Saturday, November 29, 2008

Winter comes and goes

The snow started as I was driving home at lunchtime last Sunday, after my first tentative ice climbing of the winter. And then it kept on snowing. Finland, although traditionally a cold place, gets a lot less snow than non-Finns might think. Particularly in the south, we just don't get those storms that dump a metre of snow overnight as you may in the mountains, or on northern coastal regions around the globe. Even in England as a kid I remember getting overnight more snow than I've ever seen here in the same time period, but nevertheless it was still a pretty good blizzard. Monday morning was typical traffic chaos, showing that even with all the snow-moving infrastructure Helsinki has, this was heavier than normal. We got more on Monday night but from Tuesday onwards it started to thaw, and by Wednesday the thaw was huge - big chunks of snow falling off roofs making going in and out of buildings more exciting than normal. By Friday evening it was +8 oC and I walked to the pub after work with some colleagues in sweatshirt. I didn't even have time to get out cross country skiing whilst the tracks lasted. At the moment the forecast is utterly miserable: temperatures a bit above freezing, plenty of rain and thick cloud meaning the pitifully short days feel even shorter. Next time. But with the excitement that a good dump of snow brings, I kept taking pictures and film clips on my phone last week. The quality of both is pretty poor - but all the same here's some images of a snowy Helsinki.

Helsinki in the snow from Toby A. on Vimeo.

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