking us round to the clock tower to catch the Blue Star which was only slightly late. There was a great deal of activity with many visitors leaving but also many Symiots heading over to Rhodes. This is a much more civilised time to leave the island and what a nice boat. We have often thought about flying to Athens, seeing Athens and then getting the Blue Star to Symi and this is now going to be turned into a firm plan for 2016. We got into Akantia Harbour and there were plenty of taxis just beyond the gate and E grabbed one. We shared the taxi with our neighbours from the apartment who had also taken a room for the day at the Best Western Plaza. We agreed to share another taxi to the airport at 18:30 so agree to rendezvous in the hotel bar at 18:15.

We headed to the Old Town for a beer in Socratous Garden which is a green oasis right in the middle of the busy shopping area which we always try and visit. Then we just try and lose ourselves in the small back streets taking whatever turn we fancy. This time it took us to a very small cafeinion called Angela's Castle where "Angela", we presume, did not speak a word of English. But this tiny old property on a corner of goodness knows where looked so quirky we had to go in and have a small Alpha. If you do come upon this place go in. We then had a small beer in the Yatcht Club which is another confirmed stop.

Having found an interesting part of the town adjacent to the Best Western when we stayed there on the journey over we thought we might try that area for lunch and we were not disappointed. We found a restaurant with quite a small frontage but then discovered it is much bigger than it seems. It is called Koykos and we regard it as a major find. A lunch of the "Restina with 5 small plates" was a 1/2 kilo of Cair with a mezes of beans gigantes in light tomato sauce; slow cooked pork in a rich tomato sauce; feta mashed up with spices to make a dip; tuna with sweet corn and pasta; spiced potatoes and a small portion of bread which cost only €11. We added a Greek salad and a portion of pita bread and with tip we paid €20. These small plates are small but as a lunch for two we found them adequate. This is another candidate for Trip Advisor.

Back to the Best Western where we had taken a room for the day (check out 18:00) for €40. This allowed us to have a nap and although the plan was then to have a swim in the pool we ran out of time and just had a shower and then an ouzo in the bar at the appointed rendezvous time, where we bumped into Toby of SymiDream fame who was seeing his nephew off, and also our Welsh friends who were on the same flight. We then headed out to the airport. A very slick check-in, security and boarding routine with easyJet saw us take off 20 minutes ahead of schedule and on the ground in Liverpool at 11:20, some 25 minutes ahead off schedule. Not wishing to make the 3 hour journey home to Mid Wales at that time of night we were booked (room and adjacent parking for 15 nights with Holiday Extras for £117) into the Hampton by Hilton which is 100 meters from the Terminal Buildings. After a very acceptable buffet breakfast we left Liverpool Airport at 08:30 and were home by 11:30.

Cases emptied, washing machine running and Greyam the cat collected from the Cattery during the afternoon and another wonderful Symi adventure ends and planning for next year commences.

We count our blessings that we found Symi and that we are able to visit as often as we do. Somehow life would not be the same without Symi and the wonderful people who make us so welcome each time we visit.

Efheristo para boli Symi.
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 16 Oct 2015, 12:16

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Mezes at Elpida's - the best
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 16 Oct 2015, 12:17

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Last Morning
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 16 Oct 2015, 12:18

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Lunch at Koykos
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 16 Oct 2015, 12:19

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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby Pollychops » 16 Oct 2015, 14:26

Hi D&E, thank you for putting on your travels yet again, I thought it was fantastic following you both during your holiday, as always the way you write makes it feel that I am there sharing the experience with you. Certainly Tholos and Odyssia are our best choice of eating places. I am glad you arrived home safely and look forward to next May. Thank you.
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby Val » 16 Oct 2015, 15:26

I echo all Pollychops comments and have always looked forward to your daily blog from Symi.
However, this year for me it has taken on a greater significance. With my son in hospital with serious head injuries and other major injuries as a result of an accident life has been pretty grim over the past two weeks. Your blog has kept me going and my spirits up. There has been little time for any relaxation but believe me I have so looked forward to each episode of your splendid journal.

Happily this week my son has turned the corner and each day has brought a massive improvement in his condition. I cannot praise too highly the staff at Newcastle RVI and the wonderful Northumberland Air Ambulance Team and Paramedics who saved his life, but you too are due a huge thank you for helping me through and keeping me sane. We are already booked in for Symi next September so I hope our paths cross and I get to thank you into person. What's more you have such a talent for writing you really should pursue it. Each episode has got better and better just like the delicious food you describe. Thank You D & E. X
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby Allan » 16 Oct 2015, 19:33

And I echo all the complimentary comments. In fact I'd like to thank all the members here who have taken the time to post reports of their Symi holidays. Holiday reports/blogs are by far the most popular topics on the forum and as well as being entertaining reading, I've tried different eating places as a result of the recommendations.

These reports are so popular with forum users I intend to create another category in the archive just for them. I'll get on with that in the next few days and move this topic to the archive in a little while once people have finished replying.


Val: I'm so sorry to hear your awful news, I can't imagine how hard it must be for you just now. It's good to know your son is making progress and I hope it continues.

My thoughts are with you.
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby sootyandsweep » 16 Oct 2015, 22:30

I also hope Val your son continues to make good progress and to D&E - i will so miss your blogs. Bet Greyham was pleased to see you!!!! 8-)
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby Gemma1 » 17 Oct 2015, 08:54

I have loved your blog and am so sorry that your holiday has come to an end. I've never eaten at Tholos, a week on Symi often turns into only 6 nights with 6 tavernas, but am definitely putting it on the agenda for next year :D

Val, I'm so glad that your son is recovering and hope he continues to recover and is back home with his family before long x

As another Symi season comes to an end thanks to Allan for his great photos and looking after the webcam, Adriana for her great blog and everybody who posts reports and photos for making this such a great site :D
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby silverfox » 17 Oct 2015, 15:10

What a superb blog with all of us just wishing we were on Symi enjoying those days with you.

Many thanks for your time and efforts and all that pain eating and drinking so much! :)

If (when) we go next I will do another blog too!

:D
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby D and E » 19 Oct 2015, 06:58

Many, many thanks for all the lovely comments and especially to Val whose last comment touched our hearts - so very happy to read that your son is on the mend - it would be so nice if our paths did cross on Symi.

Today is the first day back at work after 3 weeks so had better make a move :(
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby silverfox » 21 Oct 2015, 19:19

Just booked for next year so I will bore you all with another blog not quite as good as this one! We just can't eat that much! ;)

First time we've ever returned to a holiday destination!

:D
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Re: Bring On The Stifado

Postby Allan » 22 Oct 2015, 19:10

I'm pleased you have booked for Symi again Silverfox.
I was sure you would enjoy it but you did say you'd visited a lot of Greek islands and never gone back to the same one twice so I expected it might be the same with Symi. It's good to know the Symi Bug has bitten you as hard as the rest of us. :)
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