Yep, the post is called Snow day because our mayor pronounced February 3rd 2012 a snow day. If you didn’t know, and it was certainly the news to us, in my town snow day happens to be a day when it snows and nobody is working. Especially not municipal services. The hell with the work, it’s snowing!! Mayor said it’s ok, yaay! But, cynicism to the side, everything was fun on the first day of snow. Yet, what was supposed to be unusual weekend with lots of winter joy, turned out to be a complete and utter mess….
The snow continued to fall for two days which nobody expected. Public companies and offices were closed, not even private companies, shops or bars worked cause nobody could reach their work place. By car it was impossible – people either don’t have winter tires, snow chains or they lack experience to drive in snow conditions and the roads weren’t being cleaned everywhere. Public transportation was also not operative because it was too risky to send buses with no winter tires or snow chains on roads covered with snow and ice. Also, Split is located on the terrain full of hills, so I guess buses would just slide off the steep roads. Grocery stores were lacking some goods, garbage was not being taken away – city’s public services were totally unprepared, unorganized and chaotic that weekend and following few days. We are really not used to those conditions.
But, to put bad things on side, that was really once in a lifetime event – biggest snow in 50 years. After the morning blizzard finished, I stopped for a coffee in one of the few bars that were opened – the one which had nice view on Riva – central spot of Split. Riva looked like this:
The ferry boats were trying to find their way through the snow storm and strong wind.
And this is the model of Split, located on Riva.
After a break, I continued to walk through the town and by the coast. Next stop was ferry boat station. It was really odd to see the boats in this weather conditions.
The train was also trying to push through the thick snow.
I continued to walk to the most popular beach in Split – Bacvice, located near the main port.
Instead of usual summer activities (even in sunny winter days people come here to swim and play Picigin), some really odd things were happening there. :)
A ferry boat going to island Brac. Behind is the island Ciovo.
After some time snow began to fall again… No coffee in the open today :)
After I returned back to Bacvice, some real action was going on there. Since people from Split have to mock everyone and have to make a joke out of everything, I was not surprised at all to see this. It was just a question of time and a question of how many crazy men will dare to do this. They were playing picigin, in the middle of snow blizzard. I’m freezing just looking at it :))
Picigin is the city’s legendary sport created right on this beach many years ago. The rules of picigin are very simple. Better to say, there’s only one rule: to keep a small ball as long in the air and away from the water as possible. There are no goals, scores or homeruns of any kind, you hit the ball with your hands and you can run, jump, slide or make any kind of crazy things as long as you don’t miss it.
Picigin requires shallow water and sandy beach to be played properly and this beach is perfect for that. That way you can throw yourself all over the place without getting hurt, while trying to keep the ball away from the water. It’s real fun! If you’ll ever want to try it and can’t find a ball small or light enough, just peel off the tennis ball until you reach the rubber core and you’re good to go. :)
Anyhow, it was really funny to see them in the sea playing, while people in the snow suits were watching the from the shore.
Four brave and crazy men, I asked them to pose once more for me. I hope they were alright tomorrow and they didn’t catch pneumonia or something :)
Back on the Riva. Stolen part from the bazaar table can make a really good snowboard as we can learn :)
Those two days, Split became more populated. It was richer for at least a thousand new people. Snow people. They were everywhere :)
Frozen fountain in one of the Split’s parks.
I will certainly never forget this day. Once in a lifetime experience, despite all the troubles and icy roads it brought afterwards. I was happy :)