Oh what memories you have had me recall Kilkis. When I was young, I belonged to the Bournemouth Spartan Swimming Association. We used to swim in the sea every Sunday from November until April. We also swam on Boxing Day morning and New Year's Eve at midnight.
The winter of 1962/63 was so cold, that when we went into the water, we couldn't feel the sand under our feet. The sea had frozen, so we slid in over the ice. There were large, long icicles hanging off of the groynes and when I tried to hang on to them for a rest whilst swimming, my hands stuck to them.
On New Years Eve that winter, the local council had piled up the snow along one side of the promenade. When I came out of the sea after my swim, the onlookers, being a little tipsy, picked me up and threw me into the snow bank. I well remember floundering around in that snow bank, trying to work out which way was up. That was the first time I had worn my brand new, gingham bikini that I was so proud of.
These days I only swim in the warmer months, but have friends who often swim in Sitia throughout winter.