This January has been quite mild compared to January of 2022, although we’ve certainly experienced some pretty chilly nights on several occasions. Last year however saw many days of chilly temperatures and even below freezing at night, with snow and lots of cold rain and blustery windy days. I can’t recall how many days I saw the electric power go down in January 2022, but this year it’s been nothing like the extremes of last winter, so far.
As I write this at about 1AM, it is only 9C outside according to my very accurate Davis Instruments Weather Station. It’s a bit odd in that many back home in Canada may think of that as a “warm” temperature, and in a way they are correct – but on the other hand, when it’s 9C outside, it’s likely most will turn the heat on for a bit to warm up their home.
That doesn’t happen in Greece, very often. While some homes may have natural gas (but very rarely), most are heated when heat is needed, with electrical heating appliances – and that is outrageously expensive in Greece. Many Greeks simply cannot afford to turn the electric heat on when there is a chill in the air. Some of us are blessed with fireplaces, but fireplaces are not cheap either (firewood costs quite a lot) and are not all that efficient in heating spaces.
In January (and February, March, and April), you’ll find Greeks wearing sweaters, layering up, and doing whatever they can to stay warm without breaking the bank in power costs. This is not an exaggeration – my own electricity bill for 1,123 KwH between June 15th and October 13th, 2022 was 299.00 Euros, or about 430.00 CAD. In the winter months, electricity is much higher if you try to stay comfortable in your house.
But we’re not here to discuss electricity, but rather the gorgeous sunrises that occur at any time of the year over the Aegean Sea – and the other morning, a January morning, as I watched the dawn of day light up the lives of those awake in the sun’s path.