Friday 23 September 2011


The whitest legs in Christendom have been scaring fish in the blue waters of the Aegean for the last week. I performed a valuable public service..making everyone else on the beach feel tanned.
 Up a total of 168 steep steps we found the delightful Villa Iris above the harbour on the beautiful Island of Symi in the Dodecanese Islands.

We arrived in Rhodes on 15th September and spent the afternoon strolling and exploring the old town.

I once saw a film about  Rhodes as 'The crossroads of Civilisation' and so it is, with remnants of the Crusades and the Moors everywhere.
The pavements in the old town are suitcase wheel wreckers..but very beautiful.

In a side street snuggled against the city wall we found a lovely small taverna where we ate our first Kalamari of the week and restrained ourselves from buying a wine can. 
They look colourful  and  right on  Greek Island but once in UK a bit different.

A glance over a ruined wall revealed a huge patch of Morning glory...


The Dodecanisos Seaways Express whizzed us from Old Kolonna Harbour to Symi island in about an hour and we were taken to our villa, high above Yialos, cool and airy with a lovely terrace from where we could watch the goings-on the harbour.

Can you see us? Find the ruin just right of centre, and ours is the one on the lower left of it with white windows almost in the centre of the top of the picture above the brown vertical stripe of the near building.
Take a look around the inside of a Greek Island house, albeit with a French owner and a few added artefacts.

It was an airy and  really pleasant place to relax in with a stunning view.

But of course it comes at a price: the view can only be so spectacular because its high..steep steps to climb..every night.

Here's one particularly steep run. I loved this bit. Or I should say the look of it.Climbing it was another matter. The doors and the walls painted pink and lilac, and the huge pile of fallen and dried bouganvilla petals that lay on the lower steps held the picture together. Enlarge to get the best view.

Most beaches on Symi are too remote to be reached by foot so you have to go down to the harbour to catch a taxi boat . However, Nimborio is walkable and one of the roads over the hill started above our house, so join me on the road to Nimborio.

Upwards from the house.
 Passing a few neighbours on the way.

Island life is relaxed and there is no manicuring of the landscape here.

 In searing heat we passed a little chapel with a ships mast in the grounds.
 We saw where the donkeys go after work.
 Parts of the road are paved with marble.
 Notice there is no shade whatsoever.
 Until we reach another church.
 Just what you imagine on a Greek Island?
 At last a glimpse of the sea.
 Look at this road.
 How did they build it? 'Health and safety gone mad' is not a phrase you hear often in Greece!
 The beautiful Aegean.
 Sudden amazing flowers jump out from behind a fence.
 Look carefully and you will see sea anemones here just beneath the surface.

Finally we reach Nimborio where we swim in the clear blue sea , 

lie under the Tamarisk Trees 
 and eat at the taverna until its time to walk home on the lower road.

On another day we caught the new and very fast taxi boat to Marathounda beach.
 We lay under the rather tatty umbrellas and ate in the taverna and swam in the sea....again!
 A hard life.

Excellent food here, especially the bread.

We had fun fending off the locals!
 On our return to the harbour we went for the obligatory frappe/ouzo/ or Mythos beer at Pacos bar, watching the world of Symi go by.

 Ancient looking Gulets from Turkey jostle with huge charter yachts with staff rushing about swabbing the decks .
 The best day was went we went on a boat trip around the Island in a Traditional caique, The Poseidon.
The first stop was at a blue cave where some people swam. I didn't.
Then to St Emillianos where we looked around the monastery, swam, and ate the most delicious picnic prepared on the boat,
 and the barbecue.
 Saw a little resident.

Then off to more isolated beaches for swimming in the gorgeous water.

 The week continued much in the same way. Walking, swimming, eating, sunbathing. But still my legs remained as white as the driven snow! All hopes of changing that vanished on the last day, when we once more walked to Nimborio and after our swim .....
 .......the heavens opened! It was a first for us, to see rain in Symi. And what rain! Thunder and lightening. We all moved into the taverna where the roof cover began to bow with the weight of water, so Maria got her brush and pushed it off. Much laughter ensued as it hit the umbrellas and poured back in over someones tzatziki.

 It was a lovely holiday. The only downside was the air traffic controllers strike in Rhodes which resulted in 7 hours at the airport. Ah well.

I'll finish this post with a hazy view from our bedroom window, which was covered in a bamboo blind.We were lying in bed one morning when this woke us.
especially the last few seconds.

A Greek Holiday:A little piece of stained glass in the wall of memory.
Hope you liked it.


