Symi holiday blog

Archived trip reports

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 17 Sep 2013, 06:38

It's 05:30 and the September 13 Visit commences.
The Caxton fx card has just been loaded and the App downloaded onto the iPhone in case a � top up is required.
E packed last night as D was watching Swansea .v. Liverpool :geek: so D on the case now (excuse the pun).
Greyam the cat to the cattery at 08:00 : that will be the usual struggle as somehow he senses Symi is on the cards even though we hide the suitcases !
Then we set off for Gatwick via Cardiff as D has a final bit of work to do.
Overnight in the Sofitel with parking for the SmartCar - bags just fit in.
Early flight tomorrow : evening ferry.
Staying in our favourite accommodation with Margarita round at Nos so with her wifi will keep this thread updated throughout the visit and post some pics on Twitter @rutakingthep
Yasou
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby Gemma1 » 17 Sep 2013, 08:37

Have a great trip :)
User avatar
Gemma1
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 622
Joined: 22 Jul 2009, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby JeanW » 17 Sep 2013, 18:55

I'm on my way, suitcase packed and just waiting to put in last minute bits and pieces - cab coming at 3.00am!!! for easy jet flight from gatwick.
JeanW
Senior Visitor
Senior Visitor
 
Posts: 150
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby Sweet Soo » 17 Sep 2013, 18:59

Hi D and E. Have a wonderful time ... again!!! The time has flown by since May. Safe journey and enjoy! Our very best wishes to you both,
Antonino and Sue xxx
Sweet Soo
Symi Visitor
Symi Visitor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: 09 Sep 2008, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 19 Sep 2013, 08:05

The journey to Symi went without a hitch. The Sofitel at Gatwick was excellent within a 2 minute walk undercover to the easyJet bag drop. Flight excellent and being able to book seats on easyJet a marked improvement over the mad dash approach. Because D booked the ferry well in advance we were on the 19:00 Dodec - could have got over earlier - but a wonder around the Old Town with several "stops" and it was time to go to Kalona. Dinner at Thollos was quality as usual and now watching some cloud being burned off by the sun.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 20 Sep 2013, 08:09

First full day saw us wander round the port catching up with people. Frappe in Elpidas, Bruchetta and retsina in TzaTi - possibly the coolest bar on the island and dinner at Odyseus. Just thinking that we hardly have to move from the Harani area but will venture further afield today - perhaps .......
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 20 Sep 2013, 21:57

Another wonderful day and we actually got beyond Elpida's, after a stop of course where the (in)famous Kojak was in residence. In fact we got to Symi Tours and bought our ferry tickets for the return journey - thought best get depressive thoughts out of the way early. Had a superb lunch at Nos Beach and big hugs from Natasha. Dimitris has done a wonderful job on his breakwater and continues to improve the place regardless of tourists - unique. Wandered round from Nos and caught a taxi up to Chorio and to our favourite bar - The Rainbow. Yannis was rushed off his feet and Lefteris next door was mobbed. Then to Zoe's for what we regard as the best Stifados on Symi E had beef and D had hare. First time ever we got Konstantinos taxi to take us home (D getting old) and Yialos was buzzing as we passed through.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 21 Sep 2013, 22:23

A perfect Saturday on Symi started with a walk from the apartment towards Nimborio and then taking a left turn over the top by the church, past the farms and the most beautiful graveyard and down past the Grace Hotel (stayed there when we travelled with Manos or was it Kosmar - age !!!) to the square where a well deserved large Mythos was consumed (two actually). Then E went to collect a ring she had spent sometime choosing back in May so D had to go to the Stella Bar - it was quite warm today. Then to TzaTi for a late lunch - today bruschetta and the cold meats plate - mmmmm. Home for siesta time and E went for a swim. Tonight Elpida's followed by La Vaporetta for the first time and we have come away stunned - we love all the usual places but if you are a bit of a foodie and want a special night try it. It is a bit pricey compared to the usual Symi places but compares well to quality establishments in the UK and this is quality. For starters, mains, a shared sweet, espresso and a half litre of house wine with water and bread - �75 : quality food and now last night venue. Staff impeccable and venue stunning. Recommend.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 22 Sep 2013, 22:09

