A Jolly Jaunt in July

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A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 10 Jul 2017, 09:41

Many thanks to Silverfox over the last couple of weeks for putting in such a wonderful first leg and in such heat. So the baton is now firmly in our hands and here we go.

Friday

So our unexpected and unplanned short Symi Visit starts at 08:30 with Greyam, our cat, being taken to his holiday home in the nearby cattery. He loves the car and is soon purring himself to sleep. E has to work the morning and we leave Aberystwyth around 13:30 heading for Manchester Airport via Shrewsbury where D exchanges a new pair of shoes that failed first time out.

An uneventful journey up in the Friday afternoon traffic and we are in the Crowne Plaza by 18:00. This is our hotel of choice when flying from Manchester as it houses the superb Sanpans Pan-Asian restaurant. After an aperitif in the very busy hotel bar we have an excellent dinner of dim sum, tempura prawns, stir-fried beef and a superb Thai prawn curry, with coconut rice and pak choi as sides. With a glass of fizz and a nicely chilled Sauvignon Blanc this place remains a firm favourite.

Saturday

Up at 05:00 and the sun is coming up over the airport as some night flights start arriving. We catch the 05:45 shuttle bus and are one of the first at the Olympic Desk on the ground floor of Terminal 2. A very quick check-in with D very happy having secured a window seat. Then up to level 3 for the scrum that is security at that time of day - almost worth paying the £5 for FastTrack one thinks but after an initial bottleneck it starts to flow and we get through quite quickly apart from E having a problem with the body scanner.

E is a T1D (Type 1 Diabetic) and has an insulin pump. Manchester is the only airport where she has a problem. The pump manufacturer recommends avoiding the body scanner and to ask for a swab & pat down and this always causes a fuss which stresses E which is not good for a T1D so a letter to the airport manager on our return is on the To Do List.

After that hiccup we push in a bit of time over a coffee and then we are called and bussed out to the ASL Boeing 737-700 which is quite dinky. A French run airline with the drop down screens that keep us informed of the route which D always likes - bless. The bar service commences about an hour into the flight which seems quite a long time - not so much D wanting his G&T but E wanting a coffee. Having bought the usual “smellies” they find that they were out of stock of the free candle offer - well who wants a candle on the way out to Symi anyway - so they offer us a complimentary drink - result ! Another glass of fizz and a G & Fever Tree Tonic.

We land at 14:30 and whilst D has his traditional can of Mythos from the vending machine and awaits the bags E goes to tell the Olympic Rep that we have decided to make our own arrangements for the evening and to ask about what ferry we are on the next day. Another couple bound for Symi are told they will be in the Blue Ocean hotel which we know as a good hotel. Thinking that we may have been premature with making our own arrangements E is told that we would have been housed in Falaraki. Olympic explain that the choice of stop over is dependent on the class of accommodation you choose on Symi. The Blue Ocean people are dropped at Iapetos the next day.

So we are clear of the airport and in a taxi to our hotel by 15:00. Still €25 from the airport to Rodos town centre. We have a room booked in the Koykos which describes itself as a Traditional Guest House. This is a real find within a couple of hundred meters of the Plaza which is a known stop over for many independent travellers to Symi.

The staff could not be more pleasant and helpful. The whole place is quirky and themed around cuckoo clocks. The rooms have some amazing original features like the stone sink and the bed is ultra comfy. We head out for a walk to our two fav places - Socrates Garden and The Yacht Club before returning to Koykos via a shoe shop sale where E avails herself of a new pair of black espadrilles.

We have dinner in Koykos. The welcoming barman George and owner of the hotel greet us and after an ouzo & retsina (what else) with a mezes of pickled yellow pepper, olive and anchovie we have a table reserved outside where Greeks and tourists are queueing to get a table. We have moussaka, spetsofia, pork in a spiced sauce, cheese & courgette fritters and excellent flat bread with water and half kilo retsina - €35. Great staff, superb hotel and excellent value at around the same price as the Plaza so we will more than likely stay there again when we have to stop over in September.

