It is absolutely freezing in Corfu at the moment, with a wind which blows straight through you. You can smell snow in the air. Some forecasts, Greek, have us going as low as minus 10 tonight. Just closed all the shutters , built up the log fire and turned on the electric blanket. Have to go out to work before we settle down for the night though......
Message posted by dazzy73 on 16†February†2008 at 7:00pm - IP Logged
It's not acually frosty here in Corfu although with the wind it certainly feels like -10. In parts of northern Greece the sudden cold spell has caused shortages of heating oil which is a real problem with such low tempratures. The funny thing is you always feel much warmer in the UK in winter although it is colder. All the fitted carpets and wallpaper make it feel much cosier and the shops have heating in them, something of a rarety here in Corfu. The wind has kept me awake half the night as it is so noisy.
Message posted by Dasia on 17†February†2008 at 8:31am - IP Logged
You're right, Graham, I never felt as cold as the Christmas and New Year we spent in Athens and Corfu. They only turned the heat on one or two hours a day in the apartment where we stayed in Athens and the wind whistled through the uninsulated bathroom window. It always seemed to be colder inside than out.
I never want to go to Greece in the winter again, never mind that here we've had 70 cm of snow so far this month, a record for February in Toronto, and are expecting freezing rain overnight which will set it firmly in stone. At least it's warm indoors!
Message posted by Viv D on 17†February†2008 at 9:02am - IP Logged
It's one of those times - quite a regular occurrence - when Corfu shows its geographical separateness from the rest of Greece. All the news stations are announcing "snow and ice all over the country" and I'm looking out over brilliant blue skies with a few fluffy clouds!
It is also one of those times when the differences show between parts of the island. Living where I do, I would agree with Graham's post above that there isn't any frost, but two of my work colleagues scrape frost off their car windscreens daily at this time of year. The secret is to be in a high, south facing area - then you don't get frost. Lower lying parts of the island have much more dampness which translates into frost and ice in the winter.
Also, I have to say, if your house is properly built (good insulation, damp course, etc) I don't think it is colder inside a Greek house than an English one. Maybe we are particularly spartan, but we don't have the central heating on for more than a couple of hours daily and we are not cold. We use a wood burner in the sitting room (best purchase of our lives, would never have a fireplace again), open the shutters to let the sun in, and put rugs on the floors. We do put on an extra layer of clothing though!
Message posted by 2Tonsils on 17†February†2008 at 11:12am - IP Logged
Yes, bring you jumpers or better still lots of thin layers of clothing. If you could fit an electric blanket in your case I would definitely recommend one.Not only will it warm the bed for you to get into, it stops the bedding feeling so damp if there is little heating or no dehumidifier in the room. Mine doesn't leave the bed till late April.
We were talking about the cold here in Corfu last night, one girl was wearing three jumpers and jogging trousers to go to bed in to keep warm. Thermal Sherpa Tensing hats are all the rage for nightware at the moment, as the cold on your forehead gives you a raging headache!
Message posted by Dasia on 17†February†2008 at 8:25pm - IP Logged
I'm glad to hear you are warm, Susanna and hope you won't be cold for much longer, 2Tonsils. I should have said in my post that I commisterate with those who are cold these days in Greece, as I know how miserable it can be. I went off to bed thinking about that after posting at 1:30 am! I will go out now and scrape ice off our driveway as penance.
Message posted by London_Greek on 17†February†2008 at 8:49pm - IP Logged
No snow in Corfu but if the wind drops tonight, which it probably will then expect a sharp frost so any gardeners out there, please make sure that any real tender plants are protected if possible as it will probably be the coldest night of the year!
Message posted by Agni on 17†February†2008 at 9:26pm - IP Logged
The wind did drop and the sun is coming up to a beautiful clear blue sky. I didn't think we had suffered from a frost last night as no white around but I just went out to feed the village cats and found their water bucket has 2 inches of ice on it. It should warm up in the sun though soon but in the meantime I think I will stop indoors. I checked my thermometer and it tells me that it went down to -6 last night.
However, as I said, it's a beautiful morning and no doubt we will be basking in the sun by lunchtime. Yesterday the wind kept it bitter cold all day but it is still now and feels much better so I won't be lighting the fire until later today. The central heating turned itself on at 6am this morning so it was lovely and warm when I got up just before seven.