A relaxed Sunday starting with a swim at Nos before the sun came up. Then a walk into Yialos and a frappe stop at Cafe Aigialos before taking a hike up the Kali via Thea Apartments where we are booked for May14. A stop at Yiannis Rainbow for a beer and his mezes today was a work of art ! then down to Pedi and a light lunch at Tolis. Walked back over to Yialos with a stop at the Corner Bar opposite the Customs House. We may be slightly cruel but by taping off the slipway and putting up a danger sign the chances of the odd slip and soaking that so often amused us has dried up (excuse the pun). Tonight Elpida's and then Tawler for dinner - everything on his menu is wonderful but his stuffed mushrooms deserve particular mention. So apart from the ManU result (D needed an extra ouzo) another wonderful day in paradise. By the way the Meltemi got going something proper today !
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby Sweet Soo » 23 Sep 2013, 09:47

Hi D and E. I am sooo loving your blog ... the only problem is that I'm now missing Symi even more so!!! Enjoy and please keep up the good work! BTW Thea Apts look fantastic, with the same amazing view that we had from the house that we rented for 6 months ... oh happy days! x
Sweet Soo
Symi Visitor
Symi Visitor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: 09 Sep 2008, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 23 Sep 2013, 22:04

Cheers Sweet Soo - if only you and Antonino were here so we could share a Mythos, pizza and Champions League in Yannis Rainbow Bar D and E xxx
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 23 Sep 2013, 22:24

Monday and it was off to St.Nicks on the only way to travel from Yialos - with Konstantinos, Irini and Lucas Taxi Boats. �9 each for the magical 15mins boat ride - worth very Euro. The lovely family who run StNicks were clearly not feeling any ill effect from their late night dinner in Trata the night before. Frappe and a beer at the cafe area set us up nicely for a swim - the water is bathlike ! Then a wonderfully light lunch of Greek salad, tzatiki and sardines and another hour soaking in the rays before returning to Yialos and an ouzo and retsina in Pachos where we bumped into our good friends Stevie and Lynda. Home, shower and back to Elpida's where our Welsh neighbours joined us for an ouzo - our sides are still hurting. Then to Odysseus (Manolis) for dinner - the mussels with penne in a tomato and chilli sauce -wow ! And now to bed.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby Robert » 24 Sep 2013, 15:39

Really enjoying your blog and your eating - have you tried Muses? We love it.
Robert
Super Visitor
Super Visitor
 
Posts: 54
Joined: 25 Jul 2013, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 24 Sep 2013, 21:44

Hi Robert - we have looked at the menu and it is certainly impressive and if we can fit in we may well do so.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 24 Sep 2013, 22:00

Almost the first week over and so today started with replenishing the breakfast stocks - so much more pleasurable going to the supermarket near the clock tower and then having a frappe / espresso fredo in the cafe next door than Morrisons, back home. Then we walked towards Nimborio to find the new bar that we had been told about and right enough just below the Niredes Apartments Hotel some enterprising Symiot had set up a caravan type bar. In typical Greek design they have made a wonderful site around the van and sell bottled beer, toasties, etc. Walked over the top and as the churchyard was open got some great photos - follow @greygirly @rutakingthep to see some pics and vids. Then down into the square and a simple beer and toastie lunch. Good number of day trippers again today so late in the season. Made it up on the 7pm bus with Lakis and after the obligatory ouzo(s) in Yiannis Rainbow Bar went to Zyllygos which was happily busy and we were still outside despite the Meltemi reducing the evening temperature somewhat. Tuna salad and aubergine with feta to start followed by the house special of chicken with prunes and a very good Mousaka made the trip up worthwhile. Lefteris was in full flight as we left to wander back down the Kali and round the harbour seeing many familiar faces enjoying their last night. We think Symi may be a lot quieter after tomorrow.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 25 Sep 2013, 21:59

