Over Thursday night, the first snow of the winter started to fall.
I was greeted to this sight from my window on Friday morning, and the depressing month of November which was just cold and dark seemed a distant memory as I was overcome with that childish sort of happiness that snow in the wintertime brings.
Unfortunately, this meant that the day’s plan of revision for my Swedish exam the next day were put on hold in order for me to go into town and do what I had been putting off for quite a while: buying some suitable winter boots. Being a student with limited monetary resources, this investment was something I was very keen to get right. After a couple of hours of slipping and sliding around central Linköping, I was able to find these:
I took the advice of one of my readers (I have readers, I’m a little bit amazed at this!) – who can be found here: http://davidduffcomedy.wordpress.com/ – and made sure that they were able to deal with salt. This is because the Swedes spread salt on the paths and roads in the winter… and lots of it! I also wanted a high boot so as to reduce the likelihood of snow entering the boots, and I wanted a boot that I could take anywhere and not have to worry about my feet getting wet or cold. These boots seemed to fit all of my requirements as well as my feet, and the fact that they’d had 200:- knocked off the price sold them, really.
So, my situation was this: it was just gone 1300, it was still snowing and I had now got some proper, sturdy walking boots. There was only one thing for it: test them!
I managed to persuade another exchange student to leave their Swedish revision until a little later to join me on a little test walk in the woods next to Ryd. I’d never really ventured far from the tarmacked path that takes you from Ryd to Linköping town (mainly, I think, because it was always dark and muddy off of the beaten track!). So it was nice to really explore.
To think that I was worried about whether the snow would make it! Trust me to be pessimistic about the weather at this time of year. In Southampton, if it snows (which it rarely does) it is almost always in the new year, and even then calling is “snow” is like calling an April shower a monsoon!
As it was, the snow that we got here in Linköping is about 1 to 1.5 inches deep. If we had that in the UK it would be classed a national emergency and people would be advised to stay in their homes. Here, though no one seems to notice! It was with great trepidation therefore, that I woke up this morning that I considered using my bicycle to get to university for my Swedish exam.
From experience of how the snow is dealt with in the UK, it wasn’t a hard decision to just say “No, no I will not even consider the possibility of cycling into university. It’s just stupid.”. This train of thought wasn’t hard to support when, upon looking out of my window, I could not see the cycle paths through the snow. I set off into the snow in plenty of time so as to take a relaxing stroll and take more pictures.
I was somewhat surprised, then to find that the cycle paths that were the more main routes from Ryd to University were absolutely free of ice and snow! I shall keep this in mind for the future, but I figured that it was better to be safe than sorry!
So, here are a couple of my pictures from today. Merry Christmas!