The deep freeze causes travel chaos

Greetings from a snow driven Genoa, where like most European cities weather conditions are below freezing and travel chaos is the natural consequence, with airports closing and long traffic build ups becoming the norm.

The only reliable advice I can give you for the coming Christmas is simply don't travel! I'm sure that this is precisely what many readers do not want to hear, due to family and festive commitments, but here are some reasons why not:

Freezing conditions caused widespread travel disruption and challenges throughout Europe. Few places in Eurozone were spared as air, rail and road traffic suffered delays, closure or disruption.

In particular Eurostar Channel Tunnel trains (between UK and France) came to a stand still somewhere in the 25 miles of tunnel track, as thousands of passengers waited with diminishing Oxygen levels inside carriages for up to 15-18 hours without food or water provisions! Eventually passengers were evacuated. Electrical problems were sited as the cause, due to the extreme contrasts in temperature with minus zero outside the tunnel and 25 degrees plus inside. These extremes caused excessive condensation that led to the electrical fault. All services have been canceled on Sunday 21st December 09.

Poland is a prime example of the travel chaos with bitter cold (minus 15 degrees Celcius) and snowy conditions causing major train delays and challanges on the road.

From Warsaw to Washington, the east coast of America is experiencing a similar situation with snow storms and blizzards up to 97 miles per hour. A number of authorities in the region announced warnings to avoid unnecessary travel. Even Washington Airport closed.

The cold snap looks like continuing through Christmas,so wrap up and avoid an travel if you can!

To close in a realistic fashion, I wish you a White Christmas, as it may well be your reality in the Northern Hemisphere and a secure New Year if you are on a little Island in the Southern Hemisphere, at risk from Global Warming.

Grant Holmes
Perpetual Traveller