9 sty 2010

Polish winter - polska zima

I don't know to what extent the stereotype of Polish icy climate is spread in the world. Poles think that their country is considered to be very cold and often laugh about polar bears seen in Poland (actually you can only encounter them in the zoo). We only have grizzlis in the mountains. Anyway, Poland isn't for sure a hot country. Winters are rather painful and we complain about the temperature every year. Winter can last from November till the end of March which is too long even for Poles. It usually starts to snow in December, melts on Christmas (to make it even more irritating) and continues later on. The coldest month is January with medium temperature around -6°C to 0°C. The most extreme temperature during the XXth century was recorded in 1940 and was -41,0°C! Howewer, summers can be very hot like that in 1921 (+40,2°C)! So you have to be prepared and possess the whole range of clothes!

Fortunately extreme winters (in Polish "zima stulecia") don't happen very often. The last one was in 1978/79 when snow and frost paralysed transport and life everywhere. Here you can find a photo from that time. This year is constantly snowing and hopefully it won't be like that!

Winter has generally only negative influence on the economy. Costs are high. Poles spend huge amount of money not only on heating but also on winter tyres, car and house repairs, clothes, roads. But of course there are some advantages. You can ski in Poland (even in Warsaw)! Our ski resorts are maybe not as impressive as in the Western Europe but they are developing. If you are interested, check: Zakopane, Białka Tatrzańska, Krynica Górska, Korbielów, Czarna Góra, Wierchomla, Karpacz, Zieleniec.

And what about people's moods in the winter? I know some who love it and feel great. Snow and frost create a fanstastic atmosphere around Christmas and look magically. If there is sun white world looks beautifully (it's rather cloudy all the time). But the best is when after a cold winter comes lovely spring and everything is blossoming. Nothing compares to the first spring signs! It's worth to spend a winter in Poland just to have this experience!

P.S. On the photo above there are my bicycles covered with snow. This year I forgot to pack them before winter time and this is the result.

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