Sublime Symi in September

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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby Gemma1 » 27 Sep 2017, 05:33

A great blog as always, thank you for sharing your Symi holiday and wonderful dining experiences with us all. Hope you have a safe journey home and I look forward to reading the rest of your report when you are back in Wales :-)
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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby D and E » 29 Sep 2017, 19:31

Wednesday / Thursday (The Journey Home & Reflections)

The fish soup D had in Zoe’s on the last night is particularly worthy of mention as it was first class. Full of boneless fish and very flavoursome.

Up at 6am on the Wednesday and packed the final bits and pieces before lugging the cases down the Secret Garden steps - unbeknown to us some of the more savvy visitors had called Fotini the Olympic Rep and arranged to be picked up by the bins. Anyway we were first on the bus and we did all the pick-ups of all the faces we have seen over the two weeks.

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Waiting for the Symi Tours Bus


Delivered down to a very busy Clock Tower by 07:25 in time for D to visit the ATM and say farewell to Takis who was setting up for the day. Time also for a frappe with our regular neighbours from Anastasia - Rockbottom. As we were leaving the cafe we were delighted to bump into Lefteris of much missed Zylygos fame and we greeted each other warmly. Look our for him in Pedi next year was the message - we can only live in hope.

The Blue Star Paros arrived spot on 8:15 but the amount of traffic and passengers meant it was 8:30 before we set sail for Rodos. Whilst quite a busy boat it is so big that there is plenty of space.

Our friends A&A gave us a special farewell.

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What a Farewell


And as we headed out of the harbour we could see our Swedish friends waving from their balcony above Nos beach.

The Olympic Bus was waiting for us at Akantia. Just a driver and no Olympic Rep with lists of who should be getting picked up like in the old days. The bus took us over the top road which affords views of both sides of the island of Rodos. There are some quite spectacular properties on this route which we were seeing for the first time.

We were dropped at the Kassandra in Ialysos where we had once been over-nighted many years ago. We were pleasantly surprised that in the day time, by turning left from the hotel and taking a short walk to the seafront, there are some really nice seaside cafes, bars and tavernas. We had a small beer in Casa Mare which was a very up market cafe / restaurant, walked the sea front for a bit and then had a light lunch of cheese & ham omelet, with D finally getting his pita gyros, in the quite traditional Taverna Bellissimo.

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Taverna Bellisimo


Back to Kassandra to put on long trousers for the first time in a couple of weeks and how strange that always feels. Sorted out liquids and passports and things and then waited for the 13:50 Olympic Bus to the airport. A minibus arrived with a driver but no sign of any Olympic Rep or lists of who should be picked up - anyone could have jumped on the bus. So a word of warning - be prepared to be much more self-sufficient if travelling with Olympic.

We arrived to three very long queues for the Monarch 16:00 flight to Gatwick. For once we chose a queue that moved much faster than the other two - the tip is to avoid queues with large groups, especially if there are children involved. It took about 45 minutes to check-in, have luggage x-rayed and to get through security and passport control, the two latter processes being far slicker than the UK side.

It was quite obvious that the scales for weighing the luggage were faulty as E had gone out close to 20kg and had added to that during the holiday in view of Monarch boasting an improved 23kg allowance. When both our bags weighed no more than 16kg each we knew this was faulty. Also there was no asking about where you might want to sit so D missed out on his beloved window seat and we were both given isle seats.

Poor D was seated next to an eccentric scientist who spasmodically engaged him in conversation that he openly admits he failed to understand - the joy of travel :-)

There was a rumour that the inbound flight had been delayed but this was not confirmed on the Departures Board. D went into one of his Apps and confirmed this and so we were an hour late in departing. Apparently fog at Gatwick had delayed the outbound flight. We didn't make up any time.

Arriving in Gatwick South Terminal the plane was attached to the terminal building so only a front exit was possible and having been seated in Row 36 at the rear of the aircraft it took around 20 minutes to disembark. Then the 10 minute walk to passport control where we avoided the automatic machines that regularly fail for D and used the much quicker manned desks and then to the carousel where thankfully our bags were some of the first to come off. We then headed to the Europcar desk where we picked up an upgrade yet again (thank you so much Europcar) and on a very wet and windy evening headed to the Sofitel Hotel at North Terminal to pick up an overnight bag that they always kindly keep for us. Then a 5 minute drive just across the roundabout onto the A23 to the Holiday Inn where we stayed the night. We had a basic hotel dinner of pate and a well cooked sirloin steak for D and squid and grilled chicken for E.

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The Face of Someone Returning From Symi


Thursday

After a hearty buffet breakfast the next morning we set off around 09:30 avoiding the M23 / M25 as we usually do on the way home, preferring to take the more scenic route via Reigate and Dorking and joining the M4 at Reading. It is then a straightforward motorway journey to Carmarthen and an hour of A roads to home.

It of course felt very strange not having to collect our boy Greyam and the house felt very empty without him last night and this morning. E was cheered up somewhat by a Facebook post from Janine of the Olive Tree. E had mentioned the two very young kittens that were fending for themselves in the “parking lot” just below Giorgios. Janine had taken them home and named one after E which was lovely.

Reflections

Symi was as welcoming and friendly as ever. There are too many Symiots to name nowadays who make us feel like part of an extended family but they know who they are and we thank them all sincerely from the bottom of our hearts.

