Symi: not-so-wild walks

Well, I made it to Symi.  At first the weather was great, sunny with temperatures mid to high twenties.  One day it dropped to a chilly low twenties with heavy overnight rain depositing half of the Sahara on the island.  Always a mixed bag of weather at this time of year.  Take it as it comes.

Been meeting up with friends some who live here, some visiting.  Sadly I’m misfiring on two out of four cylinders and am reluctantly reconciled to the fact that walks are likely to be somewhat less than wild for a while.  But I’m working on it, trying to do a little more each day.

Knowing this would be the case I thought it would be a good opportunity to focus the camera on spring flowers which swathe the island.  Because of the extreme drought the flowering period for most plants is very short, survival of the species depends on getting seeds out there as soon as possible.  Winter 2014-15 was unusually wet on the island and so in Spring 2015 plants were in flower longer and later than usual.  This winter has not been so wet and it quickly became clear that most of the flowering has finished in sharp contrast with the same time last year (see last years’ blogs beginning here) when it stretched well into May.  But there is still colour to be seen and maybe more to come.



April 2015 there were carpets of cyclamen, now only  a few remain in flower in shady spots, this one in a dry-stone wall


Dragon Arums, one of the most dramatic with deep purple spathes up to 2 feet long, certainly the worst smelling, attracting bluebottles to pollinate them with an overpowering stench of rotting flesh.  Now only a few left in flower.


Wild hollyhocks, again just a few remaining


Brilliant blue of a bush legume.  Most are now in pod.


Spindly cornflowers sway on long stems in the breeze.


Pale blue, about two centimetres across and surviving in the most inhospitable soil


Flowers including Crown Daises (Edible Chrysanthemum)  remaining in a field of wild barley soon to be harvested for fodder


I dig this stuff out of my garden but in places the wild bindweed (convolvulus) is still in full flower

Early spring and few people around means that you get places to yourself, especially as there are as yet no taxi boats in the water.


Very few tourist boats in Pedi Bay, a lone fishing boat moored


Looking along the length of Pedi Bay, in summer usually a mass of gin palaces and sailing boats, Turkey clear just across the narrow channel


The beach at Agios Nikolaos out of season


… time to relax in the sun

Climbing the ridge towards Agia Marina and you are reminded not to take the breathtaking main harbour for granted.  Very few boats parked at this time of year, in a couple of months multimillion-euro gin palaces and wooden gullets will be crammed in to every inch of harbourside, some having to moor in the bay beyond.  But for now, the few there are can spread out.


One side of the main harbour of Yialos


Zooming in on the corner with the clock tower, the Italianate Police Station ….. and the new processing centre for refugees


A reminder that the ridge overlooking the harbour is made up of razor-sharp limestone.  Care needed


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2 Responses to Symi: not-so-wild walks

  1. Glad you’re back in the sunshine Barry. It’s all snow and hail stones here and 2 degrees. Enjoy and take it easy, will be difficult for you I bet but soak up that sun and restore your batteries. Good opportunity to notice what’s on your doorstep as it were, rather than way up high and beyond!

  2. Helle & Aksel says:

    Hi Barry ❤ We are so glad to hear that you are in Simy now!!! :-))) We have been reading your posts and know about your illnes during the winter. wery bad 😦 Aksel and I are spending two weeks on Tilos in june, and we would like invite you to to visit us there. We vill write you an e-mail soon. Stay well!! Hugs from Aksel and Helle.

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