As Graham says the wind has gone now - but it's still bitterly cold. My son's gone off to school with 3 layers of clothing (much more than what he ever wore in the UK)as the heating in the school here is not very efficient and they usually turn it off during the morning. The sky is bright blue and the sun is out so lets hope it warms up a bit.
Message posted by mikesharon on 18†February†2008 at 9:34am - IP Logged
Well, I'm glad you are all positive, a little bit of cold is hardly a disaster for anyone who has lived through some of the winters in England. especially back in the '50,s and '60,s. It was really cold here in Devon last night (still is) I still can't wait for our move to Corfu. My only concern is that our rented villa has no central-heating and no fireplace, as they were built as holiday lets, so I will have to rely on calor gas heaters through next winter.
Message posted by London_Greek on 18†February†2008 at 9:51am - IP Logged
Corfu airport got down to -4 for a hour or so first thing just before sunrise. As for us down in Kavos, my external thermometer showed a minimum of -1.4 celcius so not quite as cold. Anyway, as with earlier posts the sun is out and the temp is already a "balmy" +3 celcius so this cold blast appears to have left. However, Athens and the eastern side of the country is a totally different matter with wind, snow and cloud!!!!
Message posted by bewil on 18†February†2008 at 10:11am - IP Logged
We tried using calor gas heaters here in a rented holiday villa for our first winter, but they caused a real problem with condensation. The walls and ceilings went black even though the villa was aired every day. We had to put blankets under the bed to stop the cold rising from the marble floors.
If you can bring one , or buy one here i would recommend a dehumidifier to dry it out a bit. An electric blanket is a good idea as well for the winter. Ask the owners if you can install a burner if you put the hole in the wall right after the winter months ready for the tourists.
We moved here in October 1994 and left the rented villa by December the first the same year. We had calor gas heaters on, but it was so cold we thought we would get hypothermia, as it felt very damp with no heating available.
If you can give backword on the rented holiday villa I would consider finding one with heating, or at least a burner or fireplace.
Message posted by J&L on 18†February†2008 at 5:02pm - IP Logged
-couldn't agree more with 2Tonsils - in our rented we have central heating AND a log fire - and it is still bitterly cold because of the total lack of insulation - and therefore it is also costing more to try and keep warm than it was costing to be toasty in UK. Thank heavens for electric blankets!
Message posted by sandfairy on 18†February†2008 at 5:23pm - IP Logged
just a note halogen heaters are fab at keeping the cold out and nice to see the light too!!!
it's very cold in devon at the mo and expected to be -6 celcus tonight brrrrrr
Message posted by maggy on 18†February†2008 at 6:56pm - IP Logged
Minimum of +4 at sunrise here in Kavos and already +11 celcius at 10.30am so definately warmer!
Message posted by dizzy on 19†February†2008 at 12:27pm - IP Logged
the cold i can deal with affter so many winters in england but its the fog that i cant stand and down here in the southeast it was very bad at 8pm last night i cant imagine corfu to be cold, i have always said i would like to go out for week in winter just to see what its like even in the cold in corfu you have got the sea, its funny but i dont see any when ilook out of my front window, ha ha regards dizzy
Message posted by 2Tonsils on 19†February†2008 at 1:19pm - IP Logged
Now and again the Ropa valley road gets really thick fog and mist. It is deadly as it is in patches and takes you unawares. The back road from Agios Ionnis and Gouvia also gets it.
It is a few degrees warmer today and the wind has dropped. I have taken off one of my three layers of jumpers! It now feels like spring!!! Still going to restock my wood though. No doubt if I do that the temperatures will soar and I won't need it. There is still no heating oil in Corfu because of the protest against the new payment rules by the dealers.
Message posted by paulvilla on 19†February†2008 at 2:39pm - IP Logged
It's weird, sitting in my warm office looking out at sunshine and a cloudless blue sky, to read about the frost, fog and snow in Greece. Seems the wrong way around!
Message posted by La-Raine on 19†February†2008 at 3:11pm - IP Logged
Looks like alot of greece has had snow. I've been looking at the webcams on www.webcamgalore.com. The sporades look like they have lots, everything looked white yesterday.It's lovely to see greece with snow, not sure I would want to be there though, maybe later in the year, that would be great.
