First time for August

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First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 30 Aug 2017, 16:04

Well here we are with our first visit in August, we normally visit in June. Plans for walking have been scuppered however, I am more mobile than I first feared. Been told to rest, ice and do a couple of stretch exercises twice a day. I don't have the need for crutches anymore and using a hiking pole instead. Alan if you do see me walking with my pole come and say hello. Our journey went as clockwork with the first EasyJet out of Gatwick on time and landing 20 mins ahead, easy pass through customs and quickly onto the harbour to catch the 1pm crossing. Unfortunately I lost my sunglasses to the wind and they are now at the bottom of the sea :oops:
We were met by Frank and up in Taxiarchis by 2.15, we unpacked then had a rest, got in provisions and are sitting on our terrace enjoying the view over Pedi Bay trying to decide we're to dine this evening. It was hot when we arrived but we seem to have acclimatised very quickly and there is a nice warm breeze coming down through the valley as I write.
We will try to keep you updated on our time here over the next 10 days.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Allan » 30 Aug 2017, 17:23

Thanks for the report Polychops. Good to hear that your travel arrangements went well and you got settled in so quickly.

Good news about your leg injury too and I'm sure you'll be easy to spot as you hobble about with your walking pole, squinting in the sunlight. :D
I will look out for you from Sunday morning when I arrive and say hello. If you are very unlucky you may even get to meet all (well, both) of the Chat Page administrators during your holiday ;)
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Re: First time for August

Postby Gemma1 » 31 Aug 2017, 07:00

If I shut my eyes I can transform myself back to my end studio at Taxiarchis and enjoy the view with you - bliss :D Great to hear that you can get about more than first expected and I hope you enjoyed your first dinner on Symi :)
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 31 Aug 2017, 07:52

Off we went down the Kali with some care, having to take one step at a time it took forever and we were overtaken several times which made us laugh. We decided to plan our meals out and the idea was to call in to various restaraunts to book tables so the furthest away is Tholos which is our favourite so headed out there first to work our way back. After reaching Tholos after nearly an hour it was fully booked however, they made up an extra table for us and we dined there. We opened with saganaki and my favourite fava which is a simple dish but full of flavour, this was followed by melt in the mouth moussaka and chicken souvlaki with drinks on the house. We sat there for some some time taking in the view of the harbour and town glowing in the dark. Slow stroll back it was good to see everywhere being very busy we decided to book other evenings out for another day and stopped off at Eva for a coffee and a spot of people watching. We caught the bus not too late at 11 and noticed the bus has a tv monitor showing adverts of various establishments, we got off at the kiosk and hobbled down the hill to Taxiarchis. Sitting on our terrace this morning in glorious weather working out were to go today.
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Re: First time for August

Postby silverfox » 31 Aug 2017, 21:11

Sounds wonderful Pollychops.

Thanks for sharing with us.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Gemma1 » 01 Sep 2017, 07:43

silverfox wrote:Sounds wonderful Pollychops.

Thanks for sharing with us.


Ditto. I'm drooling at the thought of all that lovely Greek food and the beautiful Symi views of course :)
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 01 Sep 2017, 07:52

Following breakfast on Thursday morning it ended with some panic, during packing I missed putting Kim's medication in the bag, she has to take this twice a day and can only go without for a few days before she has a flare up. We decided to try our luck and see if we could get it over the counter and after walking down to the town we managed to easily purchase some. Amazing assistance and we were surprised at the cost of €3.70 for a months supply so panic over and my blushes were saved. We then took a boat to St Nicks and had a wonderful day chilling out and the water was so warm. We decided as my leg was feeling better to walk back up the steps and along the path to Pedi then caught the bus up the hill. We decided to stay up top and had dinner in Zoe's. We started with gigantes, courgette balls and calamari. For mains we had lamb chops and stifado which was wonderful as usual. It was good to see all of the tables full in Zoe's and enjoyed our evening there. After dinner we took a slow walk back down to Taxiarchis and after a catch up on emails headed off for a good nights sleep. Like yesterday we are sitting on our terrace deciding were and what to do today......no rush really. Oh I nearly forgot, whilst on St Nicks a lonely canoeist paddled around the corner and came inland, had a beer then paddled off again. It took me back to my canoeing days a couple of years ago when I did it....happy days.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 01 Sep 2017, 07:55

Allan wrote:Thanks for the report Polychops. Good to hear that your travel arrangements went well and you got settled in so quickly.

