Happy New Year to you but what an adventure the start of 2017 has been for us so far… in Nea Skioni where our office is based we have experienced abnormally cold temperatures dipping as low as -7 degrees! Despite this, a huge crowd turned out in our harbour on 6th January wrapped up warm to watch the traditional Holy Epiphany celebrations where brave swimmers dive in and compete to retrieve a cross from the blessed waters, which is said to bring the victor a year of good luck.
Then on Tuesday morning last week we woke up in a spectacular winter wonderland under a blanket of snow!! It fell continuously for almost 3 days and made most of us housebound under a good 30cm of snow! Unlike other tourist destinations this is a very strange weather phenomenon for Greece, especially the seaside resorts and in fact locals here in Nea Skioni claim that it has been at least 50 years since we have had so much snow in Halkidiki! Although not one of the worst-affected areas this caused us many problems; schools and roads closed, deliveries delayed, the water supply froze for days and some Halkidiki properties suffered burst pipes. On the plus side however it was an absolute treat to see the already beautiful landscape all dressed in white, with an eerie steam rising off the sea due to the temperature difference and young residents had great fun playing in the snow many for the first time!!
So it’s been an extraordinary and truly magical start to 2017, hopefully this bodes us well for the year and it just goes to show you what an exciting place Halkidiki is, where anything is possible!
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