Kali Strata

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Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 28 Apr 2017, 08:49

Hi

OK, so even as I type this I feel a little silly but, need to ask :oops:

Is walking the Kali Strata tricky? Don't necessarily mean in terms of how strenuous it is but, rather, how easy it is to get lost! Have been googling - possibly not such a great idea because I've read of people taking wrong turns and that it's quite slippery etc.....

Will probably be attempting it on 8th or 9th October this year. Am a reasonably fit 50SomethingIsh and not sure I want to attempt it on my own. Am a regular bushwalker here in Australia but know the lay of the land here. Tore a ligament in a knee last year so am a bit worried I may do an injury or find myself lost. Are there walking tours up there?

As I said - possibly a silly question to the locals or frequent travellers to Symi. There's also a good chance I am overthinking this :?

Thanks
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Andy W » 28 Apr 2017, 09:09

Almost impossible to get lost, I'd say, especially if you're going up. Going down, you might take a wrong turning, but any turning leading back up hill is obviously wrong, and any turning leading down hill will still get you to the harbour side, which is the main objective.
Is it slippery? Yes, in the early morning when there's been a heavy dew, or if it is raining hard. Otherwise no.
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 28 Apr 2017, 10:16

Thanks Andy - I figured I was worrying unnecessarily.
Not much chance it will be early morning :)
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby SueO » 29 Apr 2017, 05:49

Hi Sue

Are you "over thinking things"? Well, possibly, but half the fun of a holiday is in the planning and you've found the best place to ask your questions - keep them coming even if you think they may sound daft!

As to your specific query - as Andy says you're highly unlikely to get lost climbing the Kali Strata as far as the Village Square where there are a couple of kafenions/bars for much needed refreshment. However, if you decide to venture much further up and into the old village (Horio or Chorio), there is a fair chance that you will lose your way at some point. There are a multitude of narrow alleys and steps winding between the old buildings - it's a fascinating and beautiful area to explore and, yes, even after thirty years of visiting Symi we can still get lost up there. That's part of the fun though and, as long as you have water, a hat and plenty of time, it's worth exploring.

I don't know of any walking tours around the old village but I have found this "photo guide" which you might enjoy. A little out of date but still, probably, enough to keep you on the right path.

http://www.aartworld.com/Walks/Symi/Symiwalk01Horio.pdf

There are (or have been in the past) longer walking trips exploring some of the island combining with a BBQ lunch and a return boat trip. A search on this site will bring up quite a lot of information - here's a link to just one thread....

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2822&p=29929&hilit=walks#p29929

Enjoy your planning Sue and keep the questions coming!

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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 29 Apr 2017, 06:45

Hi SueO and thanks for the 'daft questions permit' :D I am bound to keep them coming, the more I ask and read in here the more excited I am about visiting and wishing I had more time on Symi.

Thanks too for the link to the photographic walking guide - it's fantastic! Would love to do the walk to Chorio but don't think I will attempt it on my own. Maybe next trip - unless I make a new friend on my first day this time aroudn - because I only have two nights on Symi.

So nice to have reassurance on these things, it's much appreciated.
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby SueO » 29 Apr 2017, 06:52

P.S. Having studied the "photo guide" a bit more I think it's still pretty accurate and certainly easy to follow - it really is worth the effort for the wonderful views. The only part I can see that really needs clarifying is right at the beginning - points 2/3. Glaros is no longer there but the turning to the right looks just the same so it shouldn't be a problem.

We shall be in Symi in September/beginning of October but, sadly, our walking days are over. What a pleasure then to "walk" this favourite route in my head this morning with the help of the photo guide.

SueO

P.P.S. Your reply came in whilst I was typing this. Hadn't realised you only had such a short time on the island. It's an awful long way to come but I suspect that, after your visit in October, you'll want to return for a longer stay!
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 29 Apr 2017, 07:04

Well, I haven't dismissed the idea entirely..... will depend on how brave I feel on the day. I arrive on Sunday 8/10 and leave on Tue 10/10 so will be doing my walk on the Monday.

