The pain in my fingertips this evening cycling home from my friends house, in the east of Amsterdam, was nearly unbearable! Even with warm, furry gloves on, I thought my fingers were going to drop off! Luckily though, that was the only part of my body that nearly succumbed to the cold. I’m sure my legs would have been in a worse state, only for the set of thermal underwear that I was wise enough to put on before I left the house. I bought them in 2010 and little did I know that they would be such a great investment three years later!
I went to the Lofoten Islands in Norway, in March 2010. I was told that the temperatures there, were cold enough to freeze the snot in your runny nose before it even had the chance to reach your handkerchief – especially at night time, with temperatures as low as minus five! So in preparation for that trip, I went on the scout for a set of thermal undies. After a bit of research, I found a pair in Bever Women’s Outdoor World shop on the Overtoom, made from merino wool, from New Zealand. They were a tad expensive but bloody worth it and I was willing to pay for a good set, especially as I heard that merino wool can keep you warm in all types of weathers. I’m also a huge fan of all things New Zealand and knew it was going to be money well spent.
They served me well when I was standing outside in the middle of the snow, at 2am in the morning, looking for the Northern Lights. But I didn’t expect that I’d need them in Amsterdam three years later. Most of the winters here have been pretty mild over the last few years, apart from last year (which I missed, as I was in New Zealand). But as the cold crept in over the last few days, for the first time ever, I’ve decided to put on the thermal long-johns. I would never usually even contemplate doing this as I thought they might be too warm once you get indoors. But if I’m cycling long distances, I really don’t want my legs to be blue by the time I got to my destination. The long-johns are surprisingly very light, very breathable, a snug fit and made 100% from merino wool. I swear by them.
The weather took a turn for the worst today and I had to cycle out to Graaf Floristraat, thirty minutes by bike from my house. It had started to snow five minutes before I was due to leave the house and if I had taken the tram, I would have been very late for my appointment. It was really hard going, cycling out there, as the snow was coming down heavily and the wind that was against me, made it feel like it was minus twelve instead of minus five. I was so glad of the thermals and they’ll be part of my wardrobe for the next while. Definitely a good investment.