Yamas Yialos

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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby Gemma1 » 21 Oct 2019, 08:41

More great photos and a good result for Wales in the rugby - OH recorded it and watched it when he finished work yesterday morning.

A lovely relaxing Sunday in Pedi with more great food - though I'm not sure I'd need any dinner after mezes in Elpida's :P

Good luck with getting things fixed up for 2020, Pedi at the end of May / early June sounds wonderful - you just need some flights to go with that accommodation ;)

Enjoy your last 2 days and thanks for brightening up this dull and chilly Monday morning :)
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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby D and E » 22 Oct 2019, 08:34

Monday - Nos Lunch

The shutters opened around 07:30 to what was clearly going to be another beautiful day on Symi. Not a cloud in the sky and the glow of the sun behind Chorio was accompanied by a lovely freshness in the air.

D left E with the first cup of tea of the day and went on a bread run. He walked out to the Clocktower and from the seats looking out to Turkey watched as the two army ribs set off on their relentless patrols for refugees. There has been a constant small stream of these unfortunate people whilst we have been here and the Symi authorities do ever so well to deal with the issue whilst still protecting its main economic activity of tourism.

He returned with a small bread and one of those lovely croissants from the bakery by the bridge and with breakfast and blogging done we headed down to Cafe Aiglios for our morning frappe. There was one other person there and the harbour was completely empty of visiting vessels.

The Harbour 21 Oct 2019

But then the first day boat arrived and those who escaped the managed tours started filtering into the cafe and it was time for us to move on.

E popped into one of her regular shops to purchase a dress as there are good end of seasons bargains to be had. We rendezvoused at the Clocktower and had a small beer on the jetty of the Nireus which was doing well out of the day visitors having lunch.

We had decided to have a Nos Lunch.

Nos Kitchen

This was something we regularly did in years gone by as we highly regard the cooking. We saw during our earlier visit this holiday that it is the same woman cooking as has been cooking as far back as we can remember so we knew it would be good. We even had the same dishes as we often had in the past - Greek Salad, possibly the best keftedes on Symi although it would be a photo-finish with Elpida, and grilled vegetables with skordalia; the vegetables being trompette mushrooms, aubergine, yellow pepper and courgette. We were not disappointed and we do recommend that anyone who hasn’t eaten in this place do so if they get a chance. We finished with a complimentary semolina cake with cinnamon and a dribble of chocolate sauce - which hasn’t changed in all the years, except for the addition of the chocolate sauce which we estimate was introduced perhaps five or six years ago. And of course we had the disposal of the uneaten bread into the sea where the shoals of bream congregate to devour every morsel. It never fails to amuse.

Nos Lunch

When we arrived on Nos Beach it was like the old days with Dimitris in full flow and the guys taking down the sun canopies. He had his small tractor going back and fore and was shouting orders at the guys who have worked there for years. Any first timers would be astounded but then we just think - it’s Nos Beach.

End Of Season - Nos Man At Work

We stayed until around 4pm and then walked back seeing Cavos hard at work cleaning all the tables and kitchen equipment; you wouldn’t think there was ever a restaurant called Vaperetto as it has disappeared completely and many of the shops down the harbour side now close as soon as the day boats return to Rodos.

This is the latest we have ever visited and it is an experience. One we realised we would encounter and have been looking forward to. What we did not expect was this magnificent weather which was once again between 25 and 30C.

Now any regular reader of our blog will know by working through where we have eaten so far that there is one major omission and that had to be put right.

After watching from the shared balcony side of our apartment, the $35,000,000 super yacht, Erica, owned by a Swedish guy whose personal wealth is estimated at $60 Billion, tie up near the Clocktower we headed out and spent a more modest €5 on a taxi up to the Village Hotel. D asked after our good friend Konstantinos whom we have not seen this visit and was informed that his car needed “major surgery” over in Rhodes so that answered that.

What $35,000,000 Gets You

We sat in a very quiet Yannis. In fact after about an hour it was only us and Yannis. We had our usual quota of ouzo & retsina when Yannis offered a last one and it would have been rude to say no. We then, as planned, went next door to Giorgios.

