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Posts tagged "snowstorm"

Filomena – Snowstorm in Madrid

  • 23/Jan/2021 at 21:45

The major snowstorm in more than a century in Madrid is a good excuse to resume the blogging activity, even if that means skipping (for the moment) two years of travelling.

Although snow is not rare in Madrid, this year’s storm, called Filomena, beat all records: more than 50 cm covered the city in less than 24 hours and collapsed the city for a week.

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Everyone enjoyed this unique moment in its own way: parents went out to the street to make the first snowmen, using their kids as an excuse to play with the snow; skiers converted the avenues of Madrid in ski slopes, and the subway in ski lifts; and some others just wandered around a totally different city, with our eyes really open, and the cameras ready to record these memories.

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The first day I went out was Saturday, it was still snowing heavily since the previous afternoon, and the snow was already at my knee level in some places. We were going to have snow for some days, so I took it easy and decided to go to a nearby park (Tierno Galván) expecting it to be as pure as possible.

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The visual show started already in my neighbourhood, where snow covered completely the cars, and there was still little signs of life: it seemed a phantom city. Even more, with the cars that had been left in the middle of the big avenues by their owners, after trying to reach their homes when the snow level was too high for that. Snow plows were trying to open some roads, mainly for the emergency services. One police car went of the clean road due to lack of skills by the driver, and we had to push it back to the path… Everything was “slightly” different from usual.

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The worst part of this storm was for the trees, though. They are not used nor designed for standing so much weight on their branches, and many were breaking off as I passed by. This made me avoid walking too close to any big tree, just in case, especially from the evergreen ones.

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When I reached the park, I had already seen a few skiers exploring the city on their skis, and who were as excited as any kid could be. “I’m wearing blizzard goggles in Madrid! Who would say?”. They were right. It did not look like Madrid. The park looked like any park in places thousands of km North from where I was. It could be Scandinavia, but it was Spain.

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After the park, I started coming back home. My plan was to do a stopover and get a hot chocolate with churros, but the place I had in mind was closed, as any other place in the city that day. But that allowed me to pay a visit to the major highway in the city, the M-30. It is a ring around Madrid centre, with a length of 30 km, 6-10 lanes, and always full of cars at high speed. That morning, some teenagers were making snowmen once they recovered from their initial surprise: “I am in the M-30, Mum, I am in the M-30, look”, they said while doing a video call.

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The next day, still cold, but not snowing, it was time for a long walk downtown. Although the streets had already been stepped by many people the day before, the views were still unique, and not so many people had gotten up that early. Cars were still extremely rare, and the streets were mostly for the pedestrians. The normally beautiful sights in the city looked even better now, having replaced cars by a lot of snow.

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Just to keep record for myself, the tour started surrounding the Retiro park (closed to avoid accidents), and continued through Puerta de Alcalá, Gran Vía, Preciados, Puerta del Sol, Royal Palace, Latina, and Atocha.

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The snow weekend ended with some snow removing from the terrace, the cornice, and even the streets. The temperatures would fall way under 0 degrees from that night, and we did not want ice to be falling from the buildings, nor having an ice rink in our street.

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It has been a wonderful way to start 2021, in spite of the problems that snow also brought. Let’s see what else the year brings…

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