Symi Trip September 2016

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Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 23 Sep 2016, 15:48

21/22 September 2016
Flew from Manchester to Rhodes with Small Planet at 1830. The flight left on time and there were several spare seats. I was allocated an aisle seat with extra legroom by the emergency exit.

Arrived in Rhodes to temperatures of 23 degrees – lovely. Overnight accommodation was provided by Olympic Holidays at the Tina Studios in Faliraki. I was allocated a room on the ground floor which was very noisy as my ‘terrace’ looked straight out into the hotel lobby where the staircase was. I was unable to lock the door but as I was only there for a few hours and didn’t have any intention of leaving the room that didn’t really matter. I managed a few hours sleep before the coach pick up at 7am the morning. There were a few pick up en route and we dropped off at Kollona for those travelling to Halki and Tilos before arriving at Akandia at 8am for the 0930 Panagia Skiadeni to Symi. The ferry arrived at 11am and friends were there to greet me in the harbour – what a lovely arrival. Frank from Taxiarcris met the ferry and escorted me to studio 23 at the end of the row with a view of Horio from the terrace.

After unpacking I went to Manelos for the welcome meeting – which was very brief as there were only 3 of us there – followed by a tuna baguette for lunch (4.5 euros). After stocking up on provisions at the supermarket I returned to Taxiarcris for a catch up with M&A followed by a leisurely stroll down to Pedi and back.

After a pre-dinner drink at Lefteris bar in the village, we walked down the Kalistrata to do a bit of shopping in the harbour before dinner at To Spitiko. When M had asked earlier in the day she was told it wouldn't be necessary to book a table but when we arrived all the tables were full. Jordana told us there would be a table ready by 9 so unfortunately we were 'forced' to have another drink in the café bar next door ;) . As we were quite late eating, and had crisps and nuts with our drink, we went straight for the main courses. I had a delicious moussaka for 8.5 euros, the others had grilled meat dishes and kleftico. We shared a carafe of wine and a large bottle of water and had a complimentary dessert of delicious orange cake with brandy - yummy :D The bill including a tip was 60 euros for 4. As there were no taxis to be seen we caught the 11 o clock bus back to Horio and after a hot chocolate and brandy nightcap I was ready for my bed.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby silverfox » 23 Sep 2016, 18:20

Thanks for the much needed Symi fix Gemma!

:)
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 24 Sep 2016, 16:59

Friday 23 September
After a leisurely breakfast on the terrace, I set off on my walk, turning right by the village square and taking a different route down to Yialos following a path and then some crumbling steps that joined the Kali Strata near the bottom. I continued walking through the back streets of Yialos and past the back of the square before taking the steep road up to the cemetery and continuing on the path past the turkey farm to Emborio. I love this walk through the countryside with its beautiful views over the sea. After a brief stop at the monastery, I took the rocky path down the hill which joins the road to Emborio. I continued along the road and stopped at the taverna for lunch of Greek salad which came with rather a thin slice of feta. However as the bill including bread and a small water was only 5 euros I couldn’t complain. After a relaxing lunch by the sea, I continued along the shingle beach and through the gate at the end where I took the rocky path up the cliff to Agios Nikolaos Stenou. I didn’t manage this walk last year as decided it was too hot but there was a pleasant breeze today as I made my way up the hillside on the path which is steep and shingly in places. The 3 goats in the courtyard soon disappeared when I arrived and I stayed for a while admiring the stunning views and the peace and quiet, before walking back down to the beach and continuing on the road to Yialos and up the Kali Strata.