Good news about your leg injury too and I'm sure you'll be easy to spot as you hobble about with your walking pole, squinting in the sunlight. :D
I will look out for you from Sunday morning when I arrive and say hello. If you are very unlucky you may even get to meet all (well, both) of the Chat Page administrators during your holiday ;)


Hi Allan, still hobbling but not as bad and the squinting is sorted, Kim had some old sunglasses to hand.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Gemma1 » 02 Sep 2017, 08:25

Good to hear that your leg was up to the walk back from St Nicks which is much improved from a couple of years ago but still a bit of a hike up those steps :)
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 03 Sep 2017, 16:27

Friday.
Following breakfast we have a catch up with Frank and Eva then decide to walk to Pedi to catch George's boat over to St Nicks. Our timing is out as usual and we see George disappearing into the horizon. We stop at the supermarket and buy some fruit and water and decide to walk as my leg is getting better. Had another great day reading, swimming and generally having a rest. We then walk back over the new steps and catch the bus back up. Tonight we are downstairs and dine at Thollos....I know but this time we booked. We had a lovely meal with Grilled prawns and Greek salad followed by Spicy Meatballs and Symi goat with lemon potatoes, complimentry melon and with drinks it came to €47. We headed off home and caught the 11 o'clock bus.
Saturday
We decided as my leg was ok with the walk to St Nicks we would try out walking to Nimborio. After breakfast, down the stairs and a wander around the shops buying some little bits, then a frappe and some people watching before we ventured out. We do like this walk as it's not to diificult and a nice breeze to keep us cool. We arrived within 45 mins which was ok and having not been here for two years can see the changes at Maria's with the renovation next door and the new sun terrace. As usual Maria welcomed us with a big hug and after a quick catch up we took a couple of beds on the jetty. We had a lunch of calamari, sardines and Greek salad which was very good. We walked back starting off at 5, got some provisions and bussed it back up. Tonight we went to Giorgios as tired legs dictated staying local. We had Imam, artichokes followed by beef in metaxa and mushroom sauce and pork souvlaki which was all accompanied by the musicians playing fabulous Greek music. Today was a tiring day so Sunday we will take it easy.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Gemma1 » 04 Sep 2017, 07:20

Another great report :) I love the beef in Metaxa at Georgio's, good to hear you enjoyed your meal as some of the latest reviews over the summer haven't been very good. I've always had excellent food when I've been there.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 04 Sep 2017, 08:06

Early rise this morning as my leg is hurting. Weather so far has been lovely, late 20's to mid 30's with a nice breeze. So far it's been very clear but this morning there is a haze and from our terrace and we can't see the mountains of Turkey from across Pedi Bay. I am resting up for a couple of hours and Kim has set off on a walk, we intend to meet up later today at St Nicks.
Last night we dined at Mythos, boy what this good. We have eaten here before on our visit in 2014 and forgotten how good it was. We had a nice table nearest the harbour with great views. Stavros the chef offers a 'let me treat you ' menu which we had last time however, we decided to go solo and choose our own. We started with Aubergine Mille Feullie which is a cold starter with sliced grilled aubergine topped with a mashed aubergine and feta with yogurt, I had a filo pastry parcel stuffed with two types of fish, softened carrots, fennel, flavoured with saffron and a boullabaise sauce, both were divine and we shared both. For main course Kim had the catch of the day, Sea Bass in a Papillote with a tomato and herb sauce baked in the oven, I opted for the grilled sea bream in an olive oil, fennel and caper sauce. Both came with potato dauphinoise and steamed spinach. There were two sea bream fillets to enjoy and the flavours were intense and full of flavour, it was accompanied by a lovely bottle of white wine and as both courses were enough we decided not to have any desserts. During our meal Stavros walked the floor and stopped to ask the diners if all was ok and enjoyable, he also took time to discuss how he put the dishes together which we felt was a good thing to do. Normally head chefs tend to be in a world of their own and this was good to see. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening and on leaving we have booked another evening later this week so will post this and we hope it will be as enjoyable. We then set off and bussed it back to Chorio and hopped into bed. My plan this morning is to take a slow walk to Yalios and pick up our return ferry tickets, we have booked a trip to Toli beach with Symi Tours, they emailed back to confirm but it will be based on numbers, if they don't have enough they will advise us tomorrow morning and may have to cancel. I will then have a sit down, beer and catch a taxi boat round to St Nicks and meet up with Kim.
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Re: First time for August