We had a simple mezes of beetroot with walnut salad, green beans, fried cod with skodalia and courgette fritters. The fritters were substantial with their cheese filling and the cod quite salty which was excellent when we added vinegar. Before more alcohol could be offered D went through to pay what was very little for such wonderful food. It is no wonder that when we stay “up” we hardly ever venture “down”.

Giorgios Mezes

How Can You Resist Feeding Them A Morsel

We took it easy down the Kali Strata and as we passed through the back lanes encountered “Jeweller” George and his wife who were over ensuring their house was in good order. He said the business in Scotland is going well but he doesn’t cope well with the weather :-) we agreed to meet them for a drink and proper catch up the following day.

Last Day In Irini’s

So now it is Tuesday morning and D has done the bread run and taken a closer look at the super yacht. Breakfast is over and the blog posted so now we must start the packing and then go out for a walk and perhaps a final swim. Then a saunter round saying our farewells. As we have an 8am sailing tomorrow there will be no blog and readers will be kept in suspense :-) about our Last Night Dinner and the journey home until sometime on Thursday.
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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby D and E » 22 Oct 2019, 15:41

Told Off :shock:

Our bears, who always come on holiday, were not best pleased when they read the blog and found no photo of them so this has been rectified immediately -

The Bears
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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby silverfox » 22 Oct 2019, 18:33

Great blogging you two extending the season to the limit.

It does seem ages since we were there already.

I've had 2 days back at work and I now need another holiday!

Hope you have enjoyed your last day!
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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby Gemma1 » 23 Oct 2019, 22:00

Sounds like another lovely day with more delicious food andy I'm glad that you managed to avoid the heaviest of the rain ☺
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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby D and E » 24 Oct 2019, 15:36

Tuesday & Wednesday : Last Day / Journey Home / Reflections

We started packing on Tuesday morning before Comfy Chairs for the morning frappe. Clearly the good weather was still encouraging the day trippers.

Follow The Umbrella

From Cafe Aiglios we strolled all the way to a seaside table at the Nireus Hotel for a small beer.


By then it was almost 1pm and the swim had fallen off the agenda but a stop at a busy Cafe Carnagio was in order. We ordered a half kilo retsina which was a very nice bottle indeed and a cheese and ham toastie to share and just as well we didn’t order one each as the complimentary mezes with the retsina was simply amazing.

A Very Nice Retsina

The simple plate of bread, cheese and peppers in olive oil that arrived would have sufficed. But then there was the dolmades. And then quite a large plate of mashed flava beans with red onion appeared. And then, a plate consisting of egg cooked somewhere between scrambled and omelette with softened peppers and Symi shrimps was presented - and this was simply stunning.

Mezes At Cafe Carnagio

We would easily have paid €10 to €15+ for this mezes - it was superb. All power to this place and Maria “Herbs” son - it deserves to do well and we will make sure we starve ourselves before a visit next year and try the very interesting looking short menu. Just as we were about to leave yet another complimentary dish appeared - E’s favourite - a baclava type sweet with custard.

E’s Fav “Baclava” With Custard

We left a decent tip.

After this excellent lunch we started to head back to the apartment to complete the packing but one last small beer in the Stella Bar could not be resisted. Alas draft beer is at a premium as bars that will close over winter are understandably not restocking and so Alpha did the trick. As is often the case in the Stella they get that late afternoon surge as day trippers head back to the Nickolas and Skiadeni boats and so it was as we said our farewells.

We had been eyeing up a ceramic house in the jeweller shop near to the bank by the bridge from day one so E popped in and bought it whilst D sat on the chair outside remarking that it was like a hot day in June.

The New House - Middle

Back in the apartment we finished off the packing leaving the usual array of clothing that have visited Symi so often they deserve to stay and be given to the needy. This made room for the latest batch of Symi purchases that we tell ourselves makes a very modest contribution to the businesses on Symi.

By the time we had got all this done we thought it a bit late to go finding Jeweller George plus the fact that we did not want to repeat some of our actions of previous years knowing we had an early morning the following day :o

The plan for dinner was Taverna Haris but as we walked towards Elpida’s we could see the lights of To Spitiko but Haris next door was in darkness. Perhaps they were only opening for lunch this late in the season.

