May Mythos & Mezes

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May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 13 May 2016, 09:30

Back by "popular demand" well Gemma1 actually :D here is our blog for this year's May visit. Hope I have remembered how to size the photos. As ever the spelling will be as quirky as one sees on the menus in Greece. Here goes -

Tuesday Day 1

The day started at 06:00 with D packing. E being the sensible one had packed the day before. GreyamCat was then persuaded into his cat box and transported to his holiday accommodation for the next two weeks and on this occasion was remarkably calm about the whole adventure.
We finally got on the road at 09:30 only to have to turn back when a conversation highlighted that a very important item was missing. Thankfully we had not travelled too far. So starting out again we got to our first stopping place - Cardiff - by 13:00.
The stop in Cardiff, as well as affording us the opportunity for lunch in Yo Sushi, was necessary for D to buy a new pair of Teva sandals as he forgotten that he had left his old pair along with numerous other bits and pieces of Symi clothing for the refugees last October. After a very pleasant lunch of healthy tuna, salmon and beef teriyaki we were back on the M4 by 14:30.
Traffic was light but the rain was never far away and we experienced numerous cloud bursts that slowed us down. Wanting to avoid the M25 we headed off at J13 and cut across country going over the Hills of Surrey through some wonderful villages and countryside and by this time the sun had come out.
We reached Gatwick at 19:00 and checked into the very busy Sofitel where we always try and stay due to its proximity to the terminal building, it's cocktail bar and it's wonderful Brasserie. As Olympic had moved us from the 09:00 Germania flight onto the 05:30 EasyJet we were able to check our bags in at 20:00.
To be fair to Olympic they did offer us two alternative flights - either the early EasyJet or an afternoon Thomson flight. Wanting to give ourselves every chance of getting to Symi on the afternoon ferry and not minding early mornings we chose EasyJet.
After checking the bags in through the automated bag drop terminals - excellent use of technology and so simple, yet another example of the human being taken out of the equation - we had a couple of cocktails and then dinner in the Brasserie. The cooking here remains top notch.
D started with a trio of crab, lobster and prawns whilst E had sea trout. D then had the blackened cod in a lobster bisque on a bed of sea asparagus which could not have been better. E had chicken supreme in a peppercorn sauce. To end we shared the lightest of cheesecakes which had a ginger base, creme fraiche and fresh raspberries and blackberries that came with an amazing apple sorbet. And to mark yet another holiday to Symi we drank a half bottle of the most superb champagne - Ruinart.
And so a long day ended at 22:30
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The Trio of Crab Prawn and Lobster
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 13 May 2016, 12:56

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Bourataki
Wednesday - Day 2
So it was an early start with the alarm showing 03:45. Checked out of the hotel, through busy but very slick security and we were sitting having coffee by 04:30. Flight was called and we were in the air bang on 05:30. Usual good service from EasyJet and with a tail wind we were in Rhodes some 3hours 30 minutes later.
Bags reclaimed, with the traditional Mythos from the vending machine, and on the Olympic minibus to Akantia. We were dropped at a small taverna that we had been to before - just opposite the entrance to the port - where our bags were stored. We had about an hour and half before embarkation so decided just to remain there and have an ouzo and retsina with some lovely olives. We got chatting to fellow travellers as you do and P&J, who were first timers to Symi, were very gracious listening to us bang on about our idyllic destination. The Olympic Rep on Rhodes provided us with the ferry tickets for the 15:00 sailing of the Blue Star but there is still no Symi Rep so she did not travel over. A very pleasant journey over with P&J and of course the obligatory group selfie up on deck as we rounded the headland and glimpsed Yialos in all its splendour - we were "home".
Symi Tours are still taking care of the transfers on Symi so a guy with an Olympic board is there to greet and then it's onto to the minibus and dropped near the accommodation. We are back in Anastasia's and she was there waiting for us with the usual warm welcome.
Unpacked and in Yianni's Rainbow Bar by 19:00.
As people of tradition (some might describe us as boring) we headed to Giorgio's which is always our first night choice when staying "up". A Mezes of very garlicky tzatziki, green beans cooked in a wonderfully light tomato sauce, the lightest of meatballs, beef cooked in Metaxa and of course, one of our favourites, the bourataki accompanied by the usual half kilo retsina and a large bottle of water came to €40 with tip so things haven't changed.
So another long day came to an end.
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 13 May 2016, 13:17

