Snow 'follows' expat Derbyshire family back to Spain

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image copyrightGregory Foulger
image captionGregory Foulger brought his two children, Sophie and Santiago, and his wife Sandra to Buxton in the hope of getting their first white Christmas

An expat whose family enjoyed their first white Christmas got a double helping of snow thanks to an unusual weather event in Spain.

Gregory Foulger took his family back to Buxton over Christmas, where his children Santiago and Sophie enjoyed their first real snowfall.

But the Derbyshire native was left shocked when he returned to Madrid to be greeted by snow.

The father-of-two said: "It felt like the snow was following us back."

Mr Foulger, his two children and wife Sandra, arrived in the UK on 18 December and self-isolated for 10 days before venturing into the snow.

'Lucky'

Speaking to the BBC in December, the 38-year-old said the visit was the first time his children had "actually seen snow".

At the time, he said: "There's absolutely none of that [snow] in Madrid, so that's why it's great to be here at Christmas time and actually get it."

image copyrightReuters
image captionStorm Filomena left many parts of Spain in heavy snow, including Madrid

But he said when the family returned to Spain on Friday, "the whole of Madrid was covered in snow".

"It was pretty phenomenal. I don't think anyone was expecting it," he said.

The city's airport closed shortly after the family arrived and a plane chartering Real Madrid was stuck on the runway.

"We were lucky to get home," said Mr Foulger.

"It's caused quite a lot of commotion.

"We were without water one morning because our pipes had frozen."

image copyrightGregory Foulger
image captionMany roads are impossible to drive on in Madrid as a result of the unusual weather event

The adverse weather conditions were caused by Storm Filomena, which has been described as Spain's "most intense storm in the last 50 years".

But Mr Foulger said the snow has been a "bit of a bonus" for his children.

"They were really surprised there was extra snow when we were here," he said.

"We built our third snowman of the season."

Mr Foulger admitted his family were not prepared for the chilly conditions in Spain.

"We left a lot of our snow clothes back in Buxton," he said.

image copyrightGregory Foulger
image captionSophie, five, and Santiago, seven, have continued to enjoy the snow back in Madrid

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