So we sat in a busy Elpida’s and had our last couple of ouzo & retsina’s accompanied this time by mezes, over and about the usual plate previously described, of spinach pie and a lovely pork dish. If Elpida ever published a recipe book it would be a worldwide best seller :D

We then had to decide between To Spitiko and Meraklis and we chose Meraklis as D knew they did a set price bream and as we approached, it was as ever, doing a good trade. However we very slightly disappointed with our starter of prawns saganaki as the sauce was dominated by tomato where the sauce we have experienced at Katsaras (last year), Trata & Haris is much more complex with hints of cream, perhaps yoghurt, and ouzo. However the prawns were fine.

Meraklis Saganaki Prawns

D had a very nice piece of bream but again the imam that E had was the aubergine baked with some cheese and the same base sauce that made the saganaki. Usually we are used to a significant amount of sweet onions cooked on top of the aubergine but each restaurant has its own recipes and that is the delight of trying out the same dishes in different places and Meraklis, being an original and traditional Taverna, will always feature in our visits.

Meraklis Bream

Meraklis Imam

During courses E could not resist a “winter” top from Debbie’s shop - now moved from the Square to opposite Manolis. End of season discount was secured and E returned with the explanation as to why we had thought that both shops had closed for the season. Manolis had taken a turn for the worse and had needed to be taken by police boat to Rhodes and had to have an operation to insert a stent. D went over to speak with him and he was very positive and was making light of things but one has to think that the long hours and the variety of customers that these hard working people have to deal with must be stressful. We hope they both get time to properly rest over the winter.

So we were home by 10:30 pm having been good.

The Wednesday morning alarm had been set for 05:30 and 06:00 and with D’s military :-) planning he had the bags down to “base camp” :D by 06:50 for a 07:15 pick up at Iapetos. You never have to worry about being late if D is in charge but you may sit around a lot. We had sussed out a much easier route down that the one we had taken up.

For the record - if visiting Irini’s (and we are unlikely to again) go past the first lane opposite the Opera House which is the most direct but steepest route up. Skip the next lane on the right which is easier but not as easy as the third lane just before Nikos & Eva’s apartments (which look very nice by the way). Here you will find a ramp so you can drag a wheeled bag up. Turn right - still dragging - then take first left. Here are a few stairs up past EOS apartments but they are gentle. Keep going until you reach a blue pipe on the right. Turn right and you are again dragging the case until you reach that last few steps and you will see the gate to Irini. NB : Olympic - if reading this feel free to copy and print and give to guests on arrival - you may save them a heart attack :-)

Why would we not return to Irini ? Partly because Olympic seem incapable of giving you the room that you pay a supplement for - that issue will be dealt with on our return as they have failed to reply to a couple of emails sent from Symi. We were able to gain access to Room 1 and as well as being larger, it’s aspect makes it a lot cooler and the views are simply stunning. But even if they got this right the aircon that we had in Room 2 was inadequate compared to our experiences in other properties. The water pressure in the shower was woeful and hot water was non-existent. Readers of our blogs know we vary between mostly the cheap and cheerful and occasionally the more luxurious so we are not expecting 5 star for 2 star prices but apart from the views Room 2 at Irini is possibly 1 star.

We would have been happy to walk round to the Sebeco but then Symi Tours might lose out so we waited and the usual cheerful guy turned up 10 mins early - wonder if he is related to D ! He whisked us round to the Sebeco in 2 minutes where we were part of the last six “Olympians” who had “braved” the end of season and been rewarded with the most amazing of weather. Nancy handed us our tickets and was gone on her very nice scooter - her last piece of work for the season.

We had about 45 minutes to push in so we left our luggage and walked back round to Cafe Aiglios where the comfy chairs were just being put out by the young girl who has served us our frappes most days. We asked if she would do us two frappe to go and as she was making these, E went to the bakery at the bridge and returned with a very fine cheese & ham pie that we shared for breakfast. D put our €6 on the table for the frappes but the young girl wasn’t having any of it - she said “from me and kalo taxidi”. We have had so many acts of kindness during our visit again but somehow this was one of the most touching.