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The Custom House
The Customs House
Thursday - Day 3

Our first full day on Symi and we started late having caught up on some much needed sleep. So first task of the day was to get some provisions in from the supermarket - we always use the one between the Windmills and Giorgio's. All the usual things bought and brought back to the apartment we headed back out and down the Kali Strata where Maria was catching the early season visitors with her dried herbs.
If in Yialos it has to be a frappe stop in Cafe Aigialos - this is a daily routine. It also has wifi as most of the cafe bars have so emails checked and deleted, couple of Tweets sent and the day boats arrive and the usual hustle and bustle commences. We have a wonder around just to make sure there have been no monumental changes and get to another favourite beer stop - the Corner Bar where we see the destruction of the Customs Office which was set on fire overnight when a car parked outside burst into flames. We share a very well made cheese and ham omelette for lunch before continuing our "tour" with visits to Debbie on the square (trousers acquired for E that will be altered by the next day - that's service for you); get money from the ATM; and go round as far as Harani boat yard. All the usual restaurants and cafe bars are open and doing a reasonable trade for this time of the year.
On the return we take the route that takes you past the Dorian and the old Post Office and head for Elpida's for a final beer stop before heading up the Kali Strata and home.
Changed and in Yiannis for ouzo and retsina before our first visit to Lefteris in Zylygos. We expect menus to be limited at this time of year as things are just starting to pick up but we were not disappointed to find that his "signature" dishes were available. The imam (baked aubergine topped with the sweetest of onions) is one such dish and was beautifully cooked. We accompanied this with tuna salad and then for mains we had Symi lamb with lemon potatoes and the chicken with prunes. Both dishes melted in the mouth. A complimentary refreshing watermelon was a fine end to our meal. We did sit out even though the wind was freshening. As we walked home around 22:30 the wind was picking up and became quite strong overnight.
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby Eliza » 13 May 2016, 14:14

Welcome home I look forward to your blog.
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby silverfox » 13 May 2016, 15:01

So happy to have your blog to look forward to everyday!

Shame about the fire!

Looking forward to our first night in Giorgio's too!

Just waiting to taste the bourataki.

:)
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby Gemma1 » 14 May 2016, 08:49

Brilliant start and a great start to my weekend - with my first trip of the year to Greece 3 weeks away yet :D Given the choice, I would have gone for the morning flight too - seeing as you were already at the airport. Sounds as though everything went smoothly - even without a rep on Symi. Really looking forward to the next instalment :)
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 14 May 2016, 12:02

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Mains in Zoe's
Friday - Day 4

The wind that we mentioned in the last post turned into quite a gale overnight and we woke to find it still blowing and our outside chairs at the end of the terrace. D went off on his first bread run of the holiday. When "up" he goes to the baker between Lefteris and Zoe's - a small bread is 60 cents and is warm out of the oven - beautiful.
After the usual breakfast of yoghurt & honey, followed by fresh bread with cheese and ham, the weather decided that we would go for a walk so heading down the "School Steps" we stopped for our usual frappe in Cafe Aigialos and added some freshly squeezed orange juice. We then headed through the square past Iapetos and up the hill, past the cemetery and over the hill past the church. We then decided to keep Nimborio for another day and so turned right and headed back towards Nos but then cutting over and through the church to Hanari.
TzaTi was open for business so we could not resist stopping for a lunch of bruschetta with feta, fresh oregano and succulent tomatoes accompanied by the meat plate of salami, smoked ham, Parma ham and olives. This remains D's favourite lunch venue.
The wind had prevented Poseidon going out and the taxi boats, whilst being in the water, are still not operating.
The wind continued to blow until about 16:00.
After TzaTi we had an ouzo stop at Elpida's and then D popped into Cafe Alegrito whilst E was collecting her trousers and buying some baclava from Patiserie Nicolas.
Cafe Alegrito does a lovely Mezes with your ouzo - cucumber and smoked sausage on this occasion.
We then walked up the Kali and home before getting changed and heading to Yiannis before Zoe's for dinner thus completing the trio as there is no sign of life at The Windmills as yet.
To start in Zoe's we had the feta stuffed peppers and dolmades with tzatziki. Both excellent. We followed this with Mousaka and Saganaki Prawns. Four large prawns in a beautiful sauce of tomato, feta, onion and ouzo. The prawns are straight from the BBQ and after stripping them from their shells are as sweet and meaty as one could wish for.
After complimentary apple and cinnamon sponge and small carafe of retsina we caught up on all the news before heading home to bed with the "promise" of a possibility of rain the next day :o
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby silverfox » 14 May 2016, 19:15

mmm prawn Saganaki :)

We have a great recipe if anyone is interested.

