lauantai 11. joulukuuta 2010

Winter considerations

Now the winter reached southwestern Poland, Lower Silesian and Poland’s warmest city. I do not like it. Very emotional feeling, nothing to do with any reasonable groundings, but for me “my Wroclaw” has always been the nice city where it does not wind all the time, and even if it’s cold it’s dry. But now my beautiful imaginations were crushed when snow came and came hard, with approximately 20 cm during one day. Tram schedules have lost their meaning, and winter seems to have surprised the car drivers, too.

In Poland tires with spikes are not allowed unless it’s snow, and because snow is not a 100% sure for whole winter, it basically makes no sense to have tires with spikes. Polish people change into winter tires, yes, but I do not know how the winter tires differ from summer versions. What I know or have heard is that on slippery snow or ice they are not that much of use. The traffic which is pretty aggressive becomes even more exiting…

Another weird thing is the Polish way of trying to get rid of snow; approach is not that much to remove its location, but to melt it away with salt or some other chemical. It ends up to streets being full of slush, shoes, floors, every place covered with that white chemical stuff, and even if it’s minus degrees, shoes are all the time wet and feet freezing. Amateurs!

I had my share of Central European winter and trouble with snow when trying to travel on two weeks at a row now. My planned route from Wroclaw to Helsinki via Munich seems to be doomed; two inbound flights to Finland, first ending up spending night in Munich and weirdly rerouted again from Munich to Dusseldorf and then to Helsinki. My luggage took their own route, and spent 3 more days on the road than I did. I would have had possibility to take full advantage of travel insurance, but as my final destination in Finland was not Helsinki but Ostrobothnia, instead of shopping I travelled additionally to planes on trains, taxis and cars back and worth and around. And some work was to be done as well somewhere in between, as the travelling was not supposed to be only joyride. Phew. Second time plan was to go to Helsinki via Munich and Stockholm, but I ended up to spend a night in Copenhagen and from there to Helsinki. So one thing is clear; universe does not want me to go to Finland. Additional proof; outbound flights have been very smooth, just in time with no problems whatsoever ;)

Copenhagen hotel lobby. Very open, very gloomy, especially very early on the morning when breakfast is not yet served... But they did have bad coffee from machine, better than nothing when having once again a flight to catch
Now I have couple of days here in Helsinki home, and this city is full of snow. Weather has gone all crazy. Streets are not ploughed as there is not enough capacity to handle this much snow at a time. Just moments ago I saw peculiar sight, few dark skinned guys dropping snow and ice from high roofs. Globalisation and global warming :P

Snow fighthing troops on my home street in Helsinki
My backyard looks very different than it did when I left at the end of July

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