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Sanpans at the Crowne Plaza
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 10 Jul 2017, 09:43

Sorry about that photo !
Out of practice !
In cafe Aiglios trying to resize - may move to Elpida's and see if a bottle of Fix helps fix things.
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 10 Jul 2017, 12:37

Well we are getting to Elpida's but met George from Alexandra's jeweller and then one became two with Giorgio & Yannis in The Corner Bar; then the ATM; then Stella Bar looked inviting and E has now gone to visit Takis - one of those Symi Day.

However here are the pics that should have accompanied earlier post -

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Sanpans at the Crowne Plaza
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 10 Jul 2017, 12:40

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Fly ASL


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The Comfiest of Beds in Koykos


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The Ensuite Koykos
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 10 Jul 2017, 13:43

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Flight path over Symi
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 10 Jul 2017, 13:52

Sunday

After a very nice but a bit rushed (should have got down for 07:00) Koykos breakfast of eggs, those lovely small smoked sausages, ham, cheese, tomato, bread, cakes, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice we get a taxi (€7) round to Kolona for the 08:30 Dodecanesos Express. It is worth mentioning that the hotel has an extensive breakfast menu and it's own bakery where you can go and choose anything on offer for breakfast.

Olympic have improved the process. The welcome envelope we got at the airport the previous day has details of the ferry and a booking reference so we just present that at the booking office at the port and we get our tickets for what is a very busy boat.

Arriving Symi at 09:30 we are met by Fotini the new Olympic Rep on the island. We are whisked up to Chorio via Iapetos and dropped at the bottom of the stairs beside the Secret Garden. To be fair they asked where we would like to be dropped but as the minibus is too wide to take the Village Hotel route, and D is almost 60 going on 16 (in his mind), he carries the bags up to Anastasia’s and we find that we have been allocated Room 5 - our favourite, which delights us no end. Room 5 is a large room with separate bedroom and a secluded balcony which gets shade until around 10am and then again after 5pm.

Anastasia is just returning from church and we catch up on family news and D secures the transaction for the air conditioning. As he needs it even in May / September it is going to be essential for now.

Unpacked and in Yiannis Rainbow Bar by 11:30 for a well deserved chilled beer. Some Symi virgins staying with Olympic at Sevastis find their way to Yiannis and we swap stories of the journey over and provide some insights to our fav things to do on Symi.

Back to the apartment via the supermarket and we just laze around reading and dozing in the mid thirties heat of the afternoon. There is a pleasant breeze but this is July and as regular readers of D’s blog know, we are May / September people. We are acclimatising fast but the pace will be slow this week.

Before we know it, it is time to shower and head up to Yiannis for the usual. It is 7:30pm and our usual seats are taken so we sit bar side. Habit dictates that we sit in the seats nearest Lefteris looking in as this has often afforded D his fix of sport on Yiannis’ TV. Toby & Neil greet us and there are many familiar faces next door waiting for the Sunday Film Club to show The Full Monty in Lefteris.

We meet a couple from North Wales who we have spoken to on many occasions. They look very well on their extended two months stay and so nice to bump into them again. One of the many lovely things about returning to this magical place.

There is a local wedding and many guests pass by on the Kali Strata on their way to Haritomeni and as they do fireworks are glittering in the sky above. Reason to have another ouzo and retsina before we head next door. Before we do E visits the small but growing boutique that is opposite Giorgios. The young girl that has set up this business and E have become firm friends who love their nightly chats. E buys D a much needed beach bag.

First night dinner when “up” is traditionally Giorgios so we head there and have an excellent dinner of bourataki which is a standout dish that we always look forward to. We have the green beans, mushrooms cooked in garlic & wine, lambs liver which is cut into small pieces and fried, and the peppers stuffed with feta and of course the half kilo retsina.

It is quite sad to see Zyllygos, Windmills and Cafe Manteo all closed as we head back to Anastasia’s but that is the way of things. We thought Chorio would be a lot busier at this time of the year but it is not much busier than we see it in May / September. We sit out on our balcony and listen to the Greek music coming from the home of the wedding somewhere up towards the Castro. D tries to emulate Silverfox by photographing the moon but it seems he has a long way to go to master his zoom (an almost Tobyesque phrase worthy of Remotely). We feel we are “home” and so to bed.