Yes, I love Australia, but it's such a long way to travel to any of the destinations I want to see. It takes at least a day flying, longer if I decide to have a stopover on the way, which I am contemplating this time. Have never done that before but 24 hours sitting on a plane is not getting any easier - especially as I can't sleep on planes. Often by the time I make it to my hotel room on my first night I have been awake for anywhere between 36 - 40 hours :shock: As it is so far away and airfares are costly I have to try to cram in as much as I can in one trip, then start saving for the next. I am doing an organised tour of Greece and the Balkans for two weeks prior to flying to Rhodes for two nights, Symi two nights, Rhodes one night, Santorini two nights then home. I only have a month off work so by the time I fly to and from downunder and add all the 'holiday' nights up it will be almost time to go back to work!

I do plan on going back to Symi though as I also want to spend at least a week on Crete. But that's next year's plan!

Thanks again Sue.
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Andy W » 29 Apr 2017, 07:13

Just to point out that if you walk up the Kali Strata as far as the square, you're already in Chorio. It is the exploring part you might want to leave out if you're short of time.
If you don't want to walk up, there's a bus every hour on the hour.
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 29 Apr 2017, 07:35

Thanks Andy, yes it's the exploring that I probably won't attempt on my own. I will have the whole day but know that I will be taking my time due to a) not wanting to miss anything b) stopping to take loads of photos and c) not wanting to do myself an injury :)

Good to know about the bus though - just in case I decide to cheat :oops:
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Gemma1 » 29 Apr 2017, 09:20

I walk up and down the Kali Strata most days when I'm on Symi (usually late September) and as long as you follow the wide main staircase you shouldn't get lost. There's a lot of shade on the route so it shouldn't be too hot in October and when you get to the bench at the top the views are absolutely stunning :) I've walked up and down in the dark as well, which is a bit trickier as some of it's not that well lit, but it doesn't sound as though you'll be doing that so you should be fine. When you're coming back down some of the steps getting closer to the bottom can be narrow, with the occasional water pipe running alongside, but as long as you watch where you are going you should be fine.

With regards to exploring the village and getting lost - I've spent a lot of time wandering round there and went on a guided tour with Ian once and after 7 visits still find new bits that I've not seen before. However, it's really worth a wander round and is one of my favourite Greek villages. As long as you head back downhill you will reach Yialos eventually so shouldn't get lost for long.

Hope you enjoy your stay on Symi. Like Val I'll be missing my Symi fix this year :( but hope to be back on my favourite island next year :)
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 29 Apr 2017, 09:26

Thanks Gemma.

I really do appreciate all these little tips and shared experiences. Good to know about the water pipes - will keep an eye out. And yes, you're right, I won't be doing it at night. Maybe on my next visit when I hope to stay longer...

Is Ian a guide?

I am enjoying Symi already!
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Andy W » 29 Apr 2017, 09:40

Yes, for those who don't know, quite a large number of buildings in Chorio, especially the part around the Castro (castle) were deliberately destroyed or damaged beyond use by the German Army during World War II. Over time some of these buildings have been restored and in the process alleyways and lanes that have been choked with rubble for over 70 years become passable again. A little more is done each year, as a result every year there's the possibility of finding somewhere I've never been able to walk along before.
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Allan » 29 Apr 2017, 21:25

I don't want to hijack your holiday Sue but how about this for an idea for your exploration?...

"cheat" and take the bus up to Chorio. As well as saving your legs, the Symi bus is an interesting fun experience. As Andy mentioned, it leaves (roughly) on the hour every hour up the hill to Chorio and on to Pedi, returning from Pedi on the half-hour, you can get off where ever you like. The bus stop in Yialos can be seen on the picture in the Iapetos thread, on the left hand side half way up. You can see it's a short walk from your hotel.

Get off the bus right at the top of the ridge, by the ruined windmills. Then walk from there up the ridge track past the windmills. The views from up there are spectacular and not to be missed. Your camera will get a LOT of use!

You can see back down to the harbour.
Img_0541.jpg

Img_0549.jpg

Right over the whole of the village (Chorio).
Img_0550.jpg

Img_0551.jpg

And down to the fertile Pedi valley and Pedi bay beyond.
Img_0544.jpg


Then, before you completely fill your camera's memory card, retrace your steps down to the road where you got off the bus and take the small road which takes you down into the centre of Chorio, bringing you out right at the top of the Kali Strata just by the village square and the two kafenions that SueO mentioned. I strongly recommend you sit yourself down at one of them and have a cooling drink of your choice before exploring some more...

