Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunshine and snow, April

At long last - some sunshine. It's been well over a week since Warsaw last enjoyed sunshine - and much longer than that since the temperature has been well into positive figures. And as soon as it happens - out come the crowds. And where more popular than Łazienki park. By early afternoon, the thermometer at Warsaw University's Physics Institute read +8C; nowhere near t-shirt weather, but for a city so starved for sunlight and warmth, a wonderful outcome.

Although there was an anomalous snowfall on the evening of 3 May 2011, (and one-off snowfalls on 13 April 1997 and 9 April 2001), I cannot recall persistent snow lying on the ground this long into April in past years.

Above: the recently restored Temple of Diana overlooking the Vistula escarpment. Below: the main avenue crossing the park, linking the entrances on ul. Gagarina on the south side to Agricola on the north side.

Below: Varsovians took the park in vast numbers, mostly dressed sensibly given the snow. Footwear, though, still needed to be stout and waterproof; although the main pathways were clear of snow, many of the lesser ones were a muddy, slushy morass and leather shoes were quickly soaked through.

Below: the controversial vista overlooking the Belvedere palace; the Pl. Unii Lubelskiej office and retail development now looks down over the president's residence, perched atop the Vistula escarpment. The new development stands a full half-kilometre behind the palace.

Below: the new orangery, now home to the Belvedere restaurant, one of Warsaw's poshest. A single peacock graced the façade where usually gaggles of the species strut around.

Left: the west side of southern façade of the Palace on the Water, with iced-over canal. Turning through 180 degrees, one would have observed crowds of sunbathers, still dressed in heavy winter coats, extending their faces into the warm afternoon sun.

Indeed, wherever there was a bench, people were taking the opportunity to catch some rays (below). With a bit of luck within a week it will be t-shirt weather, and once again, that miracle of returning life will make itself felt in Our City.

Time to appreciate a beautiful afternoon, made the more so by the long wait for spring sunshine this year.

This time last year:
Shopping habits in the wake of Lidl's opening

This time two years ago:
In vino veritas

This time three years ago:
Are we getting more intelligent?

This time four years ago:
Lenten recipe No. 6

This time five years ago:
Coal trains, Konstancin-Jeziorna

This time six years ago:
Jeziorki from the air

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a crazy amount of snow for early April.
I spent the afternoon de-thatching the lawn and spreading fertilizer.

Temps got up to 13 degrees...very strong winds though.