Daytrip to the island of Symi
Trip Start Mar 18, 2011
13Trip End Apr 02, 2011
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We arrived in 55 minutes. Symi is a wonderful sight coming into its harbour. The houses are almost all in good shape and freshly painted in a palette of pastels. They spill over the hills and cascade down to the harbour boardwalk. Yes, a few cafes but this is not Mykinos....the cafes are just that and less-so bars
We meandered through some of the back streets up the hill, past the school, past the local Nautical Museum (closed). As in Old Town/Rhodes, everyone with a small business is renovating in preparation for the tourist season that begins in earnest about 3 weeks from now. That's when the cruise ships come. Bookings are up this year so hopes are high for a good season because this next 6 months will make or break the islanders. Susan thought we should open a Benjamin Moore paint franchise in Symi and Rhodes!
The island is famous for its natural sponges and for spices. Marian put her order in for some saffron which we found in a harbourside shop. Yikes, 4 Euros a gram. I felt like I was doing a deal with the local dealer!....3 tiny zip-lock packets of the stuff for a discounted 10 Euros. We snuck away.
For a cheap tour, ride a bus. The Simi Bus runs a 40-45 minutes route starting at the top of the hour that takes you to the interior of the island -- basically over a ridge and down into the next bay where there is a beach and some small hotels. When it returned, we hopped onto a second bus for a trip to the Monastery on the far side of the island, 45 minutes away.