January 22, 2010

Alster Ice 2010 - What a tease!

This week we've had it all: Snow, rain and freezing sunny days.

Drained canal connecting the lake Alster with the Elbe river.
While the water is gone, the ice plates now cover the ground.
Phote taken with iPhone

Rain is a clear indication of temperatures above freezing and we've had two of those days last week.
You can imagine what this does to the much anticipated ice thickness growth of the lake Alster...

Rain on the Alster
Photo taken with iPhone

This weekend the thermometer should not go above -7°C (19°F) so we are back in the "ice growth" stage. But it seems like just when we are close to hitting the magic 20cm to officially open the ice for the "Altervergnügen" (they put stands selling Bratwürste, Waffels and Glühwein - that is hot red whine with spices) the weather decides to push the temperature just a notch above freezing and that sets us back a few centimeters. What a tease!

On my lunch break today I came across one of the oddities caused by this kind of cold weather. A fire truck was in action in front of the Sofitel luxury hotel and a fireman was carefully kocking off icicles from windowsill. There must have been a water pipe ruptured on the top floor of the hotel and the pouring water instantly froze. Falling icicles of this size can cause quite a threat to ones health if you are hit by it.

Fireman knocking off icicles (the white areas) outside of
the SOFITEL Hotel in Hamburg
Photo taken with iPhone

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