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A Historic Winter in Madrid!

Day 1, Thursday, Jan. 7th: Palm Trees in the Snow!

Probably because traveling to snowy countries and destinations is not as easy as it used to be just a year ago, the historic snowfall in Madrid for the last three days made many people happy, or at least happy until the third day, that is today, Saturday, January 10th. When it started to snow on Thursday, January 7th, all my family was fascinated! We could see snow on the palm trees on our street! We did not have to read the book or watch the movie Palm Trees in The Snow anymore! We could see it right there, in front of our eyes! I was very happy to take numerous pictures of the few palm trees covered with snow on our street.


My 5-year-old daughter was even more excited and she couldn't wait to leave her school bag at home and go out with me to build a snowman! It was the second time in her life that she actually saw snow! On top of that, it was the first time that she could make a snowman! We were in a rush to use all the snow that fell near our house for our snowman because I thought that this snow wouldn't stay for too long. I have lived in Madrid for the last ten years and I have literally seen snow on two or three occasions. However, all these snowfalls were quite insignificant and they ended up the same way. The usual scenario was the following. The temperature would fall to -2C/28F and some snow would fall, no more than a couple of centimeters. In a couple of hours, just enough time to take some snowy photos and it will be gone! Melted by the warming up temperatures. Thus, no wonder that my daughter was so fascinated with the snow. She screamed and jumped in the snow for a while before she could concentrate on any snowman-building. I couldn't blame her because the last time she saw snow was when she was 3 years old in the mountain, 50 km away from Madrid. That's why we made a big snowman, as big as possible!


Day 2: Friday, Jan. 8th - Still Very Excited

Surprisingly for us and all of Madrid residents, the snow did not disappear on the following day. Quite the contrary, it snowed a bit more on Friday and we made with my daughter another snowman in front of our house. This time smaller but still we were very thrilled to see this snowy magic and beauty around us. My daughter decided to be more creative and put one of her own hats on the snowman and I cut a radish for its eyes. I started to wonder, though, why the heck the temperature was still below 0C/32F but I was not too concerned yet. At the end of the day, snow in Madrid was an exotic experience that you always had to embrace and enjoy.


Third Day: Saturday, January 9th - Am I back to Canada?!

Today, however, I was shocked! Waking up in the morning, I could see that our patio was a big snowdrift! Our street was covered with at least 30 cm/1ft snow! Thew TV news was even more alarming. Apparently, this has been the biggest snowfall for the last 50 years in Madrid! The city was totally unprepared. The trains to and from Madrid were all canceled, 300 flights were canceled as well, hundreds of drivers were stuck. On top of that, we are expecting even lower temperatures in the next few days. On Monday, the temperature is supposed to fall to -12C/10F! This will be definitely the lowest temperature I have ever experienced in Madrid. As a result, the schools and kindergartens will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, Jan.11 and Jan. 12 and most businesses and shops were closed except the supermarkets. I also went to the nearby supermarket, which is literally a 5-minute walk, to see that all the bread, fish, seafood and even donuts had disappeared! People panicked and started to buy as much stuff as they could.
I also had to shovel snow twice to clear the pathway in front of our house and two more times to clean our patio.

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This was a pretty good gym workout, no doubt, but today, I started to get really frustrated. Ten years ago, I moved from Canada to Madrid because I wanted to see snow only on postcards and movies! And now, déjà vu, welcome back to Canada! Actually, this was exactly what my neighbors were telling me today, laughing: Welcome to Canada! Well, no, thank you, I don't need snow in my life. I don't even have winter boots or a proper winter clothes. I just don't need them or at least that's what I thought. I hope that this white snowy adventure will be soon over! Madrid needs to keep its reputation as a Mediterranean travel destination. I don't need any Winter Olympics here.

© 2021 Chris Kostov


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 10, 2021:

I hope that there is no damage such as burst pipes, etc. Cities in warmer climates are not as prepared to deal with cold temperatures and snow as Madrid is now experiencing. The few times it has ever snowed in Houston, our city pretty much comes to a halt. People down here do not know how to drive on icy streets. Stay warm! I enjoyed viewing your photos of your daughter and the snowmen. At least she is having some fun!

Liz Westwood from UK on January 09, 2021:

Spain is usually a popular winter destination for visitors from the UK, because of the milder weather. So I was surprised to see film of Madrid under snow on the BBC news these past days. It seems like other areas have been hit with the harsh

weather too. There was footage of lorries stuck in the snow further north, large waves in Malaga and a ferry aground in the Canaries.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on January 09, 2021:

Wow, that’s amazing. Not something I would expect to see in Madrid. Enjoy it while it lasts. Looks like your daughter is enjoying it.

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