Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Coldest of the winters

With the cold wave in Netherlands causing some disruptions in the public transport system we had some hiccups getting to Schiphol Airport - the electric catenary were frozen and filled with ice and that lead to issued with the pantograph system of the trains. In any case we managed to get in the airport in time and to suffer the absurd "security" checks that don't make me feel any safer and that just delayed the boarding so that the plane was already late to take off when everyone had finally boarded.

The plane then had to have the engines defrosted and the wings deiced. All that cause a delay of almost one hour. Nothing that the flight company could actually do anything about (they are not the ones coming up with irrelevant checks and are not responsible for the management of the airport). In the end I think we were lucky to fly as there were several flights that had to be canceled before and after we left.

The flight was as uneventful (I like them like that), apart from a aborted landing - I guess caused by the lack of visibility and cross wind - but after a bit of carousel all went well and we landed safe and sound (what a funny expression) and were greeted by a dog walking in the conveyor belt were passenger retrieve their luggage.

Again we were really lucky with being able to land in Bucharest as the weather has taken a turn for worse. When we arrived the air temperature was around −2°C now it has dropped to &minus&12°C with wind gusts reaching the 50 knots (92 Km/h). Not a nice weather for landing. Actually several (or all) flights are being canceled. Let's hope that by the 13th of this month the weather has improved enough for flights to resume.

Now since we are here I haven't ventured much outside. It's hard to go anywhere. We planned to go in a small trip to the mountains but it's almost impossible to leave Bucharest (by car, by train or by plane) and although the streets are quite clean of snow it's still a hard task to move the car. Cleaning the ice that form around it takes several minutes, then finding a parking place is a hard task when there is no snow but with every empty space becoming a landscape of ice and snow in no time it has become almost impossible to stop the car anywhere except the middle of the street - which is not a very good idea. Walking is always a possibility but the Accuweather RealFeel of −28°C is sure feels a lot better to stay indoors.

Nevertheless here are some photos (taken with the phone, so sorry for the lack of quality) so that you can have a idea of how it feels to be surrounded by this white stuff all around.

It is beautiful, in a very cold way.

This is for me the coldest winter I have ever lived and I'm not that young. In Portugal although it's not so cold it is very dry. It hasn't rained the entire month of January and February doesn't look like it's going to bring any change. The crops will suffer and that is something that the Portuguese people don't deserve on top of everything else that has been forced on them. Lets see what the future brings.

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