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First Chilled Beer in Yiannis


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First Chilled Beer in Yiannis
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Bourataki in Giorgios - To Die For
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 10 Jul 2017, 14:12

Have made it to Elpida's but as you can see from the photos the Fix may not be having the desired effect on D.

The picture of the harbour was at 11am this morning. A few yachts have arrived this afternoon but things are quiet except for the day boats - there were four today.

E has visited Anna's and has a very nice top for our visit to Zoe's tonight.

Now to go and catch the 5pm bus up.
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby silverfox » 10 Jul 2017, 18:16

Ahhhhh....it's as though we are still there! :)

More of the same please!

:)
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby KN9700 » 10 Jul 2017, 19:19

So nice to have you back on Symi D and E.
My wife and I really love to read your dairy.
In five weeks we´ll be back on Symi our favourite holiday spot.

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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby Pollychops » 10 Jul 2017, 21:46

Fantastic to hear you both are back in Symi. After having a superb blog fix from Silverfox we are now being treated to another in such a short space of time. Cant wait till the next posting....have a great break as we are sure you will.
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby Gemma1 » 11 Jul 2017, 07:42

Brilliant, as one blog finishes another starts and an excellent blog as always :D Very envious that you are staying in my favourite room at Anastasia's with that lovely balcony with its superb views. I'm in the process of planning a return trip for September 2018 (no Symi this year sadly) though it will be in one of the studios as the supplement for booking the one bedroomed apartment for one person is £242 :shock:

Looking forward to your next instalment and reading about more culinary delights 8-)
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 11 Jul 2017, 07:56

Monday

After a great night’s sleep - the aircon keeping the room at a perfect temperature - D is up and out on the bread run. The sun is well up by 07:30 and Symi is looking beautiful. Warm bread cooked freshly this morning - 60 cents, the perfect foundation for breakfast on the balcony.

Weather Report (D has his “toy”, sorry, mini weather station with him) at 09:00
Baro Pressure 1000
Humidity 48%
Wind Speed 0.2 mph
Temp Shade 29 C
Temp Sun 36 C

We head out around 10:30 and go down to Yialos by the school steps. The port is very quiet.

We reach Cafe Aiglios for frappe and freshly squeezed orange juice and watch the full taxi boats head out - Irini is busy. D does some cutting & pasting of the notes he has made and then gets in a bit of a tangle with the resizing App he uses for the photos but the blog does get started. It is an acclimatising day so we take a wander round the lanes bumping into George whose lovely air conditioned jewellers shop is a nice stopping point to catch up on his news and see some really nice new pieces he has bought in.

From there we get as far as the Corner Cafe for two small beers. New seats and a new counter where the ice creams and pies are served. We are about to move on when Yiannis and Giorgio arrive to start their afternoon shift and let dad go for a well deserved rest as he opens up very early. Two more small beers are needed as we hear how the lads have spent their winter and show pictures of our wanderings - the joy of the iPhone (other brands are available :) )

We had to use the ATM so crossed the bridge and as we do we think - something's missing. It is the kiosk. That tiny shed that must have been like a sauna. It's gone and is now an open fronted shop opposite (between the bar and Vasilis Restaurant) and is called The Kiosk.

The cafes appear to be doing good business with the four day boats that are in port.

We say our hello’s to Takis whose shop is now a bit smaller but still full of quality leather goods. E is particularly enamoured with his newly designed range. She is also on a mission for a friend back home who saw E with a Takis bag and would like one. Alas despite sending several pics either the size or the colour wasn't suitable. After all that activity another beer stop is required in Stella Bar where we bump into a couple from Sevastis. They had taken our recommendation and gone to Zoe’s on their first night and were not disappointed - which is always good to hear.

We finally arrive in Elpida's where she has just made one of her amazing pies - spinach pie this time. It is an appropriate hour for an ouzo & retsina and that comes with a generous mezes of the spinach pie, a very salty cheese (perfect with the ouzo), pickled cabbage, cucumber & olives. We also order and share an omelette.