We departed spot on 08:00 and for some inexplicable reason the top deck was off-limits and so we sat in the outside seats where the air quality is very dubious due to the exhaust fumes. We spent most of our time stood at the very back of the boat looking out and were rewarded by a couple of dolphins performing amazing leaps - what a sight.

Till The Next Time Symi

We docked in Rhodes at 09:20 and a full size bus was waiting to transfer the six of us. Two were dropped off at the usual Innixas Hotel / Apartments but we were taken directly to a very quiet Diagoras Airport. D did his usual change into long trousers and proper shoes ready for the other end and we strolled through check in where 5 TUI desks were looking for work. A very quiet security area saw us take minutes to clear and we easily got seats in the lovely bar area looking out over the runway. Without doubt the best Transfer we have ever experienced.

This afforded D plenty of time to write this considerable tome of a blog over a very nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc as E went to get some olive oil for the people in the cattery who have looked after our cat Zoë.

At The Airport

We certainly hit good flights with this package as the airport was very quiet between 10 am and 2 pm. We saw the TUI flight approach and land and then made our way to Gate 2 passing an even greater array of outlets than we saw in June. We were on the first bus to the plane and were seated in seats 29A & B with our hand luggage stowed and ready for take-off which was bang on time.

E had very generously agreed that she would drive the short journey from Aberystwyth to home so D had his usual G&T but there was a slight leak in the plastic cup . We asked for some more tissues from the TUI crew to mop up the minor spillage and that came with a complimentary G&T !
Quality service.

We arrived on time but bags took about 35 minutes to appear - much slower than Diagoras - but we had plenty of time to get to the station even though only one of the monorail trains were operating and a queuing system was being used.

We caught our train which was supposed to be direct but as is so often the case with the new Transport for Wales franchise they seem to delight in changing trains at will so at 8:50 pm, only 30 minutes from Aberystwyth, on a cold and damp night, they decided to change trains. We still arrived on time, jumped in a taxi up to G’s house where we picked up our car and were home with the heating turned to full blast at 9:45 pm. It’s so unusual for us to be able to get home from Symi the same day as we leave. Never did our own bed feel so good.

Thursday dawned and as we took stock found that in our absence a pipe under the sink had developed a slow leak as some of the slate tiles in the kitchen were definitely squelchy when walked upon so the job of contacting the house insurer with the Emergency Call Out facility fell to D after he had picked up Zoë cat who was delighted to get home. E was back to work.

Zoë Happy To Be Home

Reflecting on our visit we can honestly say that Symi continues to be our home from home. The welcome we get deepens each time we visit. We go to the same places every time but that never lessens the pleasure we get.

We gained a huge insight this time into the fears that exist over world events and how the proximity to Turkey could have devastating impacts on little Symi. We hope the world comes to its senses.

We finally got to meet face to face with our fellow blogger and talented photographer, Silverfox and his lovely wife Liz. In addition to their clear love for the island these two have done a great deal in their lives for so many and our chats were a revelation. Inevitably our paths will cross again.

We knew we would see Symi getting itself ready for its winter and that was an experience that we wanted. Seeing the taxi-boats slowly wind down and then bed down for the winter in Hinari; seeing Poseidon being sanded down after all the wear and tear of the thousands of Round the Islanders and then the boat heading off to winter in Rhodes; seeing some shops lessen their hours and then shut up completely; and seeing the bars and cafes at their quietest was all new to us.

So as ever thank you Symi and all the people who make it so wonderful. Thank you to all those who have stuck with the blog, especially this rambling final instalment, and especially to those who interact directly and put up such supportive comments that make it all worth while.

Until 2020 then.
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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby silverfox » 24 Oct 2019, 17:35

What a wonderful last post of an incredible blog. You seem to up the ante with each post and your pictures this trip have been excellent, you must sell so many holidays to this magical little rock.

Thank you for your kind words and we can't wait to bump into you again but we may need to calm down on the wine and Ouzo! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Have a great winter my friends!

Last edited by silverfox on 24 Oct 2019, 23:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yamas Yialos

Postby rockbottom » 24 Oct 2019, 22:43

I will miss both your blogs!
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