Well, it seems to be autumn now, even on warm, sunny Symi, so I’m back for my second fix of 2018.It is a lovely time to visit the island, things are gradually winding down but most places of tourist interest are still open, though the owners take each day as it comes to decide when/if they will close.
So in this post I’ll describe my journey to Symi, with lots more to come.
My regular 05:30 London Gatwick flight to Rhodes operated as scheduled but rather lightly loaded. For those interested, the plane actually belonged to Easyjet Europe (their Austrian hedge against being damaged by Brexit) but the crew were from the regular Gatwick base..
At Rhodes airport the rebuilding work was continuing, with attention being given to the arrivals area – two baggage reclaim belts were walled off behind temporary partitions, so things in this area were rather crowded.
A trip to Rhodes Town on the island’s one and only bendy-bus followed, as I was in no hurry. That was because there were nearly 7 hours between plane arrival and ferry departure. I was trying out the Sebeco for the first time.
When departure time (18:30 on the day I was travelling) was getting closer I strolled along to the Tourist Port quay – that’s the one used by ferries to Turkey and by cruise liners). Tucked in near the landward end are two berths used by the Symi II and Sebeco. Opposite the mooring points is a hexagonal building. Each side is a separate ticket window for different ferry operations, mostly the Turkish services.
The ticket office opens about an hour before each scheduled departure.
Eventually Sebeco appeared – late. However as an ambulance also appeared to collect a passenger who was being medically evacuated from Symi to Rhodes hospital, this is understandable. Once the regular passengers had got off, the ambulance crew transferred their patient, and a long hose was led on board from a waiting fuel tanker. Finally, refuelling completed, boarding took only seconds as there were just 8 passengers, and we were away 10 minutes late,through great curtains of spray as she tackled the rough seas at the north end of Rhodes Island. Don’t sit outside on the open upper deck on evening sailings unless you want a free seawater shower.
Inside there was ample room! The journey was somewhat bouncy, with much rattling from some of the cabin fittings, not a lot else to say as it was dark by then. Yialos was reached still late, but safe and sound. My photo below shows a daylight arrival.
Note that as from 15 October the Sebeco’s timetable has altered and the short runs to Panormitis andback have stopped for the season. This enables the afternoon trip to Rhodes toleave at 14:30 and the evening boat I caught from Rhodes now leaves at 16:15 instead.