Extreme Weather Impacts Travel Throughout EuropeFebruary 13, 2012 By: Jena Tesse Fox
Europe's weather situation is beginning to border on the unbelievable, as more storms drop yet more snow and temperatures plummet to well below freezing. Some sources are predicting that the cold may continue through the end of the month, if not beyond.
While some trips through Europe have undeniably been impacted, Kier Matthews of Europe Express told Travel Agent that his clients are making the best of the bad situation. "Our teams on the ground throughout Europe are reporting some of our clients are having to extend due to weather," he said, "but all are happy and having a great time."
Gianni Miradoli of Central Holidays also said that his company has not seen significant disruption. "We don’t have any major concerns and we have had no cancelations," he said. "The bad weather has been in an area that we don’t go to."
The New York Times is reporting that various regions across the continent sustained another deluge of extreme weather, including a avalanche in Kosovo that left nine dead, snarling air and train travel, and blanketing Rome with a rare dusting of snow for the second time in a week. The Associated Press said that tugboats were breaking up ice on the Danube river, one of Europe's key waterways.
Snowfall piled to nearly two feet in Montenegro’s capital city of Podgorica—the most in the city since 1949, the Associated Press reported. The government there has introduced a state of emergency because of the deep freeze, and special police forces managed to reach about 50 train passengers stranded for two days after tracks were blocked by avalanches on Sunday. Authorities have banned driving in the capital, while many parked cars were damaged after snow-covered trees fell on them. Police in Bosnia said the roof of a sports center in downtown Sarajevo used for ice skating events in the 1984 Winter Olympics collapsed Sunday under the weight of snow. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.
Media reports also cited widespread cancelations at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, and the Colosseum was forced to close, as it did during last weekend’s storm. Buildings in several parts of Italy were evacuated amid fears of the structural damage the settled snow might cause, Reuters reported.
Pierreci.it is reporting that Rome's Colosseum will be closed to the public on February 13, 14 and 15 (visitors who purchase a ticket to the Roman Forum from Tuesday, February 14 will be allowed access to the Colosseum until Sunday, February 19), and that other sites will reopen on Tuesday.
Finally, the Daily Mail has some amazing photographs of frozen rivers and lakes throughout Europe that must be seen to be believed. One could easily believe the photos were of the Arctic or Antarctica.
How has Europe's extreme weather impacted your clients' travel? Have trips been cancelled? Have they been extended as flights get delayed? Let us know in the comments below...
Photo courtesy of Laura Hudson