E pops next door to Anna’s shop and returns with a very nice dress and top. Thankfully the other ATM is close by :shock:

We watch the 16:30 Skiadeni leave and then head round and catch the 17:00 bus up to the windmills and cut down through the lanes back to Anastasia’s.

The normal routine commences around 18:30 and we are in Yiannis Rainbow for the nightly ouzo & retsina. We start off bar side as “our seats” are taken when we arrive but Yiannis moves us once the group leaves and the balance of the universe is restored. We have a couple more and watch the people go by and before we know it, it is 9:30pm - Symi Time is a strange thing - and time to visit Zoe’s for dinner.

A lovely welcome from Nikos and then Zoe and we find the restaurant busy. With only two restaurants in Chorio now, this may benefit Zoe & Giorgios although both tell us that the number of visitors for this time of the year is less than expected. We decide to have the totally delicious imam with the sweet, almost caramelised, onions cooked to perfection plus the very simple but equally superb beetroot with skadalia that has the perfect amount of garlic. This is followed by E having the meatballs which are ever so light and seasoned with spices and herbs and come with very nicely flavoured rice. D has the Symi lamb which he describes as without doubt the best lamb he has tasted. It is served on the bone - or should say bones - looks like the ribs and clearly having been slow cooked this has given the meat an intense flavour. Simply put this is how lamb should be. Served with waxy potatoes that have been boiled and then slightly roasted - perfection. We catch up with Zoe’s news over one of her light cinnamon cakes before heading home under a full moon and hearing the church bell strike midnight.

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Symi Lamb in Zoe's - Perfection
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 11 Jul 2017, 08:00

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D's Weather Station


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The View From Room 5 Anastasia's


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E's New Top From Anna's


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Yacht Arriving Late Afternoon
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby Pollychops » 11 Jul 2017, 12:44

Symi lamb........................three words.............Fab.....U.....Lous,

and the same for the top on E.

Keep it up as we can't wait till tomorrow.
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby Gemma1 » 12 Jul 2017, 07:41

Another great read - and that fabulous view :D
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 12 Jul 2017, 09:52

moon and hearing the church bell strike midnight.

Tuesday

Although this is a very short break with only 5 nights on the island D’s Symi Routine is like riding a bike. He is up and out just after 07:30 and back with the bread by 08:00; writes the blog and does his bits and pieces until around 09:00 when E (the breakfast chef) surfaces - this often requires the delivery of a cup of tea to help the process along. There is no wifi in this part of Chorio so postings can be delayed but now that Data Roaming is part of our normal monthly mobile phone package it is easy enough for the iPad to access 4G through the link to the iPhone.

Weather Report at 09:00
Baro Pressure 1004
Humidity 40%
Wind Speed 0.0 mph
Temp Shade 28 C
Temp Sun 37 C

So after the normal breakfast of yoghurt, honey & fruit, fresh bread with cheese & ham and coffee we need to replenish our stock of water and get one or two other things. The supermarket just down from Giorgios is bustling with a large new delivery and all the locals exchanging stories and having banter with the shop owner.

We decide to spend the day on Pedi Beach so we wander down the deserted Pedi Road and round by the boat builders. We have our morning frappe in Tholos taverna whose sun beds are doing rather well. We then walk along towards the jetty where George is doing a good trade back and forth to St. Nikolas & Agia Marina - we think avrio. Another taxi boat is also working the route.

Pedi Beach is busy. The Greek schools are on holiday so there is a great family atmosphere. We find sun beds (€4 per bed) and settle down with two small beers that the sunbed guy is only too happy to bring to us. The wicker canopies are much improved and for the first time in a long time D does not whack his head.

The sunbed guy is using a hi-tech means of servicing all the people. He takes orders on his phone and texts them to the bar - the theory being that by the time he returns to the bar the order has been prepared. It seems to work to a certain degree.

Soon the bus deposits a large American / Greek family who seem to surround us. The open conversation that they have over and around us is simply hilarious. Two of the mothers describing the births of their children - apparently one just “slipped out”; and then toilet frequency became the topic of the day. We were in fits of disguised laughter. But they were great fun and the cute kids were having a ball.

