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Symi - getting there - and saying thank you

First of all some thank you??s!

This blog would not have been possible without TerryL, not only did he donate me one of his old cameras to replace one I had broken, but when I managed to delete all the pictures I had taken on it, who was there to sort it out for me but one TerryL.

A big thank you to Terry!

This is the first of many posts from my holiday to the Greek island of Symi.

The island of Symi lies 24 miles (40kms) to the northwest of Rhodes. It is approximately 8 miles (13kms) long by 6 miles (9.5kms) wide. I have been before, but under my own steam. This time I ventured forth on a package holiday ?? my first ever package holiday! At my age??.!!

The package holiday had several advantages: it was amazingly good value, it was hassle free, the accommodation was good, we had the most wonderful and knowledgeable tour rep possible and I met lots of people. The big disadvantage was getting there! With package holidays you know you are going to fly at odd times, arrive at odd hours etc ?? but the added complication of the ferry from Rhodes and my time of arrival at Rhodes airport (2am) meant that the journey took 20 hours ?? far too long. It also involved spending 4 hours in the lobby of a hotel waiting for the ferries to start running and then getting the slow ferry via Panormitis rather than going straight there.

The monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis is not only one of the island's most famous landmarks but a place pilgrims come to from all over Greece. Built in the early 18th century, it overlooks the bay bearing its name in a setting combining mountain and sea. The monastery contains marvellous Byzantine frescoes an intricately carved iconostasis, and, on all the occasions I have been there, far to many tourists (or pilgrims depending on your view).

Actually I wanted to go there on this trip as I have a friend who is devout Greek orthodox and who is ill and I wanted to light a candle for, but I would have preffered to have gone in my own time rather than being dumped there for 45 minutes en route to my destination - and my bed!

Anyway we were finally on the last leg ?? past parts of the island - its coastline alternates between being steep and rocky or sandy and indented with little coves and I must say that as the ferry swings around the last headland, a simply fantastic sight opens up. Apparently slipping down the hillsides, gathered round the curve of a natural harbour, are tiers of yellow and ochre-coloured neo-classical houses quite unlike anywhere else around here.

Dancing Dolphin this really is a place for you!

the ferry - looks OK on the outside - pretty crap inside!

Nice

some people came in posh boats!

the tower of the monastery

inside now

up to the monks quarters

you cant take pictures or light candles in the church - but outside you can - these are great!

another view of this OTT tower!

it does look nice - i have to admit that!

On the way to Symi town at last!

all these sail boats and all using engines - tut tut

huge cliffs and sandy bays - not always accessible

another sail-less baot

nearly there…

and here we are, first glimpse of magical Symi town

Ooooo, Ahhhhh and other expressions of delight!

better pictures to come actually.

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    There are 5 comments, add yours!

    • # Jacki

      :) OK... OK, I'm convinced!! I must start planning my next trip that direction! The monastery is a fascinating building... it doesn't look "greek" , I wonder about the influence? Will await the next set!

      2009.08.22 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Tomie Poodle

      very nice place!! the name of the pretty crap ferry is donkey in french( it is witting on the side)
      i made many package hollydays...and i like it! no need to think! :))

      2009.08.21 Edited Reply Cancel

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