Message posted by Susanna on 19†February†2008 at 6:59pm - IP Logged
You CAN get oil for your central heating boiler, 2Tonsils, it's just that you have to pay the higher price for car diesel. It's exactly the same stuff, but the subsidy for central heating has been rescinded which is why there is so much fuss at the moment.
I'm sure you know this - but reading your post I thought that people outside Corfu would imagine we are rationing ourselves and suffering more than we actually are. (Though I hate paying more than I should for anything, so I AM rationing!)
Message posted by blueyes on 19†February†2008 at 8:09pm - IP Logged
It depends how powerful the units are. Most Air Conditioners that are fitted infact have climate control and so pump out both heat and cold.
I have units in every bedroom and they do pump out very warm heat if required. However they are much more expensive than central heating to run which is why we use the central heating in the winter and the air con in the summer.
Message posted by orchard on 19†February†2008 at 11:47pm - IP Logged
It gets really cold and damp sometimes in Winter, it seems to penetrate your whole body from the feet up! Marble/tiled floors don't help. Greek houses seem to be built only with the Summer in mind. If you can find a bar or restaurant with a good heater in the Winter then that is the place to go!
Message posted by Bob and Wendy (Uncle Bob) on 20†February†2008 at 9:14pm - IP Logged
Bob and Wendy
I think that when relocating to somewhere like Corfu as well as all the obviouse adjustments to be made mentally, the difference between summer and winter is more than just putting more cloths on and lighting the fire.
Our neighbours (who live in a large modern house with central heating) make a change to the whole ground floor, when winter comes they unroll the carpets from behind the piano and cover the floors, they make up beds in the lounge by the fire.
We find that so long as the woodburner never goes out completely, and electric blankets (remember those old fashioned things) or hot water bottles (power cuts) are indispensible.
Imagine yourself back in the 50s or 60s and you wont be far wrong. In a way its a bit like going camping, you take everything you can think of just in case.
A backup generator is not a bad thing to have in the apothiki either.
Message posted by orchard on 20†February†2008 at 9:17pm - IP Logged
We are back after a 22 hour delay at Corfu airport!
Our 9pm flight (Sunday Evening) was cancelled due to the weather, so we zipped home for a few hours sleep! We returned to the airport at 6am (Monday am) and checked in our bags. The airport started to become very busy which was unusual for the winter. There were 7 planes waiting on the tarmac instead of the usual one! Many planes had been diverted from Athens to Corfu during the night. The domestic departure lounge was full of UK football supporters (Chelsea) who were reassuringly well behaved - despite the numerous discarded red bull cans all over the place! Also waiting, were flights from: Madrid, Paris, Bruxelles and Roma - a strange international mix who were huddled together in the domestic Corfu departure lounge!!
The departure lounge did offer blankets and free food/drinks though! We waited until 2pm before taking off. Even then, Athens airport was only accepting 4 flights per hour as they had only be able to clear one runway of snow.
We took off and admired Kerkyra, the emerald isle glistening below. We soon flew over Paxos and then turned abruptly left, over Lefkas.
Green mountains greeted us, with the occasional white cap. Soon, the bridge of Patra passed below and Athens loomed ahead - glinting in the afternoon sun. As we approached, we realized the extent of the snow - Athens was covered in a thick blanket of snow - only the occasional road was cleared, creating a black ribbon across the landscape, indicating its exsitance.
We touched down and walls of snow banked the runway! A far cry from the scene that those arriving for the Athens Olympics would have seen!
More about our Athens adventure in the next newsletter!
Message posted by blueyes on 20†February†2008 at 10:07pm - IP Logged
Quote: Originally posted by mikesharon on 18 February 2008
My only concern is that our rented villa has no central-heating and no fireplace, as they were built as holiday lets, so I will have to rely on calor gas heaters through next winter.
I would seriously think about your choice of accomodation if it has no form of heating at all, also how is your hot water heated, if it is ONLY solar panels then you will have a problem on wet or cloudy days.
my appartment is rented and has central heating, also we have double glazing but it still gets very cold and damp. even occasionally if it has been raining during Sept/Oct then I have the heating on for an hour jus to warm the place up.
Message posted by Dasia on 21†February†2008 at 11:09pm - IP Logged
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