Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year 2010

It's the first week of the new year, and snowing!  I have spent much of my life in Florida and Los Angeles where snow is quite a rare thing.  The past two winters here were quite warm and snow was also an unusual occurance here in Alkmaar.  But now, glorious, beautiful snow! 

It makes travel rather difficult - I might have mentioned previously that they don't plow/shovel much more than the highways - and certainly not my neighborhood.  Some of the main roads have been closed lately because of ice, and public transportation has been having problems last month and this one.

Bicycles have been replaced with sleds - and it's so cute watching parents take their young children everywhere by sled.  Because it's flat land, it's easy to pull them along behind you.  Because people are used to travelling by bicycle to work, to school, to the market - weather doesn't bother them.  Rain, snow, wind, hot days or freezing ones, you dress comfortably, appropriately, and go.

I've been keeping up with my New Year's resolution - watching movies - and have been enjoying the nightly break from writing and studying.  I'll share a few photos from this past week, and hope everyone out there is safe, well and staying warm!

The new year started off with a bang!  Oud Jaar's Avond is the one time of year when all your neighbors can buy and set off fireworks.  The big cities all have organized celebrations, but it's more fun for me to try and pronounce "gelukkig nieuwjaar" after midnight and a couple shots of Jack Daniels.

This was the start of latest snowfall.  You can't see the road ahead, at least not very far.  From the tire tracks you can get an idea of how wide the road is.  There are canals on both sides, and this is a two way road.

Then it warmed up a little more, and everything began melting.

That night it froze, and ice formed under everything.

And it is snowing again right now!  It doesn't look so bad, but under that pretty white stuff is pure ice.
Somebody remind me to get snow boots...

Here's one of my favorite Dutch quotes: God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland.
Tot ziens!