Postby D and E » 05 Sep 2017, 18:18

Excellent Blog.
Thanks Pollychops.
It has been several year since we visited Stavros but you have certainly whetted the appetite for our September visit.
Glad to read that you are getting to all your favourite places - hope you got to Tolis with the Symi Tours trip - one of our favourite days out.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 06 Sep 2017, 05:15

Monday.
Early rise today with the dawn chorus, only cockerels but no donkey this year. Another walk to Nimborio was decided for today and set off after breakfast. We stopped at Symi tours as I didn't get round to that on Sunday and collected our return ferry tickets, the trip to Toli Bay on Tuesday wasn't looking good as we were the only ones booked so we changed it to Thursday as there were more bookings for that trip. Having seen me disappointed with not being able to carry out some of the walks I had planned to do and now getting slightly fidgety, Kim went into the bookshop/stationers and bought me a watercolour painting pad. She brought along with her a pocket paint set (forward planning) and thought this will keep me busy.So off we trot stopping at Elphidas for a quick frappe and beer. For lunch at Maria's we had sardines, chicken souvlaki and a Greek salad. It's very quiet and peaceful in Nimborio which I like and managed to try out my watercolour skills but I think I will have to keep to my day job as this won't be a career changer. Slow walk back enjoying the breeze and bus back up to Chorio. Tonight we are trying La Vapporetta which is a first, we had pre dinner drinks sitting on the harbour at Nireus and then take our table on the waters edge at the restaraunt. It has an interesting menu and we start with Mussels for Kim and carpaccio of swordfish for me, the mussels come up in a sauté pan flavoured with garlic and peppers and the swordfish was very thinly sliced dressed with olive oil, peppercorns and paprika. Followed by lemon linguini with prawns for Kim and seafood linguini for myself, both dishes were packed with flavour and not too large or overpowering. It was an enjoyable experience and a nice break away from a Greek menu. Tonight was a late night and caught the midnight bus.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 06 Sep 2017, 05:19

Tuesday
Our accommodation at Taxiarchis is splendid, out of our 7 visits to Symi we have stayed here 5 times. The first 2 were with Olympic but the others we book direct. Our apartment is No 32 and is on the first floor, it's very spacious and has a mezzanine floor with the bed up there. The other benefit is it has a large terrace which gives us a fantastic outdoor space and has a terrific view over Pedi Bay. To sit here in the morning and enjoy breakfast with this view is very special to both of us and a great start to the day. I did this year intend to venture round some of the other places that are mentioned on the forum but once we got here I came to the conclusion 'if it's not broke why fix it' so I don't think we will be changing venues.
Anyway, following breakfast it was a downhill walk to Pedi, as usual stopping off at the supermarket, I walked and Kim went with George on the taxi boat. Another day swimming, painting and chilling out. Tonight is downstairs to Thollos stopping en route in Elphidas for a beer and some lovely mezes of chicken with carrots, spicy pastries and potatoes with paprika sausage, way too much before dinner so we slowed our walking pace around Harini and took our table on the lower section by the waters edge. We had a salad and greens with yogurt to start, Kim had chicken in lemon sauce and I had a fantastic grilled sea bass with a lemon sauce and of course lemon potatoes, bottle of very nice Greek Rose wine followed by complimentary melon. It was wonderful and Thollos never fails. Slow walk back stopping off at Eva for a coffee then late bus again back up to bed.
Wednesday
Dawn chorus woke me again and as I sign off the sun has just popped its head over the hills to say good morning, the breeze has got up over the last 24 hours but still lovely and warm. No plans for today and tonight it's back to Mythos for dinner.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Gemma1 » 06 Sep 2017, 07:38

More great updates and I agree that the accommodation at Taxiarchis is excellent, though too expensive for me to book independently when I'm travelling solo.

Enjoy your trip to Toli :)
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Re: First time for August

Postby D and E » 06 Sep 2017, 11:17

Taxiarchis was our first ever stay on Symi all those many years ago.

We have been back several times, once for three weeks, and Frank & Eva never failed to look after us but like yourselves we have got into the habit of "if it ain't broke ... " so now its Anastasia's (normally up May) and Margarita's (normally down in September) although it has changed his year :o

Having whetted our appetite for Mythos you are now also shaming us :D into getting down those steps more often in the evenings - its dragging D away from his ouzo's in Yannis Rainbow Bar that seems to be the issue - but we love Thollos (and Oddysia) and La Vapporetta is a nice change in cuisine as you say.

