A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Mesanagros is a small village perched on the side of a hill at about 400 metres above sea level in the middle of the southern tip of Rodos. On three sides every hill and slope has been terraced by man for cultivation but lost through the ages with just a few olive groves here and there. Indeed, the village's name means "large enclosed byzantine farm". Above the village stretches the mountains covered in purple flowering heather. It is raining even though there is no rain forecast but I can see the sun shinning on some distant hills near the coast. Tsambika, the local Taverna owner, says it will make fine honey once the bees have worked it. I buy some pine tree honey, quite unusual, I am told. Sam also tells me his family has looked after the church for many generations and unlocks the door for me to go in. It dates from the 13th c and occupies the ground where an early Christian 6th century, 3 nave Church once stood. It is simply very beautiful. As I leave this place of just 15 people (according to Sam) I am touched by the history and the past that I have only scraped the surface of. I must return again and spend more time here.

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