Syros, a very different island

Trip Start Mar 22, 2013
Trip End Aug 10, 2013

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Where I stayed
Diana Apartments

Flag of Greece  , South Aegean,
Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alan: This is probably a good sign, but we are a bit behind with our blogging, in that I'm in Paros and about to [try and] write something witty and interesting about Syros. Syros’ main claim to fame on so far is that I keep calling it Symi and hence annoying Deb and confusing any locals in conversations like "Hello, which island have you travelled from?". Having said that it is a fascinating island and very different from any one I have been to previously.<note from Deb – we have actually been to Symi, which is why I keep getting confused!> It is the administrative capital of the Cyclades and we stayed in Ermipoulis which is the port and main city. What is unusual is that this place feels like a real city, it is not tourist (even Greek) oriented and it is seriously sophisticated – it has proper shops! We enjoyed the feel of it, it is still a significant port with a shipbuilding presence and we visited a number of local sites (lots of steps!) and went to the same beach twice as we couldn’t work out the return buses to risk going to a different one!

It’s great to see the Greeks socialising on a sunny Sunday, it is a combination of families, tavernas, beaches and shady squares. Very noticeable (and a little depressing) that the associated noise is all generated by kids playing and not groups who have been on the pop all day. Hmmm...

I’m not allowed to mention football at the moment apart from paying tribute to Jamie Carragher, sorry I couldn't be at his last game, we will miss him a lot. Hoping to catch the German Cup Champions League final next Saturday, but as I still haven’t worked out which island we will be on, never mind finding a bar that is showing it, I’m a bit premature even thinking about it!

Deb: Well, the stopover at Tinos to catch the ferry to Syros was interesting. There is a particularly revered cathedral there (some sort of miracle-inducing relic). It’s up a fairly steep hill, on one of the main streets. They have a rather tatty, threadbare strip of carpet going all the way up the hill, and pilgrims go up in on their knees/hands and knees as a sign of penance and humility. When I saw it there were two really old ladies crawling up – it was really shocking to see what they were going through. I could not look as (from my non-religious) viewpoint, it was awful to see them struggle up, the heat. However, a young (Greek) woman stood on the carpet and started waving at a friend and shouting and bawling, which meant one of the said women had to stop. I felt that the young girl was totally disrespectful –totally unaware of an old lady crawling at her feet! Very strange. We stopped for a pizza as we had a 3 hour wait for the next ferry and it amused me to see the chef eating a takeaway from somewhere else – did he know something we didn’t??!

Did a lot of walking uphill on Syros! Our accommodation (owned by "George" – surely the most ubiquitous name in Greece after Nico and Costa).George looked & acted like the Del boy of Syros. His description of a “kitchenette” was hilarious – everything stored in the fridge – crockery,cutlery, glasses) and no sink except the tiny one in the tiny shower room! George helped me unload my large rucksack and small one,which was very thoughtful – and dumped them on the pavement and walked off – an offer to carry even the small one up the three flights of stairs would have been appreciated! Anyway, George’s rooms (for some reason called Diana’s) was way up the town- a good view of a working port (so not very picture postcard).But it came at a price to my lungs! Was also did the walk to Ano Syros (old town) up 870 cobbled steps and the next day did almost the same to the church on the opposite hill.  As Alan mentioned, the bus timetable was totally confusing – all Greek to me J So we did the same trip twice, which was fine- to a very quiet beach. Left on the early ferry (7am).
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Len Percy on

Watched the Panorama Investigation on Hillsborough. What a cover up by the South Yorkshire police. !
Sundays match -- What a pity Jamie C`s shot smashed against the post. He received a great send off. Spoke to Aud, She`s off on a West Kirby walk tomorrow. I`m playing bowls at Garston.
Keep having a good time. ... ( until the Euro`s run out ) !!! ... XXX Len.

Dave on

Alan, as you are now on Paros, do take some pictures of Piso Livardi (not sure if that is spelt correctly) and see how it has changed from 1982. I have your pictures still so we have some comparisons to make. All the best

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