It has only taken us 17 years and well over 25 visits to Symi to finally fit in a taxi boat to Marathounda but that is where we went via Nanou today and had a super day. D started the day by doing his bread run to the baker by the bridge at the harbour. Bread straight out of the oven is a must for breakfast each day. The 7am ferry saw a number of well known faces departing as did the Blue Star an hour or so later. Symi is still busy but the mix has changed with a lot less Brits now on the island. Lunch at Marathounda was excellent "small fish" (whitebait), meatballs and tzatiki. Got back into Yialos and had to have a beer in the Stella Bar watching some fantastic yachts moor up. Tonight was an ouzo in TzaTi followed by dinner at Thollos. Starting with the feta stuffed peppers and chickpea with mushroom we followed with goats liver and lemon potatoes and a chicken souvlaki. After a complimentary glass of mastika a chocolate and banana crepe with ice cream appeared as a complimentary dessert - the Symiot generosity never fails to amaze us and if it keeps up D will need to visit Takis for a bigger belt :-)
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 26 Sep 2013, 22:11

It's Thursday and the inevitable countdown starts with only 5 more dinners on Symi after tonight's excellent experience. But as ever the day started with D on his bread run. He has resisted the newly baked croissants so far but we can't see this lasting ! After frappe and fresh orange in Elpida's this morning we met with our accommodation providers for next May - we find the only way to cope with departure and the Welsh winter is to pre-book Symi for the following year. Having looked around the designer studio with original stone hand basin ! we happily paid our deposit (and remember D is Scottish !) A beer stop in the Corner Bar was followed by a Bruchetta and tuna salad lunch at TzaTi . Home for a well deserved siesta and then Elpida's for ouzo. Having seen some "faces" spend their last evening in the Cathinerettes restaurant we tried it for the first time and damn it if it didn't turn out to be top notch. At this rate we will need 21 days to get round our top eating places in future. The fresh mushrooms simply saut�ed in onion, garlic and lemon were sumptuous as was the oven baked aubergine with feta. The chicken in onions and peppers, although served with rice, was truly superb but the freshly made today Mousaka was up there amongst the most memorable. Complimentary ice cream in chocolate sauce ended a meal only second to La Vaporetta during this visit (so far). Tomorrow our excellent host, Margarita, is taking us to Tollis Beach in her 4x4 and remembering last time a wonderful lunch is on the cards.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby Gemma1 » 27 Sep 2013, 08:43

Really enjoying reading your blog from Symi 8-) .

Cathinerettes, along with The Dolphin, has always been one of my favourite places to eat in the harbour and I was upset when I thought it was closing. Glad to hear its still going well in its 'new' location :)
User avatar
Gemma1
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 622
Joined: 22 Jul 2009, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby alan c. » 27 Sep 2013, 09:42

I often eat at the Catherinettes for the best in authentic Greek cooking - George grows a lot of his own vegetables in his large garden near the helicopter pad. It's often worth ignoring the menu and asking for his recommendations which will depend on what he's got in the oven. This year I feasted on mountain hare (shot by his brother on Rhodes), rabbit stifado, roast goat, the best lamb casserole I have ever tasted, and roast sheep's head (much better than it sounds!) 'Slow food' at its best. The Rafsani red wine is highly recommended (not just by me but also by Hugh Johnson in his 2014 Pocket Wine book).
alan c.
Symi Visitor
Symi Visitor
 
Posts: 43
Joined: 11 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby RockHopper » 27 Sep 2013, 12:22

Hi D and E and thanks for your journal that involves so many familiar places where my wife and I have eaten and also knowing the familiar and well known faces of our Symi pals!

