Winter with its much-anticipated first snow has finally arrived in Romania. To a guy born and raised in Southern California (San Diego) it’s beautiful—it’s like being inside of a snow globe (just one good shake away from a whiteout). Of course I’ve experienced snow many times before in my life (most of us have).
Joel spent fifteen years in Alaska suffering with his share of the white stuff and the cold and dark that comes along with it—but that was years ago. During our five and a half-year trek through Latin America we didn’t see much snow until we got to the Andes Mountains and Southern Patagonia in South America.
But we have experienced plenty of snow since we began Part II of our world trek last November in Iceland and as we continued on to the United Kingdom (Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England). The day we crossed the North Sea by ferry from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Scotland the Beast From the East greeted us on arrival and stopped us dead in our tracks (all bus and rail service was temporarily suspended) eventually paralysing much of the United Kingdom.
However, for the past six months we have experienced beautiful weather and we packed our cold weather gear deep down into our rucksacks. As you can see from my photo (inset) that clothing has since been retrieved: fleece jacket, gloves and beanie; along with a down vest and old L.L. Bean outerwear parka. I’m not toasty by any means but my ability to survive the elements has increased tenfold. Slippage remains the big risk—when I slip on ice I go down like a ton of lard (and it’s not a pretty sight). I’m always concerned about my camera gear and in protecting it I rarely brace my fall (probably avoiding a broken wrist in lieu of bruises).
We had a light dusting of snow yesterday with continued flurries throughout the day but it started snowing in earnest about 1:30 a.m. this morning—and it hasn’t stopped yet (the weather forecast says to expect some easing about 4:30 p.m. but we’ll have to wait and see). We usually head out for our second and final meal of the day sometime between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. so we might still be getting snow on our eyelashes the next time we venture out. It looks like every town we’ve visited so far in Romania has snow today: Oradea, Cluj-Napoca, Sighișoara and now Brasov. Winter has finally arrived in Romania.
Field Notes: My camera kit for yesterday and today was my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV full-frame DSLR and Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM ultra wide-angle zoom lens. The snow is “wet” snow so I’m glad that my camera and lens are both fully weather-sealed. Even though this combination can shoot in really harsh conditions I usually like to protect it with one of my two Storm Jacket protective covers—I was just too damn lazy to dig it out this morning (shame on me). With winter upon us I think I will just keep a protective cover full-time in one of my parka’s cargo pockets—that way I will always have one at hand. SFD