This time next week will be on our way with all our good intentions ;)
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 08 Sep 2017, 08:00

Wednesday.
Windy today...very windy. We decide to have a morning in the harbour and treat ourselves to breakfast/brunch at The Olive Tree. Kim choose the breakfast special and I opted for the homemade muffins with 2 soft poached eggs and a flat white. Nice relaxed time we had sitting there enjoying the views. Off down the stairs to wander around the shops, on route we take a small detour down steps we have never used before and see some great properties and views over the harbour, when we eventually get to sea level we are at the quay were Symi Dreams docks. It is just approaching so off we go to get ahead of the 'tourists'. Not being a keen shopper myself I find the shops here a lot easier to wander through and do see some very nice pieces and we don't get any hassle from the shopkeepers. Kim has eyed up a few pieces so possibly she will make a purchase or two. After a raid from the ATM we stop off at Nireus and have a beer/frappe break sitting at a table by the waters edge people watching. What we did notice was the groups of tourists being marched round to the Nireus and the staff there had set up tables and they were having lunch. It seemed strange that they had only been off the boat no more than 45 mins to stop so soon. Anyway what to do next as the wind was certainly strong we decided not to go to the beach, we had noticed earlier this week the lights that were on in the evening over beside the petrol station and new harbour, I remembered someone saying that it was sun beds and a bar. So like two moths being mesmerised by the bright lightbulb off we trotted to seek what it was. It took us quite some time to get there but when we did we found a rather nice decking area backed up against the wall which is at the start of the hill when going up to Chorio, it has a 'cafe del mar' Ibiza feel to it with chill out music gently playing and very large and comfortable sun beds with a frame canopy above to protect you from the sun. The views are terrific and the waitresses were lovely and very attentive. No charge for the beds or deckchairs if you spend €10. No brainer with the wind now very gusty we decided to spend some time here watching all of the boats coming in and out of the harbour, the two Dodeks and the Blue Star came and went with some great waves crashing into the new decking. We were the only ones there and we stayed until 5 then made our way back to base. This evening we returned to Mythos and had another terrific meal. Kim had the seafood filo parcel, coquelles st Mythos for me both packed full of seafood and bags of flavour. For mains we had Pork fillets in a rich herb sauce and Sea Bass fillets in fennel and ouzo. This was washed down by a small house wine. Again another fantastic meal and for the standard of food, location and ambience for under €60 we'll worth the visit and would recommend this to any visitor. Caught the 11 o'clock and back upstairs. We felt we didn't do much today but thoroughly enjoyed it. The wind was still howling when our heads hit the pillow. Tomorrow it off to Toli beach.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 08 Sep 2017, 17:08

Thursday.
The strong winds are now gone and its back to normal, following breakfast we meet the Symi Tours bus at the kiosk and off we go. There are 9 on board and all of them have been before. What a surprise when we have to sit on the back of a pick up and the driver decides to go at it full pelt. Very exillerating and being at the back it was like being on a roller coaster. Once there we set up on the beach and I investigate the Taverna, its such a lovely setting and drooled over the menu. There was a lot of sea grass on the beach and not too sure if this was the aftermath of the strong winds or its like this all the time, the water was lovely and whilst in the water we met Sparticus and had a good chat and a laugh. After the swim we sunbathed for a wee while then sat down for lunch at 1.30. We choose the Dapne salad, aubergine salad, courgette balls and the grilled squid. The first three were delightful and well worth the visit however, the grilled squid.....it turned up complete and whole and was cooked to perfection with a drizzling of olive oil and lemon. The knife cut through it like butter and was soft, juicy and full of flavour. We have ate in many high class establishments however, this squid goes to the top of the list, it was fresh, simply grilled with no fancy sauces and was a delight to enjoy. It was that good I could have had another and combined with the terrace views over the bay it was simplicity on a plate. After lunch we had a quick swim, sunbathe and caught the pick up and bus back to Town. We decided to go all the way into town and be like a couple of beach bums. We headed off to Petalo the chill out bar as the waitress yesterday told us the sunset was good to see. So we grabbed a bed, couple of drinks and enjoyed the views till 7.30. The sunset didn't disappoint and we then walked off to do a quick shop, grabbed a meal in Maraklis then off to bed. Another great day.
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Re: First time for August

Postby silverfox » 08 Sep 2017, 21:27

Sounds so nice....

