>> Monday, December 5, 2016 – Christmas on Symi, Christmas shopping, Dodecanese Seaways, ferry strikes, Greek wedding traditions, Life on Symi in December
|The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation office balcony at 9 this morning.|
|And again an hour or so later.|
|Cabbages, caged birds and camo pants for sale in the Kampos parking area. You can buy anything on Symi as long as you are prepared to wait long enough!|
|The acorns are falling from the big oak tree in Lieni.|
|Oranges and lemons ripening in old Yanni's garden in Lieni.|
|The rain has softened the earth and it is time to start planting before the weather turns too cold.|
|Herbs and vegetable seedlings outside the Symi Flower shop in Yialos.|
|Old hand-forged wrought iron in a window in Yialos.|
It is three weeks to Christmas and I spotted a chocolate Santa in Hatzipetros supermarket this morning so some goodies are reaching the island, despite the on-going Pan-Hellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) strike. Dodecanese Seaways is not affected by these strikes but the Blue Star is and as the Blue Star is the only way trucks and freight can reach Symi and other islands, not to mention our post, it does affect us all one way or another. Dodecanese Seaways is only serving us with a catamaran at the moment and then only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. As their routes are the 'wrong way round' we can't use them for a day's shopping in Rhodes. Those of us who have lived here a while get nostalgic at this time of the year. Not for Christmases past but for the days of the ANES boat 'Symi I' and Captain Phil who always got us to Rhodes to do our Christmas shopping, no matter what. In those days the boats used to operate out of Mandraki and most of the shops were in the centre of town so we used to trot back to the boat at intervals to drop off our purchases on board and then make a fresh foray. Very civilised. Now the 'Symi 1' takes day-trippers to the old leper colony of Spinalonga off Crete, Captain Phil has long since retired and ANES' only nautical activities take place at the other end of the Aegean instead of serving the people of Symi as was the original intention.
Enough reminiscing. At least Dodecanese Seaways is fast and the Blue Star is punctual when not affected by strikes and there is talk that the Mayor's appeal for a third Blue Star a week has been successful so maybe we will have boats on Mondays as well as Wednesdays and Fridays! Keep an eye on Andy's travel blog for more information on this and other travel stories.
Have a good week.