Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

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geckophile
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Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by geckophile » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:46 am

My sister has experienced August in Rhodes, about 20 years ago. She said the heat was almost unbearable. The kids were in the pool at 2am, as it was the only way to keep cool. She also said it was hard to breathe as she was breathing in "hot" air. She found herself panicking at times, and this was when she was a young fit 25 year old.

I know many people holiday in mid- summer and have a fabulous time. Some say "the hotter the better!", but we have never been on holiday abroad in July and August; we have always stuck to the early and late ends of the holiday season.

How do Brits cope who LIVE in Greece permanently? In damp overcast Green and Pleasant Britain, we haven't grown up with very hot weather like the locals have. I must admit I have seen a few programmes on tv where ex-pats are knocking out the traditional tiny windows in their recently acquired old property, in order to install huge picture windows, and I think "whoops, you are SO going to regret this when summer comes - you will wish you had kept those small windows and dark shutters - after all,they were put there for a reason! To keep the heat OUT!"

I'm sure air conditioning is a must if one can afford it, (even tho its not eco-friendly :? ) but as an eczema and asthma "sufferer" (although I hardly ever "suffer" these days, especially with the asthma - its completely under control unless I get a chest infection), I am interested to know how ex-pats cope with the intense heat and whether you love it, hate it or just just put up with it? Does anyone have any useful tips or ideas? I read somewhere once that a chap had an outside shower installed - rather than a pool - which he could jump under any time he needed to cool off. Sounds sensible to me as I can't swim! :oops:

Would love to hear your views!

Thanks
Geckophile
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Stella
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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by Stella » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:01 am

My husband and I are split on this one. He hates the extreme heat and in fact is very happy in Greece now when the weather is perfect for him and it is possible to eat outside at lunchtime and then walk in the surrounding foothills of the Tayegetos amid wonderful wild flowers. It is for this reason or at least partly, that we have kept our house in England. My other half dislikes airconditioning as being expensive, noisy, intrusive and not good for your health. We live here in a stone house with small windows and wooden shutters and our bedrooms are below our living room which makes sense in the summer because hot air rises. We have Greek style aircon of ceiling fans and fly screens so that we can leave doors and windows open and get a current of air. Needless to say my husband does not like the fans either as he says it means sitting in a draft and he has a phobia that they will fall down and chop his head off!

Incidentally I love the heat and can tolerate July and August although it is a bit of a challenge during a heatwave. We live very simply here - no car, just bicycles and only a Greek television rather than satellite TV. It is impossible to please both of us as I would rather relocate here on a permanent basis but cannot because my husband would miss his friends and family along with concerts, libraries and other cultural events which do not happen in a tiny Greek village. Compromise has to be the answer.

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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by SusieH » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:11 am

I am not a fan of very hot weather either.
But I suspect if you lived there you would eventually acclimatise to it. Would be interested to hear from others on this. I would certainly not go down the picture window route!!!!

Whe we had the heatwave in the UK a few summers ago I was getting used to it near the end. I kept windows, curtains and blinds closed to keep the house cooler and had fans running.

I used a small silent fan at night blowing directly on our faces - as I do in Greece on very hot nights. I find so long as your face is cool you can sleep without a problem. In Greece I keep all outside windows and doors open at night but close the curtains if it is hot

I do not like air con either as it makes the heat so much worse when you do venture out

I have never been to Greece in July or August either but many years ago in Corfu, at the beginning of June, there was a heatwave and even the local were complaining it was hotter than the summer weather. The temps rose to above 40c at one point. I was fine so long as I had a breeze and was out of the sun. Mini markets were a bit of a nightmare though, it was so humid inside them I 'melted' almost as soon as I walked in!!

The only time I had trouble breathing in Greece was in very hot weather in oh so polluted Athens but the Greeks have problems there too.

I am not sure I would ever advise anyone to take kids to Greece in July and August. It is hard to convince then they should stay out of the sun and drink loads of plain water!!!!

Susie

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geckophile
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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by geckophile » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:24 pm

Thanks Stella and SusieH - very interesting. Stella you sound very much like us - we too want to at least TRY to live simply. We have pushbikes here (although we don't use them enough with having to work full time), and we certainly intend to bring them with us. Its my partner I am worried about re the heat rather than myself - thats really why I am asking people how they cope. He doesnt like being "too hot" and even on very hot English summer days he doesnt venture outside much - whereas I am usually cooking myself, smothered in Factor 40, going a very fetching tomato red all over, and spraying myself with the hosepipe regularly to cool off!