It still tastes better on Symi though! :)
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby JuliaB » 17 May 2016, 09:40

Hi D&E - Your blog has reminded us how much we miss Symi. I think we can taste every mouthful of your meals and are definitely there in spirit! Hopefully in September . . . Meanwhile we're swapping Mythos for Peroni and are off to Italy next week, based in Sorrento and visiting Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast - one of those 'must do's' that we haven't done to date!
Have a great time!
Mike & Julia
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 09:46

Sorry for the delay in posting but as you will read we have had some very unseasonal weather which prevented us getting to our favourite wifi frappe stop but normal service is resumed with three posts today plus some photos -

Saturday - Day 5

The much promised rain became a reality. It should not have been a surprise to us as Yanni has had his plastic chairs out since we arrived - as many of us know this is the best weather forecasting system on the island.
The wind had died down when D went out for an early morning walk to Pedi, returning via the bakery, but by around 10:00 the first few raindrops appeared and within about 10 minutes we had a full on downpour. We remained indoors until about 11:00 when there was a lull so we headed down a deserted Kali Strata and made it to Cafe Aigialos for our morning frappe relatively dry.
We were on a bit of a mission for our neighbour GJ who has a friend arriving next Wednesday and staying in an apartment we stayed in years ago so just to remind ourselves of directions we tested our memories and didn't find them wanting. So we will be able to provide GJ with a map that we hope he will understand.
The clouds over the Vigla were coming and going so we decided that we would have a light lunch and head back to the apartment. We had stopped in Elpida's for a beer / frappe and thought we would order the small Mezes plate off her newly produced menu and we were not disappointed. We shared a €5 plate of olives, herby cheese, bread, tomatoes with balsamic and warm stewed courgette, and with a quarter kilo carafe of retsina, this was perfection as we watched the day trippers disembark from the Nicolas. Over lunch we did get a respite from the rain and in fact the sun did peep through occasionally.
After lunch we walked back up the School Steps, turning right half way up, taking us back onto the Kali Strata. Home just in time before another major downpour hit. The rain lasted well into the evening but we threw on our showerproofs and caps and for the first time in a long time had our ouzo / retsina indoors in Yannis where many of the locals were taking shelter.
We had intended heading down to Trata for dinner but the weather dictated a second visit to Giorgio's which was doing quite well with a very large party of walkers giving the place a real buzz.
We ordered a Mezes of that beautifully garlicky tzatziki; a real favourite of artichokes braised with carrot, potato and fennel; garlic mushrooms that are just that - simply cooked and all the better for it; a barbecued pork chop and peppers stuffed with feta. We still regret that we can no longer be shown round Giorgio's kitchen which was always a great pleasure but the cooking here remains standout.
With the wind still blowing but no rain we walked the short distance back to the apartment resisting the lure of the Eurovision Song Contest emanating from the bars that we passed.
The locals are forecasting similar weather for Sunday but with a promise of wall to wall sunshine thereafter.
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Yannis Chairs
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 09:50

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Elpida's Mezes Lunch
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 09:57

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The Souvlaki of the Future in Pedi
Sunday - Day 6

The locals weren't wrong about the weather. Sunday started overcast with spots of rain hardly worthy of mention. For a change we headed to the Olive Tree for breakfast where Janine made us perfectly poached golden yoked eggs on toast with what could be the best cup of coffee on the island. We were given two A4 sheets with walking guides very clearly set out - one for Pedi returning through the valley and the other on how to find the Donkey Track up above the village.
Back to the apartment and the sun poked its head out as we were getting the daily news from Anastasia. E did a bit of clothes washing before we headed out on the new (for us) Pedi walk.
We went down the usual main road and around by the boat builders. The new apartments opposite look like they may be ready soon - that is if someone is still working on them. We headed along past the new jetty all the way to where the path turns stoney and heads towards Ag. Marina. There are some lovely apartments at this end of Pedi and we vow that one of these days we will stay there.
We return and have a beer / frappe stop at Katsaras out on the jetty and as we finish the first few drops of rain start again. We head back via the new route provided by Janine at the Olive Tree and her excellent directions bring us out opposite the chapel that is further up the road from the relatively new desalination plant. By now it is raining steadily.
We return to our apartment in time to see the rain increase and remain on almost constantly for the rest of the day. This provided an opportunity for us to get stuck into our holiday books : D is reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and E is reading the latest in the 44 Scotland Street series - Bertie's Guide to Life & Mothers by Alexander McCall Smith.
There was no way we were going to let rain stop play and interfere with our 100% attendance record at Yannis Rainbow Bar so after "fording" the Kali Strata we joined the locals inside Yannis for a second night before heading to Zyllygos for a second visit. There we meet a Welsh couple who always come at this time of the year and catch up on their news.
For dinner we started with feta fried in a sesame crust which was a perfect partner for the sweet boiled beetroot. E had the chicken with prunes on this occasion whilst D had goat braised in a light tomato sauce. Half way through the meal everyone popped outside to see the fireworks that were marking a wedding - the festivities being held in Giorgio's.
And the rain had gone off.
The general consensus was that Monday would be a fine day and as we walked back to the apartment the moon and stars could be seen as the last of the clouds headed out to sea.
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 09:58