We decide to be very lazy and instead of taking the short walk to the supermarket by the jetty we order a light lunch of a very good spinach pie full of spinach and made with a very thin and light filo which we share. This with ouzo, retsina, olives, succulent cherry tomatoes & garlic bread makes an excellent lunch.

We swim in the afternoon and the best description of the water is - lush.

We just miss the 15:30 bus so decide to have a beer and retsina in Katsaris bar. There are no seats in the new area where we spot the owner of Tza Ti having an afternoon with his friends and he comes to greet us. We sit on the jetty and have a lovely cold draught Mythos and meet a charming young couple from Ireland who tell us they have accommodation booked in Rhodes next week but they are trying to cancel so they can stay on Symi.

We get the 16:30 bus which drops us at the bend beyond The Secret Garden and as has happened each day when we return to the apartment, we start to read and soon find we have dozed off. But it's soon 18:30 and the showering and getting ready starts and like clockwork we are in Yiannis around our usual times and “our seats” are free.

After our usual ouzo & retsina / E visiting her friend in the boutique routine we head to Zoe’s. We have decided that this is an “up” holiday so have no plans to head down in the evening and will keep Odysia, Tholos, Trata & the other Yialos restaurants for September.

It is good to see Zoe’s busy again. We order the prawns and tuna salad to start. Four large prawns simply cooked on the barbecue come with sliced carrots and cherry tomatoes and two very flavoursome dipping sauces. The tuna salad is the creamy variety that is excellent to mop up with the bread. For mains D has the always reliable moussaka whilst E has the lamb cutlets cooked beautifully on the barbecue and served with chips - that’s real chips cut from potatoes that day.

We end dinner with a serving of watermelon and then head home in the moonlight and, unusually for us, find the church bell ringing midnight once again.

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Takis' New Designs


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Chorio By Night


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Water Symi Style
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby Pollychops » 12 Jul 2017, 16:50

Yours days sound so effortless and relaxing which is just the ticket for a Symi holiday. I am not sure when we go that we could not dine down at Tholos or Odysia, we mostly stay up and really enjoy Georios and Zoes but then you will be back in September to go down. It will be interesting to see if temptation gets the better of you this week. Great blog.
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby Robert » 12 Jul 2017, 17:13

We always go to Tholos on our last day for lunch - its a ritual and I could not miss it! It will be interesting to see if you do get tempted down!
Great blog - I cant wait till August this is all so enticing
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby Pollychops » 12 Jul 2017, 19:28

D, I like your new toy. I have been looking at getting a new one as my old one hasn't got a wind speed reader. How good is yours and were did you get it?
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 13 Jul 2017, 13:52

Pollychops wrote:D, I like your new toy. I have been looking at getting a new one as my old one hasn't got a wind speed reader. How good is yours and were did you get it?


Hi Pollychops,

It's a AZ8909 - if you Google that it brings up the machine.
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 13 Jul 2017, 13:57

Wednesday

Weather Report at 09:00
Baro Pressure 1000
Humidity 50%
Wind Speed 0.0 mph
Temp Shade 28 C
Temp Sun 34 C

It seems strange to think that we only have today and tomorrow as our last two full days on the island but as we said to each other last night the journey is worth it even to spend just a few days on Symi.

We had thought today would be St.Nikolas on George’s boat but that is going to have to be avrio as it is a lazy start to the day - we both seem to be running 30 minutes later than our usual routine but ciga ciga.

Having had a beach day in Pedi the day before we decide to have a port day again. So after breakfast we head up by Yannis and along the road that affords those wonderful views down through the cedar trees to the harbour. This takes us to the back steps more worthy of donkeys than humans. E, as always, says to be careful as these steps are uneven and rough. It is therefore ironically funny that she then slips but no damage done except to pride.

We arrive in Yialos just as the crowds of day trippers are being herded around by the various guides. They will be freed later to do their own thing for a while and hopefully make many purchases from the various Symi shops. We arrive in Cafe Aiglios and the very helpful waitress gives D some paper towels as the humidity is up and he is perspiring like a tap. The water taxis are doing good business with departures right up until 1pm and returning at 6pm. We have our frappe and freshly squeezed orange whilst D posts the blog with some pics.