Our only worries about relocating to the Peleponnese from England are for me my general healthcare (emergencies we will have to deal with if/when they arise) but just the expense of my day-to-day medication (we don't believe in forking out for health insurance and this doesn't cover regular medication anyway). For Paul the only worry is whether he will cope with the heat. Aspects such as integrating/communicating with locals do not bother us, we WILL integrate!

Oh well, we can always come back - but we don't want to think like that!!! :roll:

I look forward to any future contributions with interest - εφχαριστω πολυ!
:D
Joy
To do is to be. – Aristotle
To be is to do. – Jean Paul Sartre
To be or not to be. - William Shakespeare
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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by nickandchris » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:49 pm

Normally we holiday in Greece in May.Our only experience of uncomfortable Greek heat was when we went overland in our motorhome. By June, we couldn't take the heat, the van simply did not cool down at night and we were stuck with night temps of over 90 degrees in bed. Not nice. We also found it extremely difficult to function properly with mundane chores like shopping and banking. Everything became too much hassle and we were not happy. Time to go home.

Having a house will be different, I know and I guess you will adapt to a certain extent. We always thought if we could ever afford to actually buy somewhere in Greece, we would have winter, spring and autumn in Greece and our summer at home.Now, as we get older, we find we feel the cold more and therefore would possibly be able to stand a little more heat. I'm not sure if the body works like that though!!

Anyway,geckophile, you are certainly asking the right questions and have put a lot of thought into your proposed move. Good luck and I'll await your answers again!!

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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by the reiver » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:16 pm

It seems that the summers ARE getting hotter. Up until last year, we slept quite well with two floor standing fans at the foot of the bed. Last year we had aircon fitted in our bedroom and the improvement was fantastic! As long as you clean the filters regularly and don't set it too cold there is no problem with health or noise. The Greeks keep their shutters closed to keep the heat out, and although it might seem alien to us to stay in the dark, it does work. Aircon costs no more than CH in the winter to run and it is only July/August when you really need it.
Push bikes are fine if you live in the coastal villages, but it is a long walk back to Neohori etc !
8-)
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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by geckophile » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:37 pm

Have heard it can be marginally cooler/less humid higher up in the mountain villages - anyone had experience of this? Is the difference really noticeable?

If so, I think it would be sensible for my partner and I to find a home higher up away from the coast, as I reckon high humidity, as opposed to just "dry" heat, would be very uncomfortable for my cr*p lungs! However, we would certainly at the very least have plenty of fans, and aircon in our bedroom if poss, to counter the worst of it.

I know the best way to find out is to try it, but its so hard getting time to come over for more than a 2 week holiday when we are working full time, paying a mortgage etc. We wanted to do a six-month or a year's trial, but the logistics are just too complicated and expensive, even if we rented out our property here - so we have no choice but to jump in with both feet and hope for the best!

GeckophileX
To do is to be. – Aristotle
To be is to do. – Jean Paul Sartre
To be or not to be. - William Shakespeare
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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by SusieH » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:18 pm

Itr is def cooler higher up

If the weather os very hot we always head for the heights. In fact sometimes you actually need a cardie!!!

Susie

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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by chadalacus » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:09 am

geckophile wrote:Have heard it can be marginally cooler/less humid higher up in the mountain villages - anyone had experience of this? Is the difference really noticeable?

GeckophileX
Definately Geckophile. I remember one year in August (Zenpy's 'other half' will back me me up on this one) we went up into the mountains exploring wearing 'summer dresses' and decided to eat at a Taverna that Zenpy had discoverd earlier in the day. Bearing in mind that it was August and extremely hot Sheila and I were shivering eating our meal. The air is very much fresher up there and very breathable. As we came down the mountain the heat kicked in.
Yes Geckophile I can say with hand on my heart it is definately cooler/less humid up there in them mountains! ;)

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Re: Does the heat of the Greek Summers bother you?

Post by the reiver » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:28 am

We are in the middle of a cold snap at the moment, yesterday barely got above 5c out of the sun, but, if you live higher up it will always be a lot colder. It is quite common for people who live higher (Neohori & above) to be seen in AgNik or Stoupa wearing fleeces on a nice day when everyone else is in T-shirts. It can feel that different.

Medications generally cost less here than the UK and a lot of stuff can be got without prescription at the Pharmacist. 8-)
Reality is an illusion caused by alcohol deficiency. 8-)

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