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Fishing Boat in Pedi
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 10:01

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Recycling yesterday's bread on Pedi Walk
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 10:06

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One of many beautiful houses on Symi
Monday - Day 7

We woke up to the prefect Symi blue sky over the Vigla and there was general cheerfulness as D passed all the schoolchildren going to the school just below Zoe's on his way to the bakery. After breakfast we headed down the Pedi Road and after a carry-out frappe from the supermarket on the corner we jump on George's boat for St.Nicolas. We are told that the taverna at Ag.Marina is not open yet. The path to St.Nicks is much improved but we have never missed a "George" yet.
We get our favourite sunbeds and at this time of the year they cost €3 each. It seems it is only later in the season that beds become free if you eat in the taverna.
Of course we ate in the taverna and it being so early in the season it was a "fixed menu" of tzaziki, omelette and Greek salad.
The sea was lovely after the initial "May effect" that is only to be expected.
We returned with George at 16:00, walked back up the Pedi Road and decided to head down - via Yannis of course. P&J stopped on their way down the Kali so we caught up on their news before we headed down to Alegrito where a table of known faces greeted us. There is a new ATM on this side of the harbour between the jeweller and the pharmacy but D, being a creature of habit, popped over to the Alpha Bank.
We then had dinner in Trata where we shared some of our old favourites - horta, liver, stuffed mushrooms and Mousaka. The cooking here has never been anything less than traditionally excellent which was proven by nearly every table being taken by 21:30. We bumped into S&E, a couple whom we had met two nights earlier in Giorgio's, so had a pleasant half hour chatting to them.
With the last bus currently being at 21:00 and taxis being scarce we hiked back up the Kali - another perfect day ends on Symi.
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 10:08

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Imam at Zyllygos
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 17 May 2016, 10:12

JuliaB wrote:Hi D&E - Your blog has reminded us how much we miss Symi. I think we can taste every mouthful of your meals and are definitely there in spirit! Hopefully in September . . . Meanwhile we're swapping Mythos for Peroni and are off to Italy next week, based in Sorrento and visiting Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast - one of those 'must do's' that we haven't done to date!
Have a great time!
Mike & Julia


Hi M&J
Peroni on the Amalfi Coast - now there's tempting.
Have a great time.
We have still to sort dates for the Sept / Oct Symi Visit so one never knows.
Take care,
D&E
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby silverfox » 17 May 2016, 19:53

The Elpida'a Meze looks very tempting! :)
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby Gemma1 » 18 May 2016, 07:36

Another great read - 3 episodes in one :D I had to pay 3 euros for a sunbed at St Nik's in September - the first time I've had to pay when eating at the taverna. Maybe free sunbeds there are now a thing of the past, though 3 euros won't break the bank ;) .

