Winter has arrived in Europe

Winter has arrived. A Canadian or a Russian would probably laugh about Europe “suffering” under 5 centimetres of snow or temperatures of -10 C. The truth is that many small European countries (and large for all that matters) are simply unprepared for such extreme weather conditions. And by extreme I mean relatively extreme – weather conditions that are unusual for where you are.

Try driving here! Or cycling...

Picnicking on the water - European winter style

It makes perfect economic sense – why keep snowclearing equipment at the airport for two days of use per year? The trouble is that people are not used to things not being taken care of for them. A colleague of mine has been complaining about the snow not being cleared away on the small street he lives on. “They don’t care of us in the municipality”, he says. Well, what does he expect them to do? The clearing of snow starts on the main streets, and they have their hands full with those. Really, your (and mine) little alley is of no importance for the functioning of society, is it? It does mean the streets are dangerously icy. The waterways are frozen as well, and Europeans use theĀ channels not just for ice-skating but also for picnicking.

As usual with extreme weather conditions (or any extreme conditions actually), they provide great photo opportunities. When the cold winds are blowing from Russia, the air is dry and clean, making the sky dramatically blue. See for yourself!

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