Brrrr it’s winter alright

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Be careful what you wish for, they always say. We wanted to experience winter … and we’ve certainly got what we wished for. The recent cold snap that has hit Europe hasn’t been as bad in the areas of Bulgaria that we’ve been in, but it’s certainly been bracing.

Our coldest day? -24 degrees.

Of course we were still up the mountain in Bansko skiing with 3000 layers on so we didn’t feel it that much. Back in Sofia a few days later, the temperatures weren’t as low but brrrr -12 is still pretty miserable when you think “oh we’ll just head out for breakfast and not get too rugged up” and end up spending all day out. I kept expecting to pull of my shoes at the end of the day and see frostbitten toes.

Sunday we had a fantastic day planned with friends – head up nearby Vitosha mountain to ski and sled with the kids. The company who runs the ski lifts on Vitosha decided not to run them this year thanks to a dispute with the government (Ironically this season is probably the best Sofia has had in years – the company is either sitting there smiling smugly at themselves or busy firing executives), so we were going up the mountain by car.

That is until we woke to this …

Colin aptly, if less than poetically, described the day as ‘puking down with snow’.

It just didn’t stop. Snow flakes as big as 50c coins flurrying down. We woke to 5cm. By breakfast it was closer to 10cm. And it kept going. This was the result of our 5 minute walk to breakfast …

The streets in Sofia are white. There are piles of snow in places as high as Hayley where footpaths have been cleared and snow has been heaped up. The roads are a slushy mess with white cars lining the streets.

There are two cars in this photo … see if you can spot the second one under all the snow (admittedly this is from a few days of snow) …

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Going up the mountain was out. No taxi was going to take us up there in these conditions. The ten minute taxi ride to our friends house was hair raising enough. Sliding out, jumping out at every set of lights to clear the windows of snow. 

So onto plan B – sledding in the streets.

The streets weren’t really steep enough but it was still fun.

We wished for snow and cold so we’re making the most of it, but it’s certainly making us miss Penang. Just ten more days and we’ll be on a plane back to Asia.

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