Enjoy our shared experience of Symi doing what Symi does best!
User avatar
RockHopper
Starting Visitor
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 Sep 2013, 01:00
Location: -

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 27 Sep 2013, 22:41

Well that Tollis lunch became a reality and the Daphne Salad with a Symi honey and balsamic dressing was superb. There were six of us so we had the archetypal Greek lunch in the sun with Greek salad, small fish, calamaris, saganaki, tzatziki, meatballs, courgette balls, and the Daphne salad - every dish a winner and with superb company it was a memorable lunch. Nice to see Tollis busy today. After the evening ouzo in a very busy Elpida's we had a second in the Corner Bar. After such a lunch we had a small but exquisite Mezes in Vasilis Restaurant by the bridge at the harbour. The man himself gave us the usual warm welcome and we were seated next to a Greek family welcoming one of their own off the Blue Star ferry. We had baked aubergine with sweet onions, mushrooms saut�ed in garlic and lemon and a bowl of lemon goat which is without doubt one of the standout dishes anywhere on the island. Sometimes the restaurant is quiet and this plus perhaps the location put some tourists off but if you are after traditional Symiot cooking and an honest welcome this is the best in our opinion. We had grapes and a superb carrot cake as a complimentary sweet. A wander back to the apartment and the end of another magical day on Symi.
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby Gemma1 » 28 Sep 2013, 09:26

I had the Daphne Salad when I went to Tolis. Great to share with others accompanying something but not the best choice when that's all you're having lol. It was huge, maybe I should have asked what it consisted of before ordering ;)

I'll have to try Vasilis when I'm back in Symi next year. Being on my own I prefer restaurants that aren't always busy as it can feel a bit intimidating walking into a full restaurant on your own. I really fancy trying a meze meal. Wanted to try one on Halki last week but the meze restaurant had closed for the season.
User avatar
Gemma1
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 622
Joined: 22 Jul 2009, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 28 Sep 2013, 23:20

After such an adventurous day yesterday, today we ventured all of 50 metres to Nos Beach ! It became very busy with people off the day boats but his did not put off Dimitris and his loyal workforce of one who continued to dig large stones out of the water to extend his jetty at the restaurant end and replace these stones with barrow loads of beach material. However this only lasted until his labourer changed Tshirt and became sun bed collector. He later became "wine waiter" and before the afternoon was over part-time photographer for the occasional tourist group - quite a guy, from Bangladesh he tells us. We had lunch at Nos which has to be one of the best venues on the waterfront - with voracious fish that love the spare bread. We had tuna salad, village sausage and fried courgette with skordalia and we can never fault this restaurant. Today it was full on and with two waiters and the cook with one assistant they just got on with it - anyone saying the Greeks don't work hard should have lunch here on a busy Saturday. Spent the afternoon on the beach and the water was perfect as it is this time of year. Then we set off for Chorio with a Swedish couple we have befriended over the years - well that's what happens on Symi doesn't it ? Taxi up driven by the old bus driver and dropped us at the Village Hotel so a short stroll to Yannis Rainbow Bar for a couple of ouzo's and then to The Windmills where we had the carrot and white cabbage salad, the mushrooms, the pork in Metaxa, and the Moroccan lamb - all divine. For anyone who wants something beautifully spiced you cannot beat The Windmills. Between Yiannis and The Windmills E found time to visit the smallest of shops just opposite Yannis where a young Symiot girl is just starting up her local craft business - we visited her in May and tonight saw another splurge ! We also talked to Toby and Neil who were looking quite frazzled but excited about The Judas Curse project. After TheWindmills we walked down the Kali Strata and round the harbour but could not resist a nightcap in Elpida's - well who can ?
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Symi holiday blog

Postby JuliaB » 29 Sep 2013, 16:22

Loving all your descriptions, D and E, especially those of the food and drink! Haven't managed a second trip to Symi this year but we'll be back sometime in the future. Enjoy the rest of your stay. Jx
User avatar
JuliaB
Super Visitor
Super Visitor
 
Posts: 144
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: United Kingdom

Symi holiday blog

Postby D and E » 29 Sep 2013, 21:40

Cheers Julia B : somehow Chorio isn't the same without you and Mr Julia B sitting close by us. Hope our visits cross again sometime soon. We are already booked for 16th May staying somewhere different again - Thea Apartments just next to the Old Market hotel near the bottom of the Kali - handy for a taxi !
User avatar
D and E
Persistent Visitor
Persistent Visitor
 
Posts: 692
Joined: 15 Jun 2006, 01:00
Location: Wales

Next

Return to Trip Reports



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest