Sunday, February 22, 2009


The winter of 2006 was an intensely cold one for Europe. In Poland, it was a harsh, biting winter. There wasn't tons of snow on the ground, but the air must have been steady around 10º or so.
Part of the beach at Gdynia
Part of the beach at Gdynia.

In Gdynia, something had happened that had not been seen for a very long time: the harbor froze over. It was rather unreal to see a vast stretch of ice and snow reaching out into the sea. At the edges, the waves undulated, covered not in foam, but in blocks of ice. The ocean water slowly turned into water with ice floes, until it too turned into the consistency of slush and then into solid ice. The beach, upon which I would lay in the summer, was a frozen block of sand with wisps of snow being blown about in sidewinding trails. We walked a little ways from the beach, out onto the ice. It wasn't smooth and glossy, the way pond ice is, but lumped up, mixed with snow that formed huge drifts, almost as if the waves had froze just as they had crested.
K's mother (who is a dear) said she had only seen the harbor frozen once before in her lifetime, and that was years back.
The frozen harbor Gdynia
The frozen harbor.

It's an experience to walk out onto the sea. Well, it's always a life experience to see any some great body of water. My brother said that seeing the Dead Sea was just something that was a life experience. Seeing, let alone walking on, the Baltic was kind of like that for me (actually, I didn't walk on the Baltic, and didn't actually see the open Baltic Sea until the summer, last year, on my trip to Gdynia and Hel.)
The churning, frozen water Gdynia
The churning, frozen water.

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