I'm baack......! (from Symi etc)

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I'm baack......! (from Symi etc)

Postby Anthony » 20 Jun 2007, 16:48

The home page tells me that it was 23 March when I last signed on. This was not from any disillusion with the Chat Page but for one welcome reason (that I've had two 3-week holidays - 5 of those weeks on Symi) and one unwelcome (that for essentially all the rest of the time until last weekend I've been down with one fluey virus or another).

Earlier in the year I booked a 1-week holiday in Cyprus over Easter, where we would be studying the spring flowers under the guidance of a professional botanist. Going to that end of the Med just for a week seemed rather a waste, so as soon as I discovered that there were flights between Rhodes and Larnaca the solution was obvious. Accordingly on 26 March I was on the Proteus coming into Yialos the harbour looking very different out of season with the tourist shops all shuttered and a total absence of yachts!

Apart from the fact that there was a flu virus going round the island, which I promptly picked up and which laid me low for 5 days out of my 10-day stay, I found Symi very pleasant indeed at that time of year. I intend to go back! Temperatures were tolerable to excellent: hot in the sun when the sun was shining (I had many beers outside at the Rainbow, where the sun penetrated through the then leafless vine, as well as elsewhere), otherwise thin sweater plus anorak during the day, thick sweater plus anorak during the evening (and eating of course in the evenings always indoors). I had packed shorts but never wore them. OK, it did rain, though in the event no more than it did during my subsequent May-June visit. I was not used to Symi being such a green island, with so many flowers even on the Kalistrata and the other streets and alleys of the town. Cyclamen were still in flower everywhere, though they were starting to wilt by the end of my stay. Walking outside the town would have been very pleasant, though in the event I concentrated on the town itself for the first few days, after which the flu caught up with me and left me too weak to do any serious walking thereafter.

I stayed at Taxiarchis which of course in principle is open all winter. Frank gave me an upstairs studio whose balcony gave a view down to Pedi and caught the sun until lunchtime (thereby also allowing me to dry my washing), and with the doorway at the opposite end where the sun shone from mid-afternoon. The air conditioning, operating in heating mode, was very welcome if not essential both first thing in the morning and in the evening!

Of the bars, in Chorio both the Rainbow and Bulmas were of course open, as were also the ones patronised by the local youth. In the harbour there was a sufficiency of bars open, though probably only 30-50% of the summer total. Pat opened at the beginning of April (though not in the evenings when there would have been hardly any customers). Jean opened on 3 April, 2 nights before I left.

Restaurants too were sufficient but limited. In Chorio, Syllogos was open when I arrived; Giorgo's was having some internal refurbishment but re-opened during my second week. I didn't get as far as Haritomeni, which I have been told opens weekends only throughout the winter. Zoe's and the others remained closed. Because of the flu I got down to Yialos in the evening only once, and ate at Meraklis. Of my other favourites it looked as though Dimitri's was open, and Trata opened, again in my second week. I met Michael in the town(of Michael and Lucy's at Pedi where I often have lunch), and he told me they too were open. Unfortunately because of the flu I didn't get down there.

On 5 April (Maundy Thursday) I returned to Rhodes ready for the following day's flight to Cyprus.
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I'm baack......! (from Symi etc)

Postby Allan » 20 Jun 2007, 22:23

Good to see you back here Anthony.

I hope you're feeling better than you were a couple of weeks ago.
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Postby maziemoo » 21 Jun 2007, 14:26

Anthony this was really interesting because it gives a feeel for what's available 'out of season'.

I've been thinking of trying a winter break on Symi and so have just started researching into flights, accommodation etc around the end of January, beginning February being midway between my September 2007 and May 2008 visits.

Flights seem a bit of an adventure as all I can find so far is London to main land Greece and then out to Rhodes and same journey back which of course bumps up the price somewhat not to mention dragging out the travel time even further and of course doesn't take into account the ferry trip to Symi.

If anyone has tried this, I'd be really interested to know how you got on.
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Postby Adriana » 21 Jun 2007, 15:04

January/February is quite a dodgy time to plan a visit unless you have plenty of flexibility in your schedule - it is not uncommon to spend 3 days sitting in the Hermes, waiting for the gales to subside, or pacing the quay in Symi while your flight passes overhead and your boss says over the phone, 'stranded on a Greek island? you expect me to believe that?!' :twisted:
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Postby Sapphire » 21 Jun 2007, 15:30

I quite like the sound of the being stranded bit ... ;-)
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Postby Adriana » 21 Jun 2007, 16:07

you're not the only one! :D
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Postby David » 21 Jun 2007, 17:04

I've been to Symi for the last 3 years in November, specifically for the Panormitis festival or rather to see Michaelis (The Meltemi) for his name day. It's a great time to go, though if you bump into him on his name day, it is not for the teetotal or faint hearted!!! I have flown with Olympic twice, last flight out of Heathrow first out of Athens. Bit tiring but made my connections. Once was put up in a hotel in Brentford which meant missing 1 1/2 days in Symi which was annoying. Price is about £250 depending on when you book. Then last year I flew Easy Jet from Gatwick to Athens and Aegan to Rhodes much cheaper, about £170, but I did get stuck on Rhodes. It really is a great time to see the island and the people. I have stayed with Michaelis and Katjya and have wonderful memories of each time. It has been warm enough to swim in the sea and also so wet I've seen wheelie bins floating round the harbour road in Yialos
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Postby maziemoo » 21 Jun 2007, 17:33

Being stranded on Symi I can handle especially as my long-term dream and goal is to be stranded there.......long term

Think the winter visit will take a bit of planning...just thought it would be nice to see the island at a time when traditionally things may not be considered quite so rosey and to understand a little more about how the ferries or rather lack of them due to weather etc., can have an impact on life.

It's all very nice to get carried away on memories of our summer holidays but anything longer term needs to be planned taking into account a more realistic view of things.
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Postby Adriana » 22 Jun 2007, 07:57

If you are prepared to do some wading, my diary goes back to 2002! You'll find the pre-blog archives on the link at the bottom of my latest news page.

I started the page specifically because so many people emailed the office asking what it was like on the island at various times of the year!
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Postby Jerry » 22 Jun 2007, 09:55

Stranded on Symi, yes it does happen at the end of the season, we missed the last charter flight out of Rhodes to Manchester. Solution, fly Rhodes to Athens, next day Athens to Heathrow. Phone call to son to collect us from Heathrow and drive us to Manchester to collect the car. An enjoyable trip but rather expensive.
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