Winter has come to Crete!
We should have known because there was snow on Thripti Mountain when Sheila and Rosie walked up to the village of the same name on Sunday.
Then on Tuesday, we took Rosie to the Airport. Other than the fact that her flight was at 06.40, this should have been a fairly routine 75 minute journey but little did we know when we set out at 04.00 just what lay in store.
The weather had been appalling for the previous 36 hours with more or less continuous lightening and thunder storms, heavy rain showers and strong winds, so it was no surprise when it started to rain as soon as we left Kavousi.
Fine – we can cope with that but after leaving Agios Nikolaos, the main road heads up through the northern edge of the Dikti Mountains and as we approached Neapoli, the rain turned to snow and before long, there was an inch or so of the white stuff covering the road. Fortunately there was a car in front of us which made a track of sorts but as the road got steeper, it was touch and go if we would make it. However, finally, we made the tunnel at the top and set out on the descent.
Usually, this is a fast section of road but on Tuesday, it was a slow sliding crawl and the lying snow just continued right down to sea level. This is unheard of here! But it was real and we were beginning to wonder if we would make the flight. Luckily, we took the old coast road and soon the snow had disappeared and after a while we got back on to the New Road and ended up at the Airport in Heraklion with time to spare.
End of story? No, we had to get home. They say fortune favours the brave, so after a short discussion we set out on the return leg. Guess what – by the time we hit the mountains, the snow had eased and the lying snow was melting. We were home by 07.15, went back to bed and slept for four hours!
Not the end of the story though because it started to snow here in Kavousi later in the day (see the roof of our wood shed below) – not a lot but the hills around are covered with somewhat more than a dusting and elsewhere in central and eastern Crete there is more snow than they have had in the last ten years – or so we are told!
Yesterday, we ventured out to take some pics in temperatures more like Aberdeenshire than the Mediterranean, with me wearing my fleece lined hillwalking trousers!
And the sea was rough too!
Lucky we have the new wood burner. The wood pile is going down rapidly though.
What this meant however was that my name day was largely forgotten yesterday. Greeks tend to celebrate their ονομαστική (name day) rather than their γενέθλια (birthday) and January 7 is St John’s Day, so everyone called Γιαννης (and female equivalents) celebrate. I got a phone call from our hairdresser but no cake and presents. However, our neighbours, Maria and Nikos have just been round with a freshly baked cake. Apparently It was too cold for them to go out yesterday and by the way, we have just had yet another earthquake – only small but noticeable.
Off to the kafenion in the Plateia this evening to have a belated celebration and to keep warm!