I’d planned to take you on a tropical tour of Hawaii today but your questions and responses to our last post like, “So what is winter like in Greece?” and “Snow – in Greece!?!” made me think we needed to show you a bit more of our Greek winter wonderland before heading to tropical beaches.
So here you go – the real story of winter in December and January and illustrated with photos not often seen in those tourist brochures.
|Taygetos Mountains from The Mani|
Snow in Greece? you asked. The Mani, that ‘middle finger’ of the Peloponnese peninsula is blessed with beaches and mountains. The mountains, part of the Taygetos Range, (named after the nymph Tayget, daughter of Atlas), have snow-covered peaks that soar to heights of 7,887 feet or 2,407 meters. They are snow-covered from late fall to late spring/early summer.
|We are on that 'middle finger'|
What’s the weather like? you asked. The weather during our stay was a Jekyll and Hyde experience. While one day we’d wake to sunshine and warmth, other days the wind – a forceful and cold wind – howled and shrieked down the hillsides and over the valley. One storm hit with such intensity, that the fishing boats were taken out of the small protected harbor at Agios Dimetrios so that the crashing waves wouldn’t smash them against the cement walls meant to protect them.
|Fishing port - Ag. Dimitrios|
So powerful were the waves that they crashed over the waterfront road in the nearby tourist-town of Stoupa, leaving a trail of beach sand in their wake.
|Stoupa's beach is lined with summer sun-bathers - in July and August|
One day we sat ‘trapped’ (that means not crazy enough to get out until the storm subsided) in our car at the grocery store parking lot while hail pounded our car and everything else in sight. Yes, I entertained myself taking photos of it.
Not a good thing, I might add, for the Kalamata olive harvest that was underway.
It gets cold in Greece?, you asked. The temperatures dropped at night to freezing and once or twice a bit below freezing. It was – of course! - during that cold spell that we ran out of fuel for the furnace and had to rely on that fireplace!
We’d just ordered – and stacked -- a load of firewood so we kept the fireplace burning 24/7 until our new oil supply was delivered! You’ll note in the photo below I am wearing a blue fleece jacket.
|Stacking the firewood - great exercise!|
We each bought fleece ‘work jackets’ on one of our shopping trips to Kalamata. The Scout paid 10-euro and mine was 12-euro. The plan was to wear them when working in the yard. Turns out it was sooo cold and they were sooo warm that we wore them all the time (I did consider wearing mine to bed on a couple of occasions, if the truth were to be told!)
|Fleece coats saved the day|
|Stoupa - sunset from Steki Cafe|
|Scenes from a shopping trip|
Some days the sun coming through the car’s windows required us to turn on the air conditioning as we traveled between the villages and Kalamata town. These photos were taken on a return trip from a shopping day in Kalamata.
I am writing this post in Hawaii where the temperatures are in the low 80’s so I checked the weather back in the Mani the day I started writing this, Feb. 13 – it was 4:33 a.m. in Kardamyli and was still a bit chilly there.
Next post – I promise – we will head out to take a look at our current warm-sand neighborhood on the shores of Hawaii. Thanks to all of you for the time you spent with us today. Will see you soon, we hope. And until then, safe travels to you and yours!
We are linking up with some great bloggers this week – if you get a chance, drop by these sites as well:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening