Monday, January 18, 2021

In Greece ~ The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Frightfully cold. Frightfully wet. And frightfully -- delightfully -- winter in Greece!

Mani olive groves and the Taygetos Mountains

Had I written last week, I would have been telling you that we were having an unseasonal heat wave with temperatures reaching near 70F or 21C degrees. I would have told you that some were swimming in the sea. Wild flowers, usually not seen in the groves until March had begun blooming. We were able to hike in shirtsleeves.

Hiking the Mani in our shirtsleeves


'Haven't had these temperatures in 50 years', reported one media. Another said 160 years since such a heat wave. . .so it wasn't climate change, just a climate cycle involving such a span of time we missed the first two!

Swimmer on the beach below our house last week

And then came winter! Real winter. 

Our Taygetos Mountains finally have a dusting of snow

I know, for those of you dreaming of basking on sun baked Greek beaches, it could be a shock to think of Greece as cold and wet, but it can be. And it is! This time Leandros is to blame. It is the name given the system that put an end to those sunny warm days. The system that will keep it wet and cold for at least a few more days.

Snow continues to fall on the peak behind us

Yesterday we took a short drive to get closer to the snowy mountain peaks. Today all the hillsides around us are dusted with snow - no need to drive anywhere. We can see them from our deck - that is, when the clouds lift enough to see them. Our high today is supposed to be 43F or 6C. The wind is rattling our shutters and doors. Rain falls in heavy bursts at our elevation. Just a bit higher and it is snow.  Thunder and lightening opened this Monday and blue sky and sunshine are predicted before the day is over. Such is winter in our slice of Greece.


Views of our valley in winter

At least we aren't alone as Facebook friends in Istanbul, Italy and Spain have all been posting photos of snowfall! 

Thessaloniki - drone photo; credit: Greek Reporter

It is our first full winter in the Greek Peloponnese. We normally leave about this time of year and don't return until sometime in February. Many of you who've been with us at TravelnWrite for a few years, know that for the last decade, we've made Hawaii our timeshare-home-away-from-home this time of year.  Covid-19 prevented that this year, so we are half-way through our first full January at our Stone House on the Hill. 

Like a cake dusted with powdered sugar

According to a variety of internet sources, the average weather in the Peloponnese during this first month of the year is a high of 47F or 9C and low of 37F or 3C. The average rainfall is about 129 mm or 5-inches and it rains on average 13 days in January. 

Kardamyli and the Messinian Gulf from a hiking trail

Our current Covid lockdown allows us time outside for exercise and on most days - even if bundled up in scarves and mittens, heavy coats and sweaters - we can get outside and enjoy the countryside. We shiver, though, when we see those folks for whom olive harvest continues - especially in those groves at higher elevations. We are most happy to have completed ours in October!

Olive harvest continues in January

Of course that same Covid lockdown is providing us a slightly skewed winter experience because what one might have done in a pre-Covid winter is certainly different than this year. Our second lockdown of 2020, which began November 7th, continues into 2021. Our destinations are limited, we text the government prior to leaving the house, we wear masks, we distance and we are home before the 9 pm curfew takes effect each day.

During a normal winter we could have gone to the big city - our nearby Kalamata or further to Athens - to shop and enjoy their restaurants and tavernas.  Since November retail stores and all entertainment outlets have been closed. 

Shopping in Kalamata - a treat these days

We aren't allowed inside any restaurant or bar, other than to pick up 'to go' orders of food and drink, nor are we allowed to sit outside at any of them. So in order to break up the sameness and routines of winter and lockdown, we indulge in a 'to go' coffee or wine, consumed along side the village street or in the parking lot. The inclement weather has made those outings rather short but we aren't complaining - they give us a change of scenery and sometimes that is all it takes.

Winter lockdown night out in the village parking lot

We hope you are finding a change of scenery, a new hobby, a good book, or a new Netflix series is providing you 'what it takes' as January marches on.  Believe it or not, we haven't given up on travel yet for 2021 and that will be a future topic. As we sign off today we send our wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year whatever the season it is where you are.  As always, thanks for the time you've spent with us ~

Linking soon with:


15 comments:

  1. Amazing that snow can fall all the way down to the mediteranean coastline, what a shock but winter treat indeed.

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    1. I don't think many of my fellow Americans think of Greece as a winter ski destination yet it has many such areas in the north!

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  2. We hope that your weather levels out and returns to normal. At least you were able to get out and experience it firsthand.

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    1. We were back to shirtsleeves on Sunday then had pouring rain and were bundling up again. . .winter in Greece is an adventure to be sure.

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  3. And what about vaccines? Will you get yours anytime soon?

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  4. a beautiful serie of pictures describing unusual situations with the weather. Tanks for the comments. Have a nice time.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

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  5. Lovely to see the snow and the mountains!

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    1. They are stunning and certainly illustrate the winter well!

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  6. Looks pretty darn cold - and I've still got the AC on here!

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    1. You would think coming from the Pacific Northwest where low teens to zero F are normal in winter that being in the low 50's here would seem warm. Not! We have been bundled in scarves, gloves and fleece!!

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  7. Cold! I wonder how the hubs and I will spend our retirement life. I wonder if we'll have winter abode.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  8. We've had an extremely mild winter so far, which I won't complain about... until mosquito season, at any rate!
    Thanks so much for joining this week's party at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-rest-of-indoor-herb-garden.html

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  9. Awesome views and sceneries. THe snow-clad mountain peaks looks amazing. Thank you for sharing.
    Am following you for more shares.

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