Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Wintery bits

Well we all know it has been something called "Winter" here in Poland for sometimes what seems a Millennium. That is because it has! Not really, it hasn't been half as bad as I expected, I really expected it to be a lot colder for a lot longer. The truth of the matter is that it tends to be cold but not super cold. We have had maybe 10 days in total of -30C, or there abouts, but those were really the exception rather than the rule. Most days are in the single digits for minus.

I have good gloves, a nice big scarf (thanks to my sister from about 7 years ago), and a lovely warm jacket. The latter I am thankful for to Marty who made me purchase said item. I also bought some good boots which have helped a little to keep the size 11’s from losing their little slender pink friends. I didn't have to panic and run to the store for thermal underwear, which is what I had expected. So all in all, not so bad.

Anyway, back to the story of the photos below. So I was on the tram morning after morning. I saw some fabulous sunrises over the Vistula with its delicate icebergs floating along at a leisurely Sunday strolling pace. Which came to an abrupt halt one day when the little tram was tinkling along over the Most Gdanski (Gdansk Bridge). I saw that not only my feet had frozen, but almost all of the Vistula with the exception of a small channel maybe 1m across had frozen solid. It was quite a sight. I will remind you here as well that the Vistula here in Warsaw is still a wild river, with minimal intervention from man and certainly no regulation in effect.

So one afternoon on my crossing to “The Dark Side” also known as Praga (Prague) I jumped off at a stop where no one else was silly enough to brave the -30C, and took a few photos. With the extreme cold I didn’t have the camera battery on long, nor did I have the inclination to do too much seeming as I had to take my gloves off to operate the camera. So there aren’t many pics and they aren’t great but they kind of give you an idea of what it was like then, and is mostly now.

As the sun sets again on another wintery day, the temperature tolls for thee, at -30C it certainly wakes all senses, then numbs them, sings them a lullaby and if you don't concentrate you lose your senses along with your fingers, toes, legs, or noses to frostbite.
Now that it is the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, lets be inspired and have a combined Summer/Winter Olympic(s) event here, speed skating followed by lightning fast swimming!
So for a wild river there isn't much river to play with, but at least the colours are nice.
The old town followed by the more commercial hub behind it.
Along the Most Gdanski. It is my favourite bridge in Warsaw.
This pic makes me think of a national geopgraphic aerial photo. I had no idea why I was hanging over the rail of a bridge in stupidly cold temperatures. But, to me, the pic was worth it.
Even in Black and White the river looks nice, more silver now than blue/green but nice.
If you could hide the trees it would look like a satellite photo of something hidden in an Iranian bunker or something indescribable.
There is no filter on this, just the sunsetting allowing great light to pop up. I love the little footprints of different birds around the place, snow is great for this. I am thinking of doing a series of foot/paw/beak what ever prints in the snow.
I wasn't sure if it looked better in the blue hue or the contrast of black and white.
You would almost swear you were in the Arctic or Antarctic at the bottom of the picture.
The big pointy thing on the left is the Palace of Culture, which to me totally sounds like a bar/nightclub. There are previous posts of this on the blog (not the nightclub but the palace).

Well the day started to get dark which meant, time to head off to teach. But it was a worthwhile stop off point. I do like that bridge, and now a few weeks later there are no more islands of ice as the river is one big sheet of ice. It appears, at first glance, to be a glacier dividing the town in half. Freaky, but really cool! And no, not just literally.


Shaun said...

some pretty good photography there mate. impressive!

Garth said...

Thanks Shauno! Always a nice to get some positive feedback.

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