Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Greece ~ Where Autumn Comes in like a Lion. . .and Lamb

"Listen!  the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!"
-  Humbert Wolfe

The wind which began last evening continued through the night. Its gusts have unrelentingly rattled the window shutters and pummeled our doors. The rain that threatened yesterday has made good on its promise today. I am wrapped in my flannel robe as I write on this dark, chilly October morning.  This time of year the sun doesn't make it over the mountain behind us until after 8 a.m. 

View from the Stone House on the Hill on a stormy day

I suspect we won't see it at all today. And to believe that two days ago I was wearing shorts and basking in the afternoon sun on our deck and later that day we sat outside at the local taverna sipping krasi, wine at sunset.

Sunset sipping wine in Stoupa village
This autumn's weather in the Greek Peloponnese, The Mani specifically,  is proving to be much like last year: both a lion and a lamb.

PicMonkey Collage
How are gardens grow in the autumn
Autumn is a time for gardens to flourish. Blooms are no longer punished by the intense Mediterranean summer sun. Garden stores are selling tiny truck garden plants for winter garden harvest – we only wish our time here would be long enough to plant and harvest them. Our flowers are in full bloom, these photos taken within the last week and all but the Lantana (bottom corner) are growing at The Stone House on the Hill.

Autumn leaves begin to fall. . .
Yet, there is no doubt that autumn is preparing the area for winter’s arrival. . .

A cloudy October day
We had two sets of guests last fall, one came in late October and we sat huddled together in The Stone House on the Hill waiting for a break in the wind and rain to go explore the countryside.

A November morning
The second set arrived in early November and we explored the area in our shirt sleeves under sunny, warm skies.

A number of you have told us that you are planning to visit ‘someday’ and some have asked,  “When is the best time to visit, when is the weather the best?” 

Late September Stoupa beach
We prefer -- and recommend -- the spring and fall but I checked a couple of travel sites to see what other travel writers have to say. While they are speaking of Greece in general, it pretty much echoes our thoughts:

September view from our deck at The Stone House on the Hill.
Frommer’s Travel Guides say, “. . . that the best time to visit is Greece is spring and early summer (mid-Apr to mid-June) or autumn (Sept to mid-Oct). This way, you'll avoid the summer high season, with its inflated prices, hordes of tourists and high temperatures (heat waves of 100°F/+40C are routine)."

Another site, greek-travel.gr points out, “December to March are the coldest and least reliable months, though even then there are many crystal-clear, fine days, and the glorious lowland flowers begin to bloom very early in spring.”
Approaching Kalamata airport - Taygetos Mountains
Airfares, like the weather, are usually better on these shoulder season months than in the height of summer tourist season.  But those of you thinking of flying directly to Kalamata should keep in mind, that flights here operate primarily during high season (late spring, summer, and into October). We just managed to catch one of the season’s last on British Air from London in September.

British Air flies from London to Kalamata in the spring and fall
Speaking of travel, regular readers know that travel to other destinations in Europe and beyond, was one of reasons we bought a home here Well, I wrote this post at the end of last week because I knew we'd be on the road this week -- our first such close-to-home trip in Europe. We flew to Rome from Athens on Monday, (two hours and 10 minutes gate to gate)  and we set sail on the Celebrity Constellation on Wednesday.  If you want to take a look at where we are off to, just: click this link

Thanks for spending some time with us during these blustery autumn days in Greece’s Mani. It is currently gorgeous weather in Rome, but they are predicting rain showers tomorrow.  Lion and Lamb, it seems, everywhere this fall.  We’ll be back as shipboard internet allows in the next few weeks. Hello to our new followers who wrote us such nice messages about our blog last week (you know who you are)!  To all of you, wishes for safe travels~

Linking up with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration


  1. Seems Fall is mixed up all over the world. Good for you to get on with more travels.

    1. And it is supposed to be 85 in Tel Aviv today - far warmer than ever expected!

  2. After a few years of predictable, two-season weather in Central and South America (hot and humid or hot and rainy) we're rather enjoying the very unpredictability of our fall weather here in the Algarve. Glorious sunny days interspersed with windy weather or rainy days can all be enjoyable if you're in the right place or tucked away in your stone house on the hill! Enjoy your cruise and I'll look forward to more of your adventures!

    1. The only problem with cruising is that internet is still ridiculously expensive and so we have been out of touch for the better part of two weeks. That might have been a blessing from some of the equally ridiculous comments I've seen from both my liberal and conservative friends on FB about the presidential election. As you well know, looking at the US from the outside does put a different perspective on things. It is good to be back at our Stone House on the Hill -

  3. Jackie, whatever the weather: wind storms, sand storms (coming in from North Africa), snow storms, or good ol' rain storms, (I am very familiar with all kinds on the island!), the views from your Stone House on the Hill are always dramatic! Yes, I know that sound of my front door rattling as the draft invades the house, forcing me to fly down the stairs and double lock it to stay still (and warm!).

    It's blustery days like these that add to the hypnotic (if hectic!) theatrics of life in Greece; that's why we have raki and krasi and meze and gluko and kafedaki and kouventoula, and of course, parea!

    I love the lamb, but I crave the lion!

    Stay cozy!


    1. Oh Poppy, you so nailed it with this comment. Long timers here say the autumn storms have been the worst they've ever seen and coupled with the destruction of the Dakos, that are attacking the olive crops, it has made for a sad harvest season around these parts. Thanks much for the visit. xxx

  4. The weather seems to be erratic everywhere. Even here in NJ, we have had November days in the high 60's and in the 40's. Some of my summer flowers are still blooming, which they have never done in November before!

    1. The weather here (in Greece) has been most unusual the locals tell us - more severe in its mood swings I guess. But it is nice to still have flowers blooming isn't it?

  5. Seems like the weather in Los Angeles! One day it is warm and the next day is cold. I would visit in September or early October. Last year, I visited Barcelona during the second half of October and it was too cold for my liking. #TPThursday

  6. The weather here has been odd too. We've had a long cold winter, and then summer suddenly hits with vengeance, and then we are back to cold nights again. I really loved your first 2 sentences, they really brought me into your world. I"m always love my visits thought they are not always regular. Happy travels in Europe - you are so lucky to be so close to visit European destinations.


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