Almost Sunset

What great weather we’ve had today… NOT! It is that time of year when the weather in Greece is starting to turn. On the plus side, I did see a sort of sunset tonight (see photo above).

Temperature wise, the daytime temperature here in Halkida is below 20°c (it was 19°c today). The temperature has been falling slowly since the end of the Summer, but over the next week they will plummet. By the end of the month it will be below 10° during the day.

Today thunder storms have been passing over Greece. It was raining lightly when I got up and had stopped by the time I finished breakfast and was on my way out for the day. All I can say is thank god I took my coat with me! By the time I got in to town it started to rain again. The rain became quite heavy and it stayed like that for most of th morning and early part of the afternoon. We were also treated to some spectacular forked lightning and some very loud thunder.

While in town this morning I was trying to follow an itinerary I found online on the Greece Is website. I visited Halkida’s museums, staring with the Archeological Museum, before heading towards the Ancient Fortress district, where I would find the Folklore Museum.

As I left the museum it started raining heavily so I abandoned my planned itinerary, and headed straight for the pedestrianised waterfront where I would be able to find a café for shelter. Soaked through to the skin by the time I arrived, I ordered a hot chocolate and some water. Wandering around in the rain is thirsty work! Most people in Halkida appear to have had the same idea as me: the promenade was empty but many of the bars and cafés busy.

The rain eased slightly for a few minutes but picked up again as I left the café. I decided to cross the bridge back to the mainland and return to my hotel room. The weather forecast told me the rain should clear later on, so rather than try and continue my itinerary in the rain, I decided to spend the rest of the morning reading my book.

Shortly after watching the repeat of Newsnight on the BBC, I looked out the window to see the rain had stopped. It was still very cloudy, and grey, but at least not looking ominously grey by now.

I put my coat on (hooray, wet coat, I love putting one of those on), not entirely trusting the weather, and decided I would brave the great outdoors once more. I walked over the bridge on to Evia and went for a pita gyros lunch.

It was after 16:15 by the time I had finished lunch. I walked off my lunch by walking along the prominade up to the Κόκκινο Σπίτι – the Red House. In the Second World War the building was the HQ for the Nazis. These days it is houses the House of Knowledge and is used for exhibitions. The Spiti is opposite the The House of Statues; today this impressive looking building houses the local department of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women.

Continuing my walk, I went round the headland to the beach. Not the swimming type of weather; but I stopped to take a photo – just so I could prove that I had been to the beach. I turned round and headed in to the backstreets of the city. Zig-zagging my way around Halkida, I slowly made my way back to the bridge to cross back to the mainland and my hotel.

I didn’t get to the castle today: It closes at 3 and it wasn’t until 3 that I decided it was safe enough to go outside again. It opens at 8 tomorrow morning though, so maybe I will pay it a visit after breakfast. It is only on the hilltop above my hotel.

This evening I am planning to eat at the hotel’s rooftop bar/restaurant. The same location is where breakfast is served and the view is rather good. I might go to one of the bars on the street below for pudding as well, if I feel like it.

Tomorrow I’m heading back to Athens. I’m aiming to arrive mid-afternoon. If I arrive in good time, my plan is to go to one of the museums (there are several in Athens which I have yet to do) before heading to the Onassis Cultural Centre on Sygrou Avenue, where a music-documentary-film festival is happening this weekend.

It is approaching 20:30 here… I need to get ready for dinner.