Thanks for your updates on this wonderful island.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 09 Sep 2017, 04:47

Friday.
Today is our last full day so I walk down to the harbour whilst Kim trots off down to Pedi as she would like to spend the day on St Nicks. The weather is back to how it should be, lovely and warm in the late twenties early thirties with a little breeze. I stop off at Elphidas for a beer and some snacks then catch a taxi boat at midday and head out to meet up with Kim. More 'tourists' to negotiate walking to the boat. What I have noticed this time round there are more frequent visitors who have been visiting for years and having some conversations with them September/October is the preferred time to visit. We spend our last afternoon catching some sun and finally have our last swim in the lovely warm waters, and it is warmer than when we normally visit in June. We decide to walk back and leave at 6 to catch the bus at 6.30. We say our goodbyes to George and head off home. Tonight we decide to pack in the morning and walk down to Thollos and are seated on the upper level at the waters edge with a terrific view over the harbour, we again see the Blue Star arrive and it still amazes me to see this huge vessel glide in and dock. Seeing it with the clock tower dwarfed below is a grand site, it gives Kim an idea of maybe one year traveling from Athens via some other islands and ending here in Symi but that will have to wait. We start with Fava, tomato and cucumber salad and delicious stuffed peppers with feta. I go with the Symi goat and Kim opts for the grilled sea bass. We have complimentry ice cream with a sesame paste topping, I think it's called tahini, this was washed down with a Greek rose. Another fantastic meal and a great last evening to end our holiday. We say our goodbyes for another year and slowly walk back towards the bus and up off to bed. Another early rise this morning with the help of the wildlife surrounding Taxiarchis and see another beautiful dawn and sunrise. I have taken photos on our trip and will try and upload them when we return home. Today we will pack and intend to have brunch in the Olive Tree then meander down to the harbour, possibly sit in the sunshades at Petalo before catching the 4.30 to Rhodes for our 9.20 flight.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Gemma1 » 09 Sep 2017, 08:46

A great read on a wet and miserable morning in the UK :D I have really enjoyed reading about your trip - and all the delicious meals you've had.

Hope you have a good journey home, thank you for sharing your holiday with us :) I've got 54 weeks to wait for my next Symi fix :( , though will be in Crete in 2 weeks so should get some Greek sunshine then :)
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Re: First time for August

Postby Val » 10 Sep 2017, 11:39

Lovely read. Hope you have arrived home safely. Have really enjoyed sharing your holiday on the lovely Symi each day and much appreciate you doing so. Thank you.
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Re: First time for August

Postby Pollychops » 10 Sep 2017, 17:44

Last day.

After packing we say our goodbyes to Frank and Eva and leave our bags with Frank who will take them down to the harbour for our departure. We stop off for brunch at the Olive Tree and enjoy a good bit of banter and an enjoyable meal of scrambled eggs on toast with toasted muffins with lemon curd. We then walk down to the harbour and decide to sit and lounge around the Petalo, its a very nice place to have a lazy day enjoying the view and we had a couple of drinks. Whilst there I had a walk around the new harbour as being Saturday there were no work going on. It appears to be near completion with most of the crazing paving down along with all of the street lights, it could be ready for arrivals by next year. We left there at 3.30 and has a slow walk around the harbour, collected our bags then boarded, departed on time at 4.30. Plain sailing and grabbed a cab when docked, straight to the airport. Our plane was 20 mins late but boarded quickly and arrived back at Gatwick only 10 mins behind. It was a breeze through passport control, collected our bags fairly quickly and were back home within an hour.

As this was our first visit in August we feel as we only visit once a year we will opt to make early September our preferred choice. We felt it was not as hot, the water was warmer than when we normally visit in June, also for both of us with work we are busiest in July and most of August so having a holiday after the mad season is more beneficial to get some compete rest. We have had a wonderful holiday and if asked to highlight one event, the highlight for me was the grilled squid in Taverna Dafne on Tolis beach.

Whilst entering this post I am sitting at the window looking at the dark, damp Sunday afternoon we are having here in Epping and thinking about next years visit to magical Symi.

We hope you have enjoyed our blog as much as we have writing it.
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Re: First time for August

Postby D and E » 11 Sep 2017, 09:44

We have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and will aim to reciprocate as we start our adventure tomorrow by heading down from the coast of Mid Wales to Gatwick to stop overnight before our Wednesday morning flight.

Tolis, Daphne and Squid - the perfect trio - great to read how much you enjoyed that part of the holiday.

We had better get the cases down from the loft now and start packing.
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