It's cold. Not just here but all across Europe, with at least 23 deaths reported due to the weather (see also here and here). How cold is it? On Saturday morning, as I drove my daughter to her weekly swim class, the thermometer on the car's dashboard registered the outside temperature as being a brisk -11°F (-24°C). Sunday was somewhat balmier, with a high around -9°C (16°F). As a result, this post will be short, as we had to put our usual weekend plans on ice (rimshot), preferring instead to stay at home and enjoy the warmth coming from the apartment radiators.
That's not to say we remained indoors the entire time. As previously mentioned, Amber still went to her swimming lesson on Saturday morning (the instructor had emailed to say that class would be held even if the temperature was -30°C, or -22°F; in case you're wondering, the pool is located indoors!). She also attended a classmate's birthday party on Saturday afternoon; while she was having fun making ice cream (good day for it!) at the party, my wife and I drove to Akropolis to do some birthday present shopping for our child, who will turn 11 later this month. And while it might have been cold (really cold), it was also sunny. The air was clean and clear, giving us some of the best views so far from our living room window:
Sunday was misty, but relatively warmer, so I took a walk outside (gingerly avoiding the icy patches on the sidewalks) down to the Neris, in order to check out what a frozen river actually looks like. And it sort of looks like this:
Those who hail from cold-weather climes might not think it's a big deal, but I grew up in California and only intermittently experienced snow while living in Japan, so all of this is a new experience. The weather was certainly never like this weekend's during the time I was in Taiwan. Speaking of the latter, Shu-E was amused to read comments from Taiwanese friends online, lamenting the coming "cold wave" there, with temperatures expected to drop to around 14°C (57°F). When she replied that it was -14°C (7°F) in Vilnius, and then posted a photo taken from she was outside earlier in the day, the online chatter rapidly diminished. When I posted on Facebook on Saturday about driving in -24°C weather, one of my FB friends commented that it was 22°C (72°F) where he was in Taiwan. So I asked him if he was also enjoying the air pollution the island has been experiencing recently.
I haven't received a reply...