After a pre-dinner drink in Lefteris, dinner was at Sillogus, where we shared an excellent meze of Greek salad, hummus, courgette fritters, meat balls, chicken souvlaki and 2 portions of fried potatoes. The total bill including bread, a litre of wine and a large bottle of water was 55 euros. It was still daylight when we arrived at Sillogus and the views from the outside restaurant are wonderful :D

After dinner drinks at Lefteris with friends brought a lovely day on Symi to an end.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby D and E » 25 Sep 2016, 10:18

Enjoying the Blog
Thanks Gemma1
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 25 Sep 2016, 17:40

Saturday 24/9/16
After a cooked breakfast, courtesy of M, I set off through the village and wandered through the back streets before making my way up to the castle with more wonderful views. After relaxing in the shade I set off again, this time making my way to the road at the top of the village and onwards to Agia Marina cemetery before continuing on the track to the Zoodohou Pigis Vrysi monastery. I stayed a while reading my book in the peace and quiet and enjoying the views of Pedi and Horio, before returning to Horio for a late lunch at Mantelos of a chicken sandwich.

Dinner was at the Windmill where we chose a vegetarian and meat dish each and shared a meze of spicy chickpeas; courgette fritters; briam; giant beans; pork in metaxa (delicious and my favourite); chicken with orange and saffron; spicy beef strips and chilli chicken. We’d wanted lamb for one of the meat dishes but they’d run out hence the two chicken dishes, though 3 meat dishes would have been more than enough as we couldn’t finish it all. Two members of the party wanted dessert and shared a chocolate and orange torte – which we all tried – and it was delicious. The total bill including bread, a large bottle of water, a litre of red and a litre of white wine was 132 euros. The food was excellent and it was a lovely evening with no room for a nightcap.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Val » 25 Sep 2016, 20:42

Loving your blog Gemma. Just had our last evening meal at Miraclese aubergine salad, garlic bread, big beans, moussaka and meatballs with copious amount of retsina, not sure what the bill was. Sad that we won't get chance for a catch up but such is life. We've had a lovely week in Symi staying at Thea Apartments and really enjoyed all our meals at To Spitiko, Tholos and various beaches especially Marathounda. Will be sad to leave Symi and all her water taxis
but looking forward to our stay in Halki. Hope to see you next year when we plan to stay in Pedi for the first week in October. Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Xx
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 26 Sep 2016, 08:10

Really sorry we didn't get chance to meet up Val, not sure that I shall be coming back to Symi next year but it might draw me back again - who knows ;) If I don't bump into you before you leave today I hope you have a good journey home :)
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 26 Sep 2016, 08:11

Sunday 25 September
After breakfast on the terrace we set off down the Kali Strata for our day out on the Poseidon. There were already a lot of people on board when we arrived shortly after 10 and we found some seats before the boat departed at 10.30.

There were a couple of stops for swimming in the clear blue water before we arrived at Sesklo island for lunch and more swimming or walking. I walked up to the tiny church and along the path before returning for an excellent buffet lunch of chicken, Greek salad, potato salad, green beans, big beans, rice, spaghetti, tzatziki and bread, washed down with wine or water and ouzo. I was boring and stuck to water but there was plenty of wine and ouzo for those who wanted it.
On the way back there was another stop at St George’s for more swimming. I’ve never been to St George’s before with its steep cliffs running straight down onto the beach. The beach was completely in shade by the time we arrived but the boat stopped in a sunny spot for those who wanted another swim or just to enjoy the scenery. Complimentary water melon was served on the way back and we arrived back in Yialos around 5pm. If you like boats and swimming this is an excellent day out and good value at 35 euros including the excellent lunch and unlimited amounts of wine and ouzo.

After a drink in the harbour and a visit to the big supermarket I walked back up the Kali Strata and the others went by taxi with the shopping. We had a snack dinner on the terrace of corned beef sandwiches with salad and crisps – and of course wine – followed by an early night after our day at sea.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 27 Sep 2016, 16:40

Monday 26 September
After a bacon sandwich for breakfast, courtesy of M, I set off down the road for Pedi, stopping off at the cemetery en route to pay my respects to a couple of people. On reaching Pedi I took the much improved path to Agios Nikolaos beach. The path is now really straightforward with no rocky bits to negotiate, though there are of course still a lot of steps down to the beach. From leaving Pedi to arriving on the beach at Ag Nik took only 15 minutes. After a couple of hours relaxing on one of the sunbeds close to the sea (3 euros each), I had lunch of tuna salad, bread and a large bottle of water in the taverna for 6.5 euros. I spent another hour relaxing by the sea before walking back to Pedi and meeting up with friends for a drink and then walking up the road to the Secret Garden for a slice of Katja’s delicious apple cake.