We witnessed a wide variety of visitors, perhaps due to us coming a week earlier in September than we have done in the past, and saw quite a stark change over the two weeks with the Brits dominating the second week whilst the first week was far more cosmopolitan with French, Italian and Scandinavians and our day out on Poseidon was made all the more memorable due to that diversity.

It was not until the very last few days that we saw the island as we have come to know it in terms of visitor numbers but if the season is moving to later in the year we cannot be selfish and must embrace this for the economic good of Symi and those people who work so very, very hard to make a living before winter.

Of course our holiday was tinged with sadness with the loss of our pussy cat but being surrounded by felines and having the time to sit and reflect on the great life that we had been able to give Greyam undoubtedly helped us. We have decided that having had one great cat in our lives and seeing so many kitten faces on Symi that we must give another a loving home and E is on the case.

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A Present from O and L Lit for Greyam


Our great love of food was as usual satisfied completely although once again we became complacent and on reflection stayed “up” more often that we should have and Pantelis will have to await the next visit. We did delight in visiting Mythos Fish after not doing so for many years and also Meraklis and Vasilis. Trata, Giorgios and of course Zoe’s are always on our list and Zoe’s fish soup and Trata’s saganaki mussels stand out as two of the great dishes of the holiday for D and the very simply grilled liver at Vasilis and the Chicken with orange and lemon at Zoe’s for E.

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E's Birthday from George at Alexandros


So we are home, unpacked and the washing machine is double-shifting. We now start looking to next year where family commitments may or may not impact. We may be able to return to our May Up with Olympic / Sept&Oct Down independently routine or we may do three weeks in Sept&Oct with a focus on Pedi where we saw some lovely apartments for rent and couple this with time round at Nos as both breaks in 2017 were in Chorio.

Can we say to all those who have taken the trouble to read and engage with this blog - THANK YOU. On reading it over it is full of miss-naming people and places (Sunrise Bar, sorry), grammatical errors and switching between tenses so it's a “must do better” next time.

Finally we would like to say hi and thanks for the laughs and hospitality we had - our aperitifs with A&A; the excellent time we spent with O&L (and the dinner with B&C); all the incidental laughs we had along the way with J, J&M (great to see J just before we boarded the Blue Star), Rockbottom (V&N) who were our true neighbours, S&L whom we only saw briefly, N&P, T & his wife from Sevastis, N&S, and to others whose names we may never know; and for the usual warm welcome from Toby & Neil; all the ridiculous bargains and wise advice from the lovely E of the boutique opposite Giorgios; and of course to our favourite Bar Owner - Yannis and his wife - EFHARISTO PARA POLI.

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Wonderful Symi
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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby Gemma1 » 30 Sep 2017, 06:23

Just finished reading your report before packing up to leave Crete - where it rained most of the day yesterday and is still very grey and damp today.

Thanks again for taking the time to write such a brilliant blog, it's been a great read as always.

So sorry that you've had to return to an empty house :-( I hope you soon have another feline companion in your life.
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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby D and E » 30 Sep 2017, 06:34

Gemma1 wrote:Just finished reading your report before packing up to leave Crete - where it rained most of the day yesterday and is still very grey and damp today.

Thanks again for taking the time to write such a brilliant blog, it's been a great read as always.

So sorry that you've had to return to an empty house :-( I hope you soon have another feline companion in your life.


Thanks for the encouragement Gemma1.
Sorry to hear about the weather and hope that it improves for you on your adventures.
We are sure that it won't be long before the sound of tiny paws are running around the house following in Greyam's pawsteps.
Take care and enjoy your time in Greece.
Look forward to reading your Trip Report in due course.
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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby Lisa B » 30 Sep 2017, 19:08

So pleased to log in and see your posting. You need to keep writing so we've all got something to look forward to. Thanks for giving us a taste of Symi :P
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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby D and E » 30 Sep 2017, 19:40

Lisa B wrote:So pleased to log in and see your posting. You need to keep writing so we've all got something to look forward to. Thanks for giving us a taste of Symi :P


It is so kind of you to say so.
But it is Symi that makes it so easy to write the blog.
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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby Pollychops » 01 Oct 2017, 13:27

Hi D & E, a fine end to your September blog and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Don't worry about gramma and incorec spelins ha ha. Just for you to take time out of your holiday and share your experiences with us is wonderful and greatly welcomed and now approaching winter we wait till next spring for your next blog. What we do over the winter is dip back into the trip reports to cheer us up so thank you for posting and long may it continue. Good luck with kitten hunting.
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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby silverfox » 01 Oct 2017, 14:41

Symi is indeed a place you can easily enjoy and the food is the best we have had on any of the many Greek Islands we have been lucky enough to visit.

What is special, D&E is your willingness to share your precious time on Symi with others and your lust for the places, food and good company.

You must sell so many holidays and so much food on Symi.

Hoping your search for a new kitten goes well and have a great winter and hope to see many more blogs next year!

Take care and many thanks!

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Re: Sublime Symi in September

Postby D and E » 01 Oct 2017, 18:17

So many thanks for the kind words Pollychops and Silverfox - it is very much appreciated.

We also welcome so much your blogs and postings - it is great that like minded people can share their experiences of this wonderful place and other places - like Gemma1 has posted about Crete - on this superb Symi Chat Forum and we thank those who keep the platform alive.

It is indeed autumnal bordering on wintery here in Mid Wales today.

The local Cats Protection League are visiting us tomorrow night so we will see how that pans out ......

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