Frost at Ladoga Lake – genuine cold

Frost at Ladoga Lake

The last days were cold. The temperature fell to – 22ºC. The strong wind fanned the flames, as it blew the cold right in your face. I should add that I spent the last weekend on the banks of the Ladoga Lake, which made staying outside for longer than an hour nearly impossible, as the wind blew strong from the lake, and the air there is wet. Short, I have never been so cold.

In that weekend, I learned how influential the temperature can be. For example, the frost made it possible for me to wander on the ice of the lake, which was beautiful. As far as the eye could reach, the lake was covered in a thick layer of ice. On the other hand, that same cold forced me to go inside after half an hour, as the cold was just not fun anymore. I take my hat off to all of the fishermen sitting on the ice that day.

Inside the struggle with the cold continued. I spent the weekend with a family living in a small wooden house at the lake. The hostess almost forbid me to take of my shoes, since my feet would freeze if I did, she swore. Inside, she wore her snow boots. She offered extra blankets for the night, and asked how I slept despite the cold. I was fine, the house was nicely warmed by the wood stove.

The wood stove was the center of the house and attention. The man of the house was gathering firewood through the entire day. He stacked it around the stove to dry, and regularly fired up the stove by adding dried timber to the log fire. One night I woke up around three o’clock at night by a strange ticking sound, and saw the women tending the fire with a fire iron.

The next day she asked if she should take a picture of me sitting in front of the wood stove – it was a very old stove you rarely see nowadays, she said, and it would be a waste not to take a picture as the stove is so rare and old, she said, and hold this fire iron it looks great, she said.

I think I have stretched my hot-cold spectrum a little that weekend. Now I know what – 22ºC feels like, 2ºC is summer to me.

Posted by Ramon Wensink

My name is Ramon and currently I study Russian at the Liden & Denz Institute in Saint Petersburg. During my stay in this marvelous city, I will try to inform and entertain you with various articles.

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