E then heads back to see George of Alexandros Jewellers. Those news Apostolos pieces he has in has caught her eye and there is every chance they will be added to her Symi “collection”. D wanders around the back streets and sees that Spagos on the square is yet another business that has closed down. D finally settles in Stella for a small beer and counts 5 day boats in altogether.

E arrives in the Stella and the jewellery transaction is discussed - D visits the ATM :D

We then head for Elpida’s for an ouzo & retsina and before we know it the Sea Dreams day boat is heading back to Rodos so it must be around 2:30pm. E has the shopping bug and pops in to negotiate with Takis and comes back with those new design bags. We are certainly trying our best to do our bit for the Symi economy.

Our timings are a bit out and so we have half an hour until the bus and we stop in Cafe Alegrito for the first time this visit. The mezes of sweet cherry tomato, creamy feta, cucumber and cooked smoked sausage that accompanies our ouzo & retsina is just wonderful. We then head for the bus but passing the cafe just in front of Trata Restaurant we see that a small but enthusiastic crowd has gathered and the Andy Murray game at Wimbledon is showing live on TV and it is one set all. We therefore decide to watch the match - thankfully Querrey finishes Murray off just in time for us to walk the short distance and get the 6pm bus up.

No siesta today and we are in Yiannis maintaining our 100% record by just after 7:30pm. We get chatting to a very pleasant couple from Bolton who have come up to sample “village life”. As we are about to head to Zoe’s, friends who we have known many years come out of Giorgios so we settle back down and hear all about how S&L have finally made the big move to live on Symi. We are so pleased their dream has come true.

We are much later eating than expected. We start with those wonderfully earthy dolmades with a yoghurt dip and some skodalia and also the imam. D then has the King Fish which is beautifully presented with shaped vegetables, those excellent slightly roasted potatoes and a very fine fish sauce. E has the succulent chicken in a cashew sauce with rice. It has been a long day - D blames Andy Murray ! So we politely refuse the sweet and drinks that Zoe so generously offers and head home to bed.

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That Well Known View from Aiglios Cafe


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A Day Boat We Don't Usually See


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The Zoom Working From The Stella Bar
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 13 Jul 2017, 14:00

Many thanks for all the kind comments on the blog so far.

Anyone on the Site just now will see it's a hot one at 41 C.

We are about to head down to Yialos - walk down bus back.
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby silverfox » 13 Jul 2017, 19:10

Thanks for all your "work" in the heat!

:D
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 14 Jul 2017, 09:23

Thursday

After yesterday's “long day” and the fact that we head back to Rodos tomorrow we decide it is not worth replenishing breakfast material and after a bit of a lie in we head to The Olive Tree and have poached eggs on toast with great coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice - we agree we will do the same tomorrow.

Janine is her ever cheerful self and the views out to sea on another perfect morning cannot be beaten. We watch the first couple of day boats arrive and then take a short stroll down the Kali Strata to the bend where we sit on the steps in the shade and just watch the comings and goings of Yialos. We will need to pop down later to catch the ATM (again) and pick up a necklace of E’s that is being restrung but that will wait until the midday heat goes down slightly - it is a warm one.

Weather Report at 12:00
Baro Pressure 995
Humidity 27%
Wind Speed 3.5 mph
Temp Shade 34 C
Temp Sun 40 C

So we head back to the apartment and read some in the comfort of the aircon. D steps out into the balcony around 14:30 and encounters a wall of heat - that heat that you can breathe in. It is now in the 40’s in the shadier part of the balcony.

We walk down the Kali Strata around 4pm keeping to the shadier bits as there is not a breath of wind. We take a right and go down through the houses coming out at the kiosk. We head for the fans and comfy chairs of Cafe Aiglios and have a frappe to start followed by a cold small beer and notice that the temperature read out on the Pharmacy Sign reads 45 C. By around 5pm it is showing 40. We watch the taxi boats and the Poseidon return and both seem to have had a good day. D gets to the bank and E collects her necklace and we head back up on the 6pm bus.

