Snow in Madrid: Chaos

Snowing is not usual in Spain in winter, except in mountains and some areas, but most of the cities is not often to see snowing and rarely snow stays on the streets. That’s why these days Spanish people go to the streets to make photos to have a memory of this weird city landscapes. You can see a gallery here and other one here.

And Spain, sorry to say, it’s not prepared for that. With the words of Enrique Belda, sudirector of the Traffic Department of Spain “(spanish) roads are not designed for snowing”. There has been a lot of traffic problems, even in main highways of Madrid, delayed trains and planes, etc. Kids don’t go to school and authorities they recommend not to use the car.

Here In Finland it amaze me that people is so used to snow, that they don’t see any problem in having snow everywhere. Because it’s a country prepared for it. Finland doesn’t stop for snowing,  they keep their normal life in the long winter even with hard weather conditions and icy roads. I wonder what kind of snow storm is necessary for Finnish people stay in their house without going to work / school. These are some habits of finnish people in winter, that still surprise me :

  • All Finnish car owners are required by law to equip their cars with winter tyres. Winter tyres must be used between December 1st and February 28th but they can and must also be used outside those dates when weather conditions make driving hazardous. Juan Llaneza has a photo in his blog of this special tyres.
  • To get a drive license you receive training to improve you slippery driving skills and nighttime driving lessons too.
  • An engine-block electric heater is a great boon for winter drivers who do not have a garage and leave their cars outside overnight. The bock heater makes the car easier to start and reduces fuel consumption. Drivers normally plug their cars into electric sockets in the parking areas.
  • Weather reports always includes warning about slippery roads, something that I’ve never seen in Spain.

This hard conditions can be he secret of such a good drivers in Finland, a country of just 5.3 million people and 77 billion trees, has produced more formula one world champions per capita than anywhere else: Heikki Kovalainen, Mika Salo and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Mika Häkkinen … and other day I’ll talk about rally’s drivers.

But still my favourite one is Fernando Alonso ;)