How you end up hating snow

After some snow/hail/thunderstorm showers yesterday with alternating white/green landscapes all day, more "winter showers" had been predicted from the west this morning. But when we drove this morning to our parents, it was very dry and I didn't worry too much about the potential snow. Hey, this is Belgium right, snow falls 7 days a year and lasts on average 15 minutes before it melts. Since snow showers were predicted, the highways would be covered with a ridiculous high layer of salt.

During dinner snow flakes started falling down. Wow, nice. After a while the world started becoming nice and it looked very beautiful. I think it'd be cool to take Stef outside after his afternoon nap to play a bit.

  • 16u I start getting nervous that we still need to drive on to Jan's parents while the snow is really piling up outside (3-4 inches) and I start thinking that I don't want to drive through the snow in the dark.
  • 16u15 We leave and decide to check downtown whether the major roads are cleared well
  • 16u20 The city roads are not clear at all and traffic creeps at snail pace through the city
  • 16u25 We decide not to continue further anymore and look for a roundabout to turn back and start heading home now it's still light. We phone Jan's parents that we are not stopping by anymore. Cars in front of us make some scary slides.
  • 16u35 We are almost at the highway entry, 2kms from my parents door. Jan is making pictures of the beautiful landscape while I try not to focus too much on the car in front of me sliding sideways each time he tries to accelerate a bit.
  • 16u40 We see that even on the highway traffic creeps slowly and that snow has not been cleared properly . There's a lot of salt trucks out there, but when Belgium gets hit by a major snow storm everywhere in a couple of hours, they really can't cope at all. (And Belgians don't know how to drive through snow either).
  • 16u55 I'm already stressed out, need to pee and pull over to let Jan drive. The snow crunches loudly under my shoes.
  • 17u00 The news bulletin stresses that all the roads can be icy, that air- and road traffic is very much disturbed etc...
  • 18u00 The news bulleting stresses that all the roads can be icy, that air- and road traffic is very much disturbed etc... Hmm sounds familiar, didn't we hear this like....25 kms before as well?
  • 18u20 All people that phone the radio seem to be stuck in major snow traffic jams and complain about being hungry , bored, ....or they request snow songs, ask for jokes to tell, suggest mooning to the other drivers to make it a bit more exciting etc...
  • 18u35 We really need to have a bathroom stop again and we are anxiously counting down the kms for the parking at Groot-Bijgaarden just before Brussels. Only 1500 m anymore.
  • 18u40 Still in the traffic jam trying to reach the parking lot. Jan's mom phones to check whether we've still not arrived home. Not within another hour I fear.
  • 18u45 Finally we manage to leave the traffic jam and enter a very full parking lot. Jan and I both go to the bathroom in the service shop and due to a misunderstanding we both come out with potato chips and a big bottle of water. I have a pulsing headache.
  • 18u50 We are back in the traffic jam trying to merge in and then take the city ring of Brussels.
  • 19u00 The news bulleting stresses that all the roads can be icy, that air- and road traffic is very much disturbed etc... it's getting annoying to hear this news bulletin for the third time after having only travelled about 50kms so far.
  • 19u10 We finally can take the exit for the Brussels ring. The exit south has been closed of by the police as it's uphill and looks like an icy slide, so all traffic needs to head north anyway.
  • 19u20 We are a few kms further still trying to merge into all the other traffic lanes joining in. Traffic hardly moves at all.
  • 19u22 We count 2 trucks stuck on a slope on a right entry lane and one stuck truck on a left entry lane around Groot-Bijgaarden still in Brussels.
    Someone comes knocking on our door to ask whether we have any beer on board (I have beer publicity on my car).
  • 19u30 we are finally on the ring driving slowly. Traffic information on the radio says that part of the ring has been closed off because they need to spray more salt on a major viaduct.
  • 19u40 New traffic jam at Grimbergen....I guess we are inline because of the former announcement. My headache medication starts kicking in.
  • 19u50 Just before the viaduct we notice a small tv news truck with a camera man sticking out of the roof filming the traffic jam. My friend on the phone tells me there's no live newsfeed on tv. Oh bummer.
  • 20u00 The news bulleting stresses that all the roads can be icy, that air- and road traffic is very much disturbed etc... Really? Would anyone not know this already???
    Once crossed the viaduct, the road is totally snowfree! Wow we can reach the insane speed of 60kms/h
  • 20u05 We change highways and much to our joy, this highway is fairly calm and snowfree too. Wooooohooo, the end is in sight. My mom phones to check whether we've arrive .
  • 20u20 We are home. I am exhausted. We've travelled 100 kms.
  • 20u30 On the computer I read a dozen facebook statusses and blog posts about the joy of building snowmen, the beauty of the landscapes (seen from inside usually) and the falling snowflakes.

    Beautful? Cosy? Fun? My ass.....I can only resent snow tonight.
    But maybe tomorrow I'll enjoy the view (it's freezing tonight so it'll stay) when I don't need to use my car at all.


Jenn in Holland said…
Oh, too true. I only like snow falling when I am cosied up inside my house with my heaters on and watching it drift beautifully from the sky.
Driving in it? NO thanks!!
Jen said…
I'm sure this was horrible, but it also cracked me up at the end. I've been through this - in MI we are SEASONED snow drivers, but that first snow fall always flummoxes everyone.

Belgium sounds like what happens when snow hits NYC.
anno said…
Like Jen of A2, I'm used to driving in snow. But like Jenn of Holland, I like snow best curled up on the sofa in my house with a hardwood fire burning in the fireplace and a mug of hot chocolate between my hands. Hope you found some way to relax when you returned home!
Anonymous said…
Vreselijk hè! Onze buren zijn die dag komen vragen of we mee naar de Hoge Venen gingen... We zijn maar wijselijk thuisgebleven
Anonymous said…
Wij zijn die avond vijf en een half uur onderweg geweest. We hebben wel wijselijk de ring niet gekozen maar zijn door de tunnels gezoefd ...

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