Normal Service Is Resumed

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Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby D and E » 17 May 2018, 10:33

Wednesday - The Journey Over

After all the deliberations over the attendance at a wedding in Italy there is something quite reassuring about being back into our well established routine and on our way to Symi in May - normal service is resumed.

For once we are quite well organised and cases are packed by the Monday evening. E is working on the Tuesday morning so D takes Zoë the pussycat to the cattery. We rendezvous at Wetherspoons on Aberystwyth station and have a celebratory Prosecco or two before catching the 13:30 train to Manchester Airport.

The trains run to time with changes at Shrewsbury and Wilmslow and we are on the complimentary shuttle bus to the Crowne Plaza by 17:15. With a choice of a grill menu, a bar menu or the wonderful Sampans we, as usual, go for the pan-Asian option.

The hotel bar is busy but the ever attentive table staff look after the G&Ts and fizz until we adjourn to Sampans where we are greeted as old friends. Enquiring after Edward, the brilliant Maitre’D, we discover he is at home recuperating from a recent operation and is recovering well.

The menu has changed and there are some wonderful new choices but we decide to keep these for the visit on our return in a weeks time. As we commonly do we share a first class dinner of mixed seafood dim sum, tempura prawns, a peanut based Thai prawn curry with coconut rice and pack choi. With some more fizz for E and a quite splendid Argentinian Malbec for D we retire for the day.

Up at 5am and using the express check-out service we have a very friendly Polish driver for the short bus journey to Terminal 2 and are checked in by 6am with D getting Seat 8A beside a window. Security is very busy but we seem to get through at the same speed as those in the paid for Fast Track queue. E has her normal battle with the security staff who have an issue with her need to avoid the X-Ray equipment due to her insulin pump - this only is an issue at Manchester ! But after sticking to her guns (now that would be a problem for the security staff) a very pleasant supervisor takes care of the situation.

We are called to Gate 300 and bussed out to the ASL Boeing 737-700 and the doors close at 08:00. Not a full flight but we guess about 90% occupied. We are in the air by 08:15.

D is a “tech head”. He loves his gadgets and all things techie but when it detracts from getting a G&T in flight he does draw the line. ASL now use what looks like a digital till and it takes ages. The trolley must have taken at least 30 mins to get from the front of the plane to row 8. And then when the “smellies” trolley came round we discovered that for some reason they were only accepting payment in cash so be warned if you are doing this trip and intend buying stuff on board -bring cash.

We landed spot on time, went through border control, had the obligatory small can of Mythos from the vending machine and our bags were there - super efficient. Also very conveniently, there are now a couple of ATMs in the arrivals hall with no charge for transactions.

We were bussed to Taverna Moupáyio at the entrance to the port of Akantia where they are more than happy to store bags but as we only had a couple of hours before we could board the Blue Star we had a late light lunch of beetroot with skordalia, and on the owners recommendation, stuffed peppers with an ouzo and retsina which proved perfect. The skordalia was just garlicky enough whilst the peppers were stuffed with feta as usual but with enough seeds left in to give them a lovely background heat. They has then been coated in another cheese which melted over during their time in the oven. If you are sailing over from Akantia then this Taverna is well worth a visit.

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Peppers a la Taverna Moupáyio


We had a lovely sailing with the sun going down over Symi emphasising what a magical island it is.

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Pedi Bay & Yialos


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Magical Symi


We were greeted by the new Olympic Rep beside the clock tower and dropped at the bend after Taxiarchis where Anastasia was waiting to welcome and walk us to her apartments. We estimate that Olympic brought around 20 guests over with Sevastis doing particularly well. Anastasia mentioned that she has been busy since the start of the season so that is a good sign.

We just dumped the bags and headed to Yannis Rainbow bar and were welcomed by all the familiar faces. Not only was the ouzo and retsina ready in double quick time but the drinks were placed at our favourite seats before we had time to sit down - we were “home”.

