Symi is a small Greek island with a population less than 2’500, is part of the Greek Dodecanese island chain and remains part of Greece, although it’s closest neighbouring land is Turkey.
Why go on holiday to Symi? Normally I do things that other people don’t tend to do. Dog sledding in the arctic circle, desert trekking across Egypt or tall ship sailing around the south of Britain to name but a few. These are things I can appreciate as a single traveler. Symi was brought to my attention when I was looking for an isolated place with few people around where I could walk for days with my camera, unwind and eventually leave with a clearer mindset. It was a recommendation from someone who had been many years previous with his kids. I had a look online, considered the prices, and without much other thought went ahead and started communication with a tour operator on the island to organise accommodation.
This is my diary of the adventure.
I knew travelling to Symi wasn’t going to be too much of a problem. Having lived in London since 2001 I’ve known to sort travel in advance and have back-up plans. Fly Heathrow to Athens, fly Athens to Rhodes, sail Rhodes to Symi. I made sure there was plenty of time between flights and so forth, and brought books to fill the time.
Thankfully, it was as easy as that and there weren’t any problems or delays apart from the one hour wait in Rhodes for the catamaran to leave for the island.
I had literally been up 24 hours when I arrived in Rhodes and my body was less than willing to appreciate the bright sunshine or the temperature of Greece. Stepping off the catamaran I was met by Ian holding up a ‘Symi Visitor’ sign, the company I had organised the trip with. Ian had been living on Symi since 1995 and so knew a great deal about the locals, the area and the history. I was hurried through the departing crowd into a taxi which would take me to my accommodation, with Ian following behind on a scooter.
Ian kindly led me to the apartment and left me with a bottle of water, a carton of orange juice and a small bottle of white wine. Certainly one of the nicer greetings I’ve had in my time. Unfortunately for me I was so shattered from the travel I had barely unpacked my bags before I fell asleep in the apartment at about 11am, my body failing to wake again till late that evening. When I did eventually wake in this dark and unknown place, I peered outside at the stars above the island and listened to the chirping of the crickets before unpacking the rest of my bags.
Part of me appreciated where I was. The other half of me disagreed wholeheartedly and was wishing it was somewhere else (my usual response to being anywhere other than my own flat).