I echo other poster's comments about the delights of wandering the maze of tiny lanes through the village. It is one of my favourite things to do on Symi and, as others have said, it's still possible to find new unexplored areas even after many visits to the island. Needless to say, the photo opportunities are endless.

SueO's suggestion of following the published guide is excellent. The pictures are very helpful and if you follow the instructions you are unlikely to get lost but even if you do you're not really "lost", just a bit unsure and if you head downhill you'll soon get to somewhere you recognise. It's honestly not at all scary!

Assuming the guide works you will end up on the "Donkey Track" out of the top of the village from where you get even more stunning views. You can, if you wish, continue along the track for a while to Agios Paraskevi church which is worth a visit if you feel up to it or turn back downhill and enjoy yourself wandering aimlessly through the lanes and hidden places of the upper village. Eventually you'll end up back at the village square and the welcome kafenions. From there (after another refreshing cold drink or two) you can wander down the Kalistrata (more pictures!) back to Yialos.
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 30 Apr 2017, 00:45

Oh wow Allan - thanks! A lot of very helpful information there. Maybe I could do a walk/bus combination....

Thanks for the photos too. I will be printing all of this and taking it with me :)

This site is brilliant :)
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby SueO » 30 Apr 2017, 06:45

Thanks for the pics Allan - always a pleasure to feast my eyes on those lovely views.

Sue - Allan's suggestion of a bus/walk combo should be perfect for you. I really should have thought of it myself especially as we now (in our "old age") use the bus on an almost daily basis when on Symi.

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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Allan » 30 Apr 2017, 17:10

I'm enjoying your holiday Sue! :D

It's given me an excuse to dig through thousands of pictures of Symi.
I didn't find the ones I was looking for but I'll keep looking. The few that I used in my earlier post are shrunk and horribly compressed to fit the page so they don't look their best. I'll find something better for you when I get chance.
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 01 May 2017, 04:35

Thanks Allan!
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Gemma1 » 01 May 2017, 07:58

Sue wrote:Thanks Gemma.

I really do appreciate all these little tips and shared experiences. Good to know about the water pipes - will keep an eye out. And yes, you're right, I won't be doing it at night. Maybe on my next visit when I hope to stay longer...

Is Ian a guide?

I am enjoying Symi already!


Ian was the Olympic rep that year, but that's a few years (and several reps) ago now. I'm pretty sure that he's still on Symi but I'm not sure what he's doing now.

Really enjoying Allan's photos, it's making me wish I was going back this year :? Too many Greek islands and not enough time... ;)
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Allan » 01 May 2017, 09:27

Ian was the Olympic rep that year, but that's a few years (and several reps) ago now. I'm pretty sure that he's still on Symi but I'm not sure what he's doing now.

Ian has taken well-deserved retirement after many many years working in the holiday industry. He's still on the island I believe but more likely to be sat in a bar with a cold beer than walking the lanes of Chorio with a group of visitors. :D


I've dug through another few years-worth of Symi photographs and I'll put some on the forum in a day or two.
Looking through the files reminded me that for the last few years I've tended to concentrate more on taking videos than photographs and I have a large number of 'walking the hidden hales of upper Chorio' videos which really should be edited together, as should all the other videos but I never seem to get round to it for some reason. But I did find a single video that I think works well on its own so I've edited it and shoved it onto YouTube as a stand alone film.

It should play correctly in the window below but it looks nicer full screen.
Well, I think it does, anyway, if you can stand the wobbly camera work. ;)

phpBB [video]
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Gemma1 » 02 May 2017, 07:18

Great video Allan. I did wonder if we were going to run into something sinister round the corner when I heard the slightly spooky music - it reminded me of the Judas Inheritance ;-)
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Re: Kali Strata

Postby Sue » 02 May 2017, 10:45

Wow Allan thats great! Had a fleeting moment of claustrophobia but there was a happy ending :D

Thanks for posting.
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