Wednesday, April 20, 2011
90 days of Sogginess
It’s a particularly Canadian trait to bitch about the weather. We can live or die by it, you see, so we are endlessly fascinated with it. Like many Canadians, I love a good dramatic storm as long as I am safe inside. And like most tourists here, I also like basking in the winter sun like an old lizard on a rock.
The Cretan travel promos rattle on about “360 days of sunshine” and, generally, this is true. Last winter when I was here, the weather was sublime – thus giving me the name for this blog. This winter – meh – not so much. In fact, in the 3 decades I have been coming to Greece, I have never seen such consistently lousy weather. Good lord, I've actually even seen snow and hail here this year!
Lucky for me, I am not pressed for time and needing to pack in a lot of sight seeing in a short schedule. I have time to NOT go to the museum, NOT go tramp around the archaeological ruins or NOT go take the tour
of the Turkish fort. It is a wonderful way to travel – I can sleep the day away or spend the afternoon cuddled under a toasty brazier in a café doing crossword puzzles and not feel one whit of guilt.
Still, as much as the wild seas, empty beaches and dark clouds make for good pictures and bad poetry, I am weary of feeling damp and chilled and am in despair of my pale skin ever announcing to the world that I’ve spent the whole bloody winter on a Greek island.
It is Holy Week here. The towns and villages are starting to fill with Greeks returning home to mama and tourists hoping for some relief from winter. The kids are off school, the tourist spots are ramping up for the season, and the lambs are looking decidedly nervous. Today, as I write this, it is a mere 15 celsius and I am wearing a sweater and wool socks. In London, on the other hand, it is 23C. Global warming? Nawwww.
For mystical meteorological reasons, it has been a rotten winter and spring through most of Europe. Vegetation is about a month behind schedule – spring flowers are just
tentatively starting to peek out when normally by now they should be in full riot. My own theory is the volcano last year in Iceland created such a cloud it screwed up the weather for a while.
On the other hand, it is tempting to blame the Greek government for my lack of tan and warmth – seems only fair for what they are making me go through to get my land buying permits.