Late September on Symi

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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby Gemma1 » 02 Oct 2018, 15:42

D and E wrote:So glad you enjoyed Kavoz.
Currently it may get our “last night” slot. That would be breaking with traditional when down here but it was that good
IOHO.


I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't believe I forgot to mention the complimentary slice of orange cake that followed the meal - I've just had to edit to include it. It was delicious.
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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby Gemma1 » 02 Oct 2018, 16:43

2/10/18
Woke to a beautiful sunny day. As I was eating breakfast, I had a visit from Anastasia saying she’d had a phone call saying I need to go down to the Symi Tours office after 5pm this afternoon to collect my tickets. Hmm, my Olympic letter said I have to go the day before – which is tomorrow. The jobs of travelling with Olympic!

I wasn’t sure where to go today but set off through the village and on the donkey path. As the harbour came into view, I could see a large cruise ship moored by the clock tower. The Sea Dreams was approaching the harbour with the Dodekanisos Seaways ferry in the distance behind it. I watched with interest to see how they would all ‘fit in’ – by the time that the Dodekanisos ferry had docked there didn’t appear to be an awful lot of room to get in and out!

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After my usual rest stop at the little church, I continued up the steep path to the road and turned right, debating whether to walk down to Yialos on the rocky path or continue on to Toli for lunch at the Daphne taverna. As there was a pleasant breeze, I decided to walk to Toli and hope that the walk back uphill wasn’t too much of a killer! After passing the army barracks, I stopped at the Taxiarhis Mihail Roukouniotis monastery and entered the grounds. The monastery was locked (I have been inside on a trip with Symi Tours and it is well worth a visit) but the toilets were open which came in very handy before I continued on the 3km walk (according to the taverna sign) to Toli. This part of the island is very barren, with very little shade on the road. There were a lot of goats around but apart from 2 motorbikes and a car that drove past, I didn’t meet anybody. As I made my way down the dirt track to the taverna I was relieved to see that it was still open and there were quite a few customers. I don’t generally eat a lot at lunch time (especially with a long walk uphill ahead of me) so just ordered a tuna salad with bread and water (7 euros), whilst those around me were tucking into the delicious meals that the Daphne provides. The tasty tuna salad (dip) was just the right consistency and with 3 slices of bread I was pleasantly full as I started my journey back up the track. It took me 15 minutes to reach the first lone tree, where I was relieved to stop in the shade and feel the breeze cooling me down. The walk back to the monastery took 45 minutes (it was a 35 stroll on the way down) which I didn’t think was bad going – I’m obviously getting fitter! After stopping to cool down and relax for a while in the monastery courtyard I continued up the road before taking the rocky path next to the little church going down the hill towards Yialos. The path zigzagged down the hill, keeping close to the water pipe much of the way. I could see the Dodekanisos ferry in the harbour below but the cruise ship had gone. When I reached the bottom of the hill I went through a gate before continuing on a rocky path downhill, which eventually joined some steps between houses before emerging at the back of the harbour.

As it was already after 4pm I decided to wait in the harbour until it was time to go to the Symi Tours office. I saw Nancy, the Olympic rep, talking to another Olympic customer and we both followed her to Symi Tours. I’m leaving on the 1500 Dodekanisos Express on Thursday which is very civilized! Rather than have to go back again tomorrow to collect tickets Nancy said she’d leave them with the mini bus driver – I certainly hope so!
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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby D and E » 02 Oct 2018, 17:06

We were those around you tucking in, Gemma. In fact we were the table of 5 directly to your left. Of course we didn’t want to be rude and blurt out “who are you ?” If we had we would have told you how much we are enjoying your blog.

We will describe what we tucked into tomorrow.

Have a great evening.

D&E
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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby silverfox » 02 Oct 2018, 18:03

Thanks for the updates Gemma.

I'm enjoying all your walking so you must be too! I've never done Tolis, so that's still on the list, and it sounds you have a great route to follow.

Are D&E spying on you? 8-)
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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby Gemma1 » 03 Oct 2018, 16:18

It sounds as though it was me following in D&E's footsteps silverfox - metaphorically speaking seeing as they didn't walk ;) I did hear some English voices at the next table, there was a lady saying she was there with her family - but it never occurred to me that D&E were so close. Here are my photos from Toli yesterday, they didn't reach my email account until this morning.

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Last night dinner was at Georgios where I decided to have 2 starters – courgette fritters and mushrooms fried in garlic and wine. There were 4 plump tasty fritters and a big plate of mushrooms with lovely soft brown bread. The bill including quarter a litre of wine was 17 euros and even with 2 starters I struggled to finish it all as they were both large portions.