As usual we head to Yiannis. Easy to have a 100% record when only on Symi for 5 nights but then we find it easy when here for longer. We say our farewells, although it will only be for a short time as we return in mid September, and head to Zoe’s where we have dined every evening except the first.

We indulge in our favourites. We start with imam and order some creamy, garlic tzatziki with that. Then the barbecued prawns as a bit of an indulgence on our last night on Symi - regular readers of the previous blogs know our love affair with the prawns we get on Symi, probably more accurately described as langoustines. D has saved Beef Stifado for the last night and E returns to her soutzoukakia in the rich tomato sauce. Another wonderful meal served by Zoe’s son Kristos who gives us some water melon to cleanse the palette. We say our farewells and head home for the last time this visit. It is still hot and entering the air conditioned room is pure joy.

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Breakfast in The Olive Tree


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From George at Alexandros


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A New Symi Friend
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D and E
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Re: A Jolly Jaunt in July

Postby D and E » 15 Jul 2017, 08:11

Friday

The intense heat of the previous day has subsided at 08:30 and D is out on the balcony writing up the blog whilst E starts to pack. We are to be picked up from the bottom of the Secret Garden steps at 15:30 for the 16:30 sailing of the Panagia Skiadeni. We are then to be taken to the Sevastos Hotel which we are told is in Falaraki to then be picked up tomorrow at 11:45 for our 14:55 flight back to Manchester.

Weather Report at 09:00
Baro Pressure 994
Humidity 43%
Wind Speed 0.0 mph
Temp Shade 29 C
Temp Sun 34 C

We are more or less packed by 09:30 and head to The Olive Tree for breakfast. This is an excellent way to start the day and with a Pink Blush smoothie, the very best coffee, poached eggs on toast and D having some bacon we once again take in the stunning views from this excellent cafe / restaurant. We vow we must have lunch here in September.

We head back to the apartment to pick up bits and pieces and head down the school steps for a frappe in Cafe Aiglios and a small beer in the Corner Cafe. We then wander round towards the bus stop and as we have a bit of time on our hands stop for a drink and end up chatting with a couple of young day trippers who tell how blown away they are with the beauty of Symi. We get the 1pm bus up, finish packing and D takes the bags down the steps and leaves them outside the Secret Garden. We see Michelis and pop in and have a drink with him and Katia just before the Symi Tours bus picks us up at spot on 15:30. We are taken to the clock tower and our bags are taken on board the Skiadeni which gives us time for one last farewell to Elpida.

The boat is busy and 20 minutes out of Rhodes D decides he wants to stay in the town centre rather than out in Falaraki. A quick internet transaction and we get a good price for B&B at The Plaza through eBookers.com

D finds the Manchester couple that we been chatting to occasionally throughout our stay and they think he is crazy but will advise the Olympic Rep of our change in plans.

E does her racing start from the ferry and secures us a taxi and we are in a lovely air conditioned room overlooking the pool by 19:00. We have a drink in the bar whilst watching the first couple of sets of the Federer match at Wimbledon and then head towards the old town. We enter from the top end for a change and soon find Socratous Garden for a cocktail. On the way we spot a restaurant called Sissitio and check out a short but interesting menu and decide over our cocktail that we will give it a try.

We are not disappointed. Firstly we have to wait for a table in the lovely courtyard with its very atmospheric lighting and historic setting next to the minaret. This place isn't cheap and is on a par with a fine dining experience in the U.K. A nice variety of gins with selected tonics and good wines are available. We only have to wait about 15 minutes for a table. D has the most succulent of octopus, sous vide, and served on a bed of mashed broad beans which has the texture of velvet - a very fine dish indeed. E has the spinach in filo with a Cretan cream cheese dip which also hits the mark. D has been craving pasta so he has the penne with smoked salmon in a creamed vodka sauce and E has a beautifully roasted piece of pork tender loin. Both dishes were excellent but a bit over generous in terms of quantity. All in with aperitif, a couple of glasses of Merlot and Prosecco and tip we paid €80 and as we left around 11pm every table was taken.

We walked back to The Plaza in the buzz that is Rhodes on a Friday night.

(pics to follow)
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