After pre-dinner drinks at the Rainbow, we set off down the Kali Strata for dinner at the Dolphin where we shared garlic pizza bread, followed by a large margarita pizza; pollo pasta; funghi pasta and tuna pasta. The total bill including half a litre of white wine, half a litre of red and a large bottle of water was 52 euros. The whole meal was delicious. After a nightcap in the harbour we caught the 11 o clock bus back to Horio.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Eliza » 27 Sep 2016, 20:42

Another great day. I am with you every step of the way Thank you.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby silverfox » 27 Sep 2016, 22:48

Thanks for the update.....love all the blog type posts.

With the news filtering through the post tomorrow may be interesting!

Stay safe to all our Symi friends!
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 28 Sep 2016, 07:04

Tuesday 27/9/16
After breakfast we walked up to the kiosk where the Symi tours mini bus picked us up shortly after 0930 to take us to Toli beach. The mini bus stopped en route at the Taxiarhis Mihail Roukouniotis Monastery where we were given a guided tour. I visited the monastery last year on a different trip but it was well worth another visit to look at the impressive frescoes. After leaving the monastery I walked the final 3km down to Toli beach and the others stayed on the mini bus which was met at the top of the dusty track by the truck from the Daphne Taverna which provided transport for the final leg of the journey.

We spent the day relaxing on Toli beach and I ventured into the sea for a swim, brr the water was cold! It was lovely and peaceful sitting by the water’s edge watching the sea glistening in the sun. We had lunch at the taverna where I had an excellent grilled chicken with a very large chicken breast for 8 euros. Shortly after 4pm the truck made two journeys to take us back up the track where the Symi Tours mini bus was waiting for us.

Our final dinner was a George & Maria’s where we had aubergine salad, cheese balls, courgette fritters, chips and two main courses of beef with mushrooms and metaxa which was delicious, the meat was really tender and tasty. The total bill including bread, half a litre of white wine and half a litre of red plus a bottle of large water was 52 euros.

After dinner we went to Lefteris where we met up with a friend and there was some impromptu Greek dancing from M. It was a lovely last evening on Symi.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 28 Sep 2016, 17:09

Wednesday 28/9/16
After a final breakfast on the terrace I packed up and moved my things into M&A’s room as they very kindly offered to let me use their facilities until I was due to leave at 3. I’d already asked Frank if there was any chance of keeping my room on for a couple of hours but it wasn’t possible as he was expecting more occupants that evening. After leaving my suitcase I had a leisurely walk up to the windmills before walking back down through the back of the square and round the backstreets of Horio and descending the Katarakas to Yialos. Halfway down I met an elderly Greek man carrying what looked to be a very heavy box up the steep slope/steps on his shoulder. A bit further down I passed a mule carrying what appeared to be a couple of doors up to Horio. When I reached the bottom I skirted the back of the square and walked on past the boatyard and up the slope to the church where I stayed for a while reading my book. I descended down the opposite slope and walked back to Yialos where I stopped in the harbour for a chicken gyros and small bottle of water – 3 euros. After a final walk round the harbour I walked back up the lazy steps to Taxiarchis where I had a shower and a change of clothing before the Symi Tours mini bus picked me up at 3pm to take me down to the harbour for the 4pm ferry back to Rhodes.

On arrival in Rhodes we were met by an Olympic coach that took us to the Kassandra hotel where we could use the facilities for 4 hours until it was time to go to the airport.

Another wonderful holiday on Symi comes to an end.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby silverfox » 28 Sep 2016, 18:20

So many thanks Gemma for giving us a Symi fix!