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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby Gemma1 » 03 Oct 2018, 16:26

3/10/18
Woke to a beautiful sunny day – the weather really is excellent for October. After a leisurely breakfast I set off down the Katarakis and took the road at the back of the harbour and made my way uphill towards the cemetery for the walk to Emborio. The hill was much easier this week – I am definitely getting used to all the steps and hills on Symi! After I passed the cemetery two nosey goats were watching me from their enclosure so I stopped to say hello.

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I had my usual stop at the cemetery and when I tried the church door it was unlocked (thanks D&E) so I went in to have a quick look round. I continued on to Emborio and across the rocky beach before taking the rocky path uphill to Agios Nikolaos Stenou. The path is very rough underfoot in places so I proceeded with care – even though I have done this walk several times, I wouldn’t find my way without the markers. After climbing up for half an hour I was relieved to see the monastery with its shade in front of me. As I walked round to admire the view over Turkey a sudden noise startled me but it was only 4 goats that (judging by the droppings) had made the monastery courtyard their home. I could hear their bells quite close by and every so often one brave goat would pop his head up from behind the rocks to see if I was still there. 10 minutes later I heard what sounded like footsteps and the goat’s head appeared round the corner a few feet away – it was really quite comical. Eventually the goats seemed to realise that I wasn’t a threat and returned to the courtyard – still keeping their distance, which was a relief as they were quite smelly! I love the peace and quiet up here and sat there for about an hour before making my way back down the hillside and leaving the goats to their space.

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I stopped and had lunch at the taverna at Emborio where I had a Greek salad with bread and water – 8 euros. I made my way back to Horio via the road and climbed the Kali Strata for the final time.
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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby Gemma1 » 04 Oct 2018, 08:05

At 7.30 I met M&A outside Lefteris bar and after a pre-dinner drink we made our way to Haritomeni for dinner. This isn’t the easiest place to find in the dark but I’d heard good reports about it and it certainly didn’t disappoint. To start with the views are absolutely stunning, you can see all the lights of Yialos down below and the food was excellent too. We shared a starter of fava with mackerel which was delicious, followed by chicken souvlaki x 2 for me and A and a Greek salad with chips for M. The bill including a litre of red wine, half a litre of white, a large bottle of water and bread was 64.5 euros. The only let down was that they don’t accept credit cards, ‘broken’ was the answer I got when I asked to pay by card – hmm. That aside it was a fabulous last evening on Symi in beautiful surroundings with delicious food and excellent company – who could ask for more :D

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The photo taken on my phone really doesn't do the view justice - it is stunning.
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Re: Late September on Symi

Postby Gemma1 » 05 Oct 2018, 17:29

4/10/18
After my final breakfast on the balcony listening to the birds and cockerels (it will be breakfast in the kitchen listening to Radio 2 from tomorrow!) I packed my suitcase in preparation for the journey home. Anastasia had very kindly said I could keep my room on until 2pm as I wasn’t due to be picked up until 2.15. After paying the tourist tax and saying my goodbyes to Anastasia, I walked up to M&A’s house and spent a couple of hours relaxing on their balcony and watching the donkeys coming up and down – they did at least 3 trips whilst I was there.

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The Symi Tours mini bus was waiting at the bottom of the steps by the Secret Garden shortly after 2 and dropped me at the clock tower with plenty of time to catch the 1500 Dodekanisos Express to Rhodes. I sat on deck and watched as Symi disappeared in the distance.

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I couldn’t find anybody from Olympic to meet me when I arrived in Rhodes so rang the Olympic office to find out what was happening. They’d sent a taxi for me and the driver drove through the gates as I was on the phone to the Olympic office. He’d said he’d already been inside looking for me but when there are lots of other people and vehicles milling around it’s not easy to find each other. The driver dropped me at the Anixis Apartments in Ixia where I could wait until the airport transfer at 2120. After Symi, Ixia was a real shock to the system and not my cup of tea but at least I had somewhere to wait and leave my suitcase whilst I had a walk round and something to eat. Another taxi picked me up to take me to the airport in plenty of time for my flight. I know Olympic sometimes get a lot of slating but it would have cost a lot more to travel independently and on the whole everything worked out very well. The airport was very quiet when I arrived with no queue at check-in or security – there are some definite advantages to not travelling on the usual Olympic transfer days of Wednesday and Saturdays. The flight left on time and I was at home within an hour of landing – one of the advantages of travelling from my local airport.

Another lovely Symi holiday has come to an end.
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