Erica said...

Thank you for sharing your fabulous Greek islands holiday. What marvellous memories and images you will be able to conjure up during your northern hemisphere winter!

Kim said...

This post of your has made it to the top 10. I love it especially the delivery. and you have such a good eye for photography. Rock on girl!!!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Looks beautiful Jackie, glad that you had a good time. x

Magpie's Mumblings said...

The colours are absolutely brilliant! I feel as though I've now been to Greece - thank you!!

Lyn said...

Wow what a beautiful place, and stunning view from the villa. I love the locals!!

Lynette (NZ) said...

Lovely pics - fabulous inspiration.

Karen said...

Oh Jackie it looks like you had an amazing holiday!!!

lilylovekin said...

All I can say is I WANT TO GO!!!!

Lindy and Paul said...

These photos make Greece (a place I've not previously cared to visit) look VERY enticing! Thanks so much for sharing :)

Maya Sara Matthew said...

How wonderful. Greece looks so peaceful inspite of the economic upheaval going on at the moment so I'm assuming its safe to travel to greece?I've never been to Greece. Thank you for sharing your holiday and the little video clip is so charming.

hens teeth said...

Can't tell you how much I enjoyed your post.
So very happy that you had such a glorious time. x

Pat said...

Great photographs, a real flavour of your holiday. What is it about legs that used to brown but won't anymore?

Heather said...

Wonderful post Jackie - your Greek holiday is just what I would enjoy. I fell in love with Rhodes about 30 years ago when I had a holiday there, but have never been to any other islands. The scenery is gloriously unspoilt and the colours of the sea are amazing. Love the goats and donkeys, and the simple way of life.

menopausalmusing said...

A wonderful post. Loved the little film at the end and sat puzzling through it thinking they must be donkeys by the shape of the shadows that were passing the blind. Then, sat thinking that they couldn't be because of the position of the house on the high slope. All was revealed at the end with your title. Brilliant!

Gretel said...

Deeply wanting a Greek holiday now, I can remember the hot dryness just looking at your lovely photos.

Carol Q said...

absolute bliss- I need to be there! :)

artymess said...

wow thats a great place looking forward to the next batch of your work inspired by those greek colours ...x

Rosie said...

So atmospheric - thank you for sharing these. And I will be in Rhodes two weeks from now ... and you've helped me to look forward to it!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a wonderful week! So now you are rested, refreshed, and ready for whatever life brings!

At least, that's the idea of a holiday, isn't it?

Caroline said...

Utterly beautiful images of the aegean - long time since I've been and now longing to revisit!

Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Su said...

I went to Symi nearly 30 years ago - it still looks just as I remember it. Glad you had a fantastic time there.

Jude said...

Well, you can see why I love living on a Greek island....though we do have to work (me, at night, so I can enjoy the beachy days)..also, you can probably understand why I don't like blogging in the heat..sticky and sweaty...we had rain, but not THAT much...
Take care

lynda Howells said...

what a beautiful blog entry.....beautiful images. thanks for sharing ....glad you are having a great time.

Caroline Vidican said...

Lovely, definitely makes one want to go out there! I love your blog and your work. I wonder, could you put an email sign up button at the top of your blog, so much easier! Blogspot have invented one recently. I don't want to miss a single post! Caroline in France

Els said...

A perfect holiday!!!!!
(Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos !)

Kat Campau said...

Thank you so much. I never could have imagined it so well.

Maggi said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. Your legs may have remained white but I bet they are fitter after all those steps.

Iz said...

What a beautiful place - I just love the colour of the sea with the dazzling white buildings for contrast.

Linda Vincent said...

Love this post Jackie! Your photos are wonderful and they brought back many happy memories of our visit a few years ago.
As for the legs...I use fake tan :-)

silverpebble said...

Oh stunning! The colour of the sea has me swooning.

Aileen Clarke Crafts said...

Lovely, lovely post Jackie. Such a relaxing read with beautiful photos. Just read a novel set on a Greek Island which had me day dreaming about going there, now I want to go even more!!!

Ruthie Redden said...

How wonderful Jackie, delicious photographs, thank you for this peaceful moment in my busy day. It looks as though you had a wonderful week away,food for the soul x x

A time to dance said...

It looks wonderful Jackie I think we must have had a nasty experience when we went to Greece which put us off. Did you wear your lovely dresses??? I have started my course and boy is there a ton of work to do ... Don't know how I am going to keep up ... Watch this space....

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.