Our 5 days have gone so quickly. Today we are going to take it easy and spend a bit more time in Gialos but first we enjoy breakfast on the terrace of our beautiful windmill. Mr and Mrs Stavros have been wonderful hosts. Every now and again Mrs Stavros would bring us treats to the windmill terrace. Every evening before sunset we would see them walk to one of the benches at the top of the road that overlooks the harbour and sit together until the sun had set. What a blessed life they have and we are honoured to have been their guests.
We take our usual route down the Kali Strata. The day boats have already arrived from Rhodes and some visitors have begun to make their way up to the Chora.
We notice the herb lady that we met yesterday grab the attention of a group of young German girls. We watch her go through the same routine that we had gone through a day earlier. She offers them water to drink and gets them to sit with her a while whilst filling up a carrier bag of herbs. Good luck to her! 🙂
Once at the bottom of the Kali Strata we take a detour around the back of the old market district hoping to discover some more photo-worthy back streets. Within minutes we bumped into Mike who we had met the night previously whilst listening to the military band in the square. He and his wife own Castello Venetsiana, a small hotel built in the neoclassical style that gives the island its identify. Mike shows us around the property – firstly a garden space across from the house – a lovely place for guests to relax. Then with pride he shows us the newly renovated rooms they have to rent. .
After the guided tour Mike invites us upstairs to their apartment at the top of the building. Venetsiana greets us warmly and invites us onto the terrace which has spectacular views over to the bay.
Venetsiana brings us tea and a selection of delicious pastries. This is a lovely coincidence and we continue our conversation from the previous night. Venetsiana was born on Symi and the house has been in her family for generations. Mike is from Rhodes and tells us a bit about his home island.
Mike also asks us if we had booked Tholos, the restaurant he recommended to us the night before. We hadn’t so he offers to phone them for us to make sure we get a table – it is a very popular restaurant and booking is essential. After saying our thanks for their help and our goodbyes, we set off to meet our compadres at their hotel in Gialos.
We walk through the churchyard of St John who’s tower we could see from Mike and Venetsiana’s apartment. I take the opportunity to photograph some more doors at the back of the market district.
The rest of the day is really just spent ambling around at a slow pace, trying to soak up the smells and sights of Gialos.
Later that evening we head back down to Gialos for our meal at Tholos. The sign for the taverna is written in Greek – not English so it’s handy to know your Greek alphabet at least!
The menu is fantastic with lots of modern twists on classic Greek cuisine. Whilst we are there several people try to get a table without booking but they are out of luck – the restaurant is fully booked as we had been told to expect by Mike.
As our meal draws to an end and the darkness falls over the water, we watch a full moon peep between the dip in the mountain range and then rise shining it’s reflection over the harbour.
What a wonderful last evening on Symi this is. However, tonight can’t be a late one. Tomorrow morning we catch the Blue Star Patmos back to Rhodes departing at 5.50 am. Killer! We take a slow stroll back to the bus stop around the other side of the harbour and back up to our windmill in the Chora.