Showing posts with label Symi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Symi. Show all posts

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Adriana's" Symi

"Adriana's Symi" - that's how I had begun referring to the island that lies off the coast of Rhodes, so close to Turkey you can see its southern peninsula with the naked eye.  I felt as if I had spent a year on Symi, and I had in a manner of speaking, without ever leaving my Kirkland home; thanks to nano-second travel via the blogosphere.  And, thanks to Adriana Schum, a transplant to Symi, whose blog I found early in 2009 while researching accommodations for our trip to Greece that fall.

We didn't make it to Symi though on that trip, so we contented ourselves by continuing to visit via Adriana's blog: we knew which seasonal fruit was being delivered, what preparations the shop keepers were taking both for ending last year's season and preparing for this year's. We watched winter turn to spring and somewhat felt a part of the island's day-to-day life.  More recently we followed the impact of the Iceland volcano on the small island which seemed so far away, but not distant enough to avoid the drop in visitors who were unable to get flights.
Adriana Schum
This spring we did arrive in Symi, and once there, it wasn't difficult to find the harbor front office of Symi Visitor where we were able to finally thank Adriana for her introduction to this wonderful place.  We continue to read her blog with even more enthusiasm for the people and places she writes about than we did before our visit. It is a good armchair trip which you can also take by simply clicking the link to Adriana's Symi on our  Blog Log (right-hand side of the home page).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Dinner in Symi

Our dinner is waiting for us back at our apartment. . .thanks to Fotini (foe-tee-NEE), the woman from whom we are renting and also our next-door-neighbor.  As we have settled into life on this magnificent harbor we realize everyone knows 'our' Fotini. . .we are asked where we are staying and we show the official businness card and the response is, "You stay at Fotini's."

We consider our stay here one of our best - thanks to Fotini making us feel a part of her family.  She and her husband do live next door, her daughter and grand-child and husband are above us and we speculate that a fellow just down the road might be related as well.

Fotini and her husband, we think, are about our ages - and constantly on the go.  They come and go by small boat as we do at home by car.  But when Fotini is home, she cooks and when she cooks, she shares.  Our first day in the studio I was 'preparing' lunch:  opening a package of sliced cheese to have with a sliced tomato and bread when I heard Joel chatting with Fotini.  She had brought us a little something for lunch: shrimp risotto, complete with a lemon to squeeze. (I sliced the tomato):

                         Since that first feast Fotini has provided a plate of pastries for my morning coffee and two days ago she brought us a plate of baklava from her sister-in-law in Turkey.  But back to tonight's dinner:  yesterday while she and her husband were gone, his brother brought them a large fireshly caught fish. . .we said we'd keep it in our place until they came home.  I took it over to them this morning and we headed out for a walk.  When we got home, we found our dinner waiting for us - a wonderful pot of fish stew (we had some for lunch) and cake.

As we have said before, travel is about places, but it is also about people. . .and Fotini is one of our all-time travel highlights.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cruising the Adriatic

We left Crete on Tuesday from its northeastern most port of Sitia.  We'd had a spectacular bus trip there the day before and had a few hours to explore the town after our late afternoon arrival.  We sailed Anek lines on the Priveli, a ship te size of cruise ships and complete with bars, restaurants, lounges and sun decks.  We opted for the sun deck. As you can tell, we opted for the sun deck where we spent much of the nine hours it took to travel from Sitia to Rhodes, or Rodos as it is known here.

Here Joel shows why we like ferry travel so much more than airplanes these days.

We arrived in Rhodes after seeing some beautiful islands and ports along the way that now are added to our 'next time' list including this one on the island of Karpathos:
We changed to a smaller ferry in Rhodes and at 9 p.m., 12 hours after we had left Sitia, we arrived in our new destination the island of Symi,  More on it tomorrow. . .we are back to using internet cafes so will tease you with the photo of the harbor we entered to get to our new spot:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Greece or not To Greece, that's the question

We plan to head to Greece next week for the sequel to our Cretan road trip and followed by explorations of a few new destinations.  We will continue to watch Iceland's volcano and hope that airlines get back to normal by the time we are ready to get on board. Although flights are resuming, we won't believe we are on our way until we are. 

Our plans are to fly into Heathrow, overnight at Gatwick and fly out the next morning (see earlier post on ) with Crete as our destination.  The small port towns of Sfakia and Loutro on the island's south coast are calling us back. After we get our fill of  Cretan yogurt and honey we will hop aboard a ferryand head to the land of the Knights of St. John, Rhodes, and then Symi and perhaps others of the 12 major Dodecanese islands scattered about the tip end of Turkey.

We are scheduled to return to London on another of Europe's other low-cost airlines, EasyJet and after a two-night layover in London fly back to Seattle on Iceland Air

It all seemed real simple before the volcano blew its top.

The good news is that our plans for Greece are 'no plans' so nothing aside from a rental car has been booked there. We have only London hotel reservations so should we need to cancel, that part will be a snap.  But even for those of us who are passionate about travel, the unraveling of air travel could prove a bit more tedious. 

For the next few days we will assume the trip is still going as planned. House-sitters and yard care is in place. Trip necessities are being collected at the always ready suitcases. . .

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On the Road to Rhodes. . .maybe?!

The island of Rhodes
opened like a flower
from the watery depths,
Child of Aphrodite,
Goddess of Love,
and then became
the bride of the sun.
With that kind of description on a hotel web site, am I ready to head to Rhodes; land of the Knights of St. John, with a history dating back 2,400 years? Yes!

And maybe - just maybe - we will get there this year. It was on 'the list' last fall as part of our kick-back, go-where-the-winds-blow-us (and ferry schedules allow) vagabonding trip through the Greek islands. But Cretan travel gods cast a spell, captivating us and we found ourselves spending three weeks there -- on Greece's southernmost island -- and not having enough time to get to Rhodes.

As we consider proposed itineraries for future explorations we are continually drawn back to Greece. It's Dodecanese islands, that loop around Turkey's southwestern coastline are calling out for exploration. Will be fight off the temptation to return to Crete and its smokey, dark thyme-flavored honey? Will we pass up favorite stops among the Cyclades islands to pay return visits to the small inns and the many wonderful folks who own them and who made us welcome in previous visits.

Symi, a neighbor island to Rhodes, will be a stop if we reach the Dodecanese. The blogosphere has allowed us to armchair travel there-- we've watched the winter storms raise havoc with ferry landings on the island and in recent weeks have watched the cyclamen and lavender blanket its hillsides. We feel we have a new friend in Adrianne who writes a blog as part of the Symi Visitor web site. We want to meet her and explore her jewel of an island that she has brought to life via the Internet.


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