Glad the rain has stopped and hope you have wall to wall sunshine for the rest of your stay :D
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 18 May 2016, 09:17

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Zoe's Silver Bream
Tuesday - Day 8

Where has the time gone. The first week is almost at an end !
We woke up to blue skies again and the temperature is 28C and the humidity has dropped from mid 60s % to 44% (D and his gadgets !!!).
By the time we had a leisurely breakfast, wrote up yesterday's notes and resized some photos for the blog it was 11:00 so time to head down the School Steps for our usual frappe stop. As we do we encounter the arrival of Symi Dream and the day trippers are being assembled into their groups. We battle through the throng.
Over frappe the backlog of posts and photos get posted and the usual plethora of email deleted. Our aim is for Nimborio - try, try and try again.
The taxi boats are still not operating from Yialos. The sign is up outside Symi Tours offering bus trips to Panormitis / Marathounda and to Tolis but when we enquire within we find that this is pre-advertising as the tavernas are not open yet - maybe during our second week.
So we start heading to Nimborio and stop to catch up with Manolis & Angeliki at Odyssia - things are quiet. We then decide to have a beer stop and share a toastie at Nos where "building works" continue. There were no more than 10 people on the beach. By now it was 14:00 so we continued to set out towards Nimborio but by the time we reached the left turning that brings you back to Yialos over by the church we decided to do that. And coming over the top we took the turning opposite the cemetery and past the "zoo" where there are some exotic ducks, some deer, horses and a swan. We were then able to just follow gravity down the maze of steps and come out in the town square beside the plant shop.
We then popped into the Corner Cafe for a chat with "the lads" before heading back up the Kali Strata and a supermarket run to replenish the essentials.
Back out to Yiannis and then to Zoe's where we had the lightest courgette balls and tuna salad to start. E had chicken souvlaki and D had the silver bream which was barbecued and presented beautifully with potatoes, carrots, peppers, onions, garlic and was an absolutely steal at only €18. The dish is now fixed price unlike many restaurants where fish is sold by weight.
And so it was almost 11:30 when we returned to the apartment - quite late for D&E.
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 18 May 2016, 09:20

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Nimborio Not Quite
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby Val » 18 May 2016, 10:18

Enjoying all the detail you are giving us D&E and thankfully you now have the perfect weather for your stay. It's so good to read your updates and drool over all these plates of food you are showing us. Seems like It's getting harder to make a living on Symi and maybe we should all expect to pay a bit more for our stay these days.

Love your photo of 'Nimborio not quite', that view is beautiful and it looks so green after all the rain. I believe statistically the islands have three days of rain in May so seems like you copped for them this year. Happened to us once when we were walking in Eastern Crete and I had forgotten my waterproofs so we called in an open all hours shop for a pacamac (remember them?). The owner almost dismantled the shop in his search for the right size,colour etc. What service. We spent an hilarious hour in there. And when we emerged triumphant with a black raincoat which made me look like the gestapo.....of course....the rain had stopped.

Such memories make our holidays what they are. Worth their weight in gold. What lovely people the Greeks are and how lucky we all are to have found Symi and her friendly and welcoming people. Have a great stay.

Incidentally for those who may remember that my son received horrific injuries in an accident last September, he is now back at work part time and back on his bike working hard to regain his previous level of fitness. Miracles do happen and we count our blessings every day.
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby silverfox » 18 May 2016, 18:43

Great news on your son Val.

Yes we should count our blessings and enjoy our time like D&E are doing so well.

I think Liz will be having at least a few plates of Bream on our trip.

:)
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby Gemma1 » 19 May 2016, 06:46

Great news about Neil Val, it's great news that he's doing so well :D

Hope you make it all the way to Nimborio before the end of your holiday D&E ;)
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Re: May Mythos & Mezes

Postby D and E » 19 May 2016, 09:50

Wednesday - Day 8

After a bread run and breakfast we headed down the School Steps for the usual frappe / wifi stop. Some major electrical rewiring is going on so there is quite a bit of activity by the taxi rank. Also Irini's ticket desk is being re-assembled so the daily taxi boats may well be operating before we leave. A visit to the ATM at the Alpha Bank and a wander round the square and we head for the bus - our first time this holiday but just to save some time - still €1.5 each. We get off at the windmills and come through the back lanes to our apartment, pick up our swimming stuff and head down to Pedi through the route that takes you behind the football ground.
Pedi is quiet - about 10 people on the sunbeds which are now being charged at €4 each. The very pleasant guy fetches us a frappe and we have this with a pie from the supermarket.
The water is refreshing and after a swim and a few chapters of our books we head back up the Pedi road.
In Yannis by 18:30 where we spend a very pleasant time catching up with P&J. They head down and we head for Zylygos again. There are only the two of us in the restaurant. The wind has picked up again so we decide to sit inside. We have the imam for the second time but accompany this with superb grilled prawns. We then share plates of goat and beautifully cooked liver. A complimentary coconut cake and we head home by 22:30.
A very simple and enjoyable day on Symi ends.
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