Yannis is looking very fit and D commented on how he cannot recall the last time his prices changed. Evangalia, the wonderful young girl, who owns and runs the small boutique opposite Yannis has adopted two abandoned kittens who are only days old so they were getting a lot of fuss and attention.

Our traditional first night at Giorgios saw us having a mézes of the slow cooked green beans, the superb bourataki, courgette flowers stuffed with a cream cheese and deep fried in a very light batter and the lightest keftedes in a most flavoursome tomato sauce. With our usual large bottle of water and a half litre of retsina prices have remained the same as last year.

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Green Beans a la Giorgio


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Bourataki a la Giorgios


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Courgette Flowers a la Giorgios


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Keftedes a la Giorgios


So around 11pm we headed for Anastasia’s but whilst passing the door of the Sunrise Cafe we spotted our friends, and Symi regulars, D&G from South Wales and had a quick chat but didn’t stop as it had been a long day.
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Re: Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby Fina » 17 May 2018, 11:26

Well D and E that has wetted our appetite for our 1st trip to Symi on the 20th June. You have also filled in a few of the gaps, were we would be dropped while waiting for the ferry , would we be met off the ferry etc. Your whole journey seemed very smooth, we will be flying from Birmingham I think our flight is 7:05 so we will have slightly longer in Rhodes. 5 weeks today can not come soon enough!

We are staying at the Taxiarchis.

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Re: Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby silverfox » 17 May 2018, 18:36

So happy to have this to read to wet our appetites for our trip next month so many thanks in advance for sharing.

So looking forward to all the great food and our usual visits to Yannis!

Leave some for us!

:)
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Re: Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby Duffy » 17 May 2018, 19:46

Brilliant info D and E - all questions re journey, transfers etc answered - thank you! I'm returning to Symi and Anastasia' s next Wednesday after a couple of years , so if you are having a second week, I will see you there!! Cheers :)
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Re: Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby D and E » 17 May 2018, 21:56

Fina wrote:Well D and E that has wetted our appetite for our 1st trip to Symi on the 20th June. You have also filled in a few of the gaps, were we would be dropped while waiting for the ferry , would we be met off the ferry etc. Your whole journey seemed very smooth, we will be flying from Birmingham I think our flight is 7:05 so we will have slightly longer in Rhodes. 5 weeks today can not come soon enough!

We are staying at the Taxiarchis.

Fina


Hi Fina,

If you have longer in Rhodes then perhaps have a drink in the Taverna & then take a walk back to the Old Town - 15 minutes or so would see you there. You will love Taxiarchis - it was where we stayed the very first time all those years ago & we returned several times to see Frank & Eva who are the perfect hosts. The views down the Pedi Valley are stunning. We do hope you will post comment about how you find Symi. We love to hear how first timers find the island.
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Re: Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby D and E » 17 May 2018, 21:59

silverfox wrote:So happy to have this to read to wet our appetites for our trip next month so many thanks in advance for sharing.

So looking forward to all the great food and our usual visits to Yannis!

Leave some for us!

:)


Yannis is primed & waiting for your return Silverfox.

We promise not to deplete stocks but in return we expect a daily blog so that our early stay can be extended through your wonderful words & pictures.

Looking forward to reading about your adventures.
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Re: Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby D and E » 17 May 2018, 22:03

Duffy wrote:Brilliant info D and E - all questions re journey, transfers etc answered - thank you! I'm returning to Symi and Anastasia' s next Wednesday after a couple of years , so if you are having a second week, I will see you there!! Cheers :)


Alas Duffy as you will be arriving we will be above you in the departures hall of Diagoras Airport but thank you for the very kind comments.

We are sure you will find Anastasia’s as you would a comfortable pair of slippers. The usual homely welcome and the wonderful views of Pedi & the Vigla await you.

Have a wonderful time.
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Re: Normal Service Is Resumed

Postby Gemma1 » 18 May 2018, 07:39

What a wonderful start :D Who is the Olympic Symi rep this year? Glad to hear that Anastasia is doing well and looking forward to seeing her again in 4 months time :) Really looking forward to your next instalment.
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