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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Zoumboulis

Quiet Time

I first visited Greece with my now husband, right before we got engaged. After we got married, we traveled other places, including to Brazil but we traveled to Greece a lot more. We've been together for almost twenty two years and married for almost thirteen years so you can imagine how many times we've traveled to Greece. But when we visited, it was only during the summer months. We worked the rest of the year and the only time we were able to visit and enjoy the beach (which was what we looked forward to especially since we lived in New York City where there are harsh winter months), were July or August.

If you haven't yet experienced Summer months in Greece, you must. It's definitely memorable. Summers in Greece consists of beach, coffee, dinners out , drinks, live music, repeat. Literally! What else would anyone want to do anyway? Am I right?

Regardless if you have children or not, the summer routine is pretty much the same. Here's a little glimpse to how our family's summer routine looks like:

  • We wake up and change for the beach.

  • We make a quick stop at the local bakery to buy cheese pies or koulouria (it's like a bagel - for reference) to take to the beach

  • Arrive at the beach around 10:30 in the morning.

  • Order coffee for mommy and daddy, fresh squeezed juice for the kids, and a bowl of fresh fruit for all of us at the beach.

  • And stay there until about three or four in the afternoon. (The beaches that we go to, have a lunch/snack menu to order something to eat during the day. And we also reserve the cabana at the beach because we always have a large group of people with us - our family are always here visiting - and because it is more comfortable in case the children want to sleep.

Sounds crazy that we spend so many hours at the beach? I used to think so too. But "hear" me out...

Greece, like many other European countries, have hours of operation. Yes, you read that right. Greece isn't like New York City that goes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Greece has many off times during the week, especially during summer months.

Greece has something I like to call, "Quiet Time". The Quiet Time hours are usually from 2:30 - 5:30 in the afternoon but it changes in the summer from 3:00 - 6:00 in the afternoon. And believe it or not, it is an actual law. Depending on how much noise is in your house, street, or neighborhood, the police can be called. It's unbelievable. We knew about this before we moved to Greece but we didn't realise it is taken so seriously. Anyway, this is another story for another time.

During these hours, stores such as clothing stores, banks, small markets, salons, playgrounds, most constructions stop and even some bakeries close. The city becomes a ghost town because many people go home to rest/nap or to the beach July and August. So with that "said", there's nothing to do in the city not only because many places are closed but also because it is very hot in the summer.

Life "starts over" again after 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon until the morning hours.

We leave the beach at around 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon, we go home to relax, and sometimes the children take a nap (sometimes they nap at the beach) while us adults get dinner ready or changed to go out for dinner and dessert.

And because people rest during the day, being out late isn't an issue for them - adults and children alike! And because of that they very often have dinner late in the night.

Winter months are similar to summer months. The only difference is that people get together more often at each other's homes or at indoor places to spend time together. But only during the hours of operation!

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