Some of us follow every step.

Can't wait for our visit next June.

:)
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Val » 29 Sep 2016, 09:00

Thanks Gemma for another interesting report. Reading it is like another holiday. Sorry we missed you but enjoyed hearing all about your time on Symi. Was really sad to leave this time even though we have another week on Chalki. Symi somehow draws you in and gets hold of you. Experienced no after effects from the quake on our first evening here and although yesterday was really wild and windy today calm has returned and Chalki looks as lovely as ever. The big boat was in this morning and it was great admiring all the manouvering. One day we'll jump onboard and go to Karpathos. Booked in for a week on Kastellorizo for starters next year and still considering our next stop. Happy travelling Gemma xx
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby D and E » 29 Sep 2016, 17:03

Loved the Blog Gemma & we must be literarily like ships that pass in the night or at least in the afternoon as we were coming in on the Blue Star as we saw your ferry departing.

So now you have passed the baton to us we had better get to work.

Hope you are now home safe & sound.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Adam J » 29 Sep 2016, 22:17

Gemma1 wrote:Wednesday 28/9/16
After leaving my suitcase I had a leisurely walk up to the windmills before walking back down through the back of the square and round the backstreets of Horio and descending the Katarakas to Yialos.


Hi Gemma1. A great trip report and I was just wondering about the Katarakas as I haven't heard it mentioned before. I assume it's another route from Chorio to Yialos rather than taking the Kalistrata?
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Andy W » 30 Sep 2016, 07:01

The Kataraktas is the original staircase leading from Yialos to Chorio. It's steeper, less well maintained (but it is maintained and lit) and isn't lined with buildings - instead there's a ravine to one side which after rain in winter does indeed become a cataract - hence the name.
Less used by locals because nobody lives along it, and while it leads to what was the most densely populated part of Chorio this isn't the case any longer because so much of that part of town was destroyed in the 1944 explosion.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 30 Sep 2016, 07:32

I've always walked up the Kataraktas before, this was the first time I've ever walked down. I've always found it harder to walk up than the Kalistrata because of the lack of shade and the steep slope. As Andy said it's less well maintained than the Kalistrata and I walked down quite cautiously as was concerned I might slip on the cobbles. I think I'll go back to walking up it in future.

I took a photo of the Blue Star as it sailed past D&E - I was really wishing I was on it going back to Symi! I'm looking forward to your blogs. I'm not planning on going back to Symi next year as think it's time for a change but reading your blog again might make me change my mind ;)
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 30 Sep 2016, 07:43

Sorry, I think I should have reduced the photo or something before posting it - all I can see is the sea!
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Allan » 30 Sep 2016, 08:32

Gemma1 wrote:Sorry, I think I should have reduced the photo or something before posting it - all I can see is the sea!

I've resized it for you. Now we can almost see D&E waving to us! :D
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 01 Oct 2016, 09:51

Allan wrote:
Gemma1 wrote:Sorry, I think I should have reduced the photo or something before posting it - all I can see is the sea!

I've resized it for you. Now we can almost see D&E waving to us! :D


Thank you Allan :D
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby D and E » 02 Oct 2016, 08:09

Well done Allan & Gemma :D
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Val » 02 Oct 2016, 08:16

Brilliant picture of the Blue Star Gemma. Can I use it sometime on my Facebook page? Love the Kataractis but agree wholeheartedly about the cobbles. Great view of it from Irini when we stayed there once.
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Re: Symi Trip September 2016

Postby Gemma1 » 02 Oct 2016, 10:07

Val wrote:Brilliant picture of the Blue Star Gemma. Can I use it sometime on my Facebook page? Love the Kataractis but agree wholeheartedly about the cobbles. Great view of it from Irini when we stayed there once.


Of course you can Val.

I stayed at the Irini on my first two visits to Symi - great views but a lot of steps to cope with on the way home at night ;)
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