Up until yesterday, it has been very cold and snowy in Stockholm.
Lots of signs and barriers appeared on the Stockholm sidewalks warning of falling ice and snow (from the buildings). I’ve never known anyone who was hit by a falling icicle but I get the feeling that it’s happened a lot here in the capitol city. It makes me think of a puzzle story I heard a long time ago where a murder scene is imagined and you are only told what the evidence around the dead body is. Among other things, there is a puddle of water and it turns out that the person was killed with an icicle. (I’m not exactly sure how.) But it’s convenient when a murder weapon disappears. Anyway, don’t think I don’t feel a little nervous as the temperature swings between freezing and melting temperatures!
It’s common to see a section of sidewalk blocked off either because they are worried icicles will drop on people there or because there are workers on the roofs there shoving snow off to the ground. Usually they leave a worker-guy or two on the ground to steer people around because there’s always someone who isn’t paying attention and who ignores the barriers.
When the Going Gets Rough
As if dodging shovels of snow and icicles isn’t enough, the going has been very tricky lately on the sidewalks of Stockholm. The shoveling is extremely uneven in the city, as it’s up to business establishments to shovel in front of their stores. This results in there being clear patches and then long stretches of uneven, slippery mush-on-ice which is the trickiest of all. The pictures I took don’t show the layer of ice under the mush.
I have great empathy for parents trying to push strollers through and over this stuff. It looks really challenging. Up until now, I thought that it must be such a pain to get your small child all bundled up in all that winter clothing but now I see that that is well, child’s play compared to maneuvering that stroller.
And what do people in wheelchairs do? It must be next to impossible. From inside a store the other day, I saw a young caretaker trying to push an adult in a wheelchair down the sidewalk right outside a huge store and she could not get through. She turned the chair around and was finally successful at dragging the chair backwards through the snow.
Lighting the Way
One really nice thing is that businesses often set candles of various sorts outside their storefronts. I think it looks so cozy but I am always thinking, couldn’t somebody accidently catch a coattail or something in the open candles (some are more open than others.) But I guess that’s because I come from a state where people worry about forest fires. Here in Sweden, it’s just too damp most of the time.
Yesterday and today has seen warmer temperatures, right around freezing. It’s snowing very, very wet snow which makes the mush level even higher. The old ice and snow is still there so the mush just adds to the general mess. And if the temperature drops, all this water will freeze and then we will really have fun!
I mentioned in a recent post that the snow at that time was the driest I have ever seen. Now I can relate that I have seen the wettest snow (without being rain) that I’ve ever seen. I look forward to counting all the other types of snow we’ll see this winter. I am secretly (well not so secretly since I am blogging on the internet) pleased that this year has already had much more “winter” than last year–my first year in Sweden. Now I get to feel like a real Viking!