Greece in July is always hot and dry, right?
We’ve just been lunching at the Καφέ Κεντρικών in Ναύπλιο, watching the rain lash down. The only place I have seen more intense rain was in Singapore, in the rainy season. In Singapore, it was at least warm. Here, I started to wish I’d brought a cardigan.
The waiters are very good at dealing with the rain. We were sitting under large awnings, and there were canvas gutters between the awnings of each table. The rain ran down the awnings, along the gutters and poured down in cascades outside the covered area. We felt well protected from the elements.
Unfortunately, there is a slope on the beautiful, marble square. It leads towards the café. The square is large and collects rainwater rapidly. I was lunching with my feet in 5 millimetres of fast-flowing water. Although I wouldn’t choose to eat lunch like that every day, as a holiday treat it was rather special!
This wasn’t even the first storm of the day. The first had been at about 2 a.m. Zeus was banging off lightning bolts in all directions, one of them seeming to strike the Old Citadel directly above us. We waited for a chunk of masonry to plunge through our roof. When it failed to materialise, we reckoned that perhaps we weren’t quite as well loved by the gods as we’d thought (for, those whom the gods love, die young). We would probably live to fight another day. We ignored the lightning, and went back to sleep.
In the late morning, we walked up over the hill past the Old Citadel. Zeus appeared to have spared that, too. There is a very picturesque path around the headland of the peninsular. We strolled along beside the sea, intoxicated by the sweet, spicy scent of pine trees and cactus fruit. The water was calm, the small waves making a chuckling noise as they broke in pools and chambers worn in the rocks by the eddies of a thousand years. All was calm.
Then we looked the few miles across the Gulf of Argos, and the clouds hinted at what was in store for us.
Still, it’s bright now. The sun keeps pretending that it would like to shine, and objects once again have shadows. Perhaps a siesta would be good; it was a large lunch (I have never eaten four fried eggs at a single sitting before) with twice as much beer as we’d intended…