Venice is undergoing serious flooding due to a seasonal combination of tides and significant rain. See this article from the AP that details the problem. If you had been planning a quick Christmas holiday in Venice, we recommend a change in plans.
In a somewhat humorous note, the AP coverage (unless now corrected) shows a Google map of Rome, (where the AP story was filed), rather than a map of Venice, which is the geographic focus of the story.
Weather in Europe caused difficulties for travelers last week and the next week does not seem more promising. Due to extremely cold and wet weather in France, the Eurostar has been shut down and remain closed for another day or two. It appears that trains entering the Chunnel from France have had their wheels mysteriously lose traction shortly after entering the Chunnel. The “Official” explanation is that this was the result of the cold weather on the outside and the warm temperatures on the inside of the Chunnel. Not sure we understand the physics of the explanation, but several trains were stuck and in one case the passengers were delayed in arriving in London for over 14 hours. See this article from the BBCfor more details.
Europe is being hit by cold weather and impressive amounts of snow. Air France cancelled flight into Paris and the French authorities shut several of the ports serving the English Channel, claiming that the roads from the ports were too treacherous to drive. For more information on the weather in Europe see this report. As we write this note, it is -10C in Vienna (feels like -20C with the windchill) and snowing). London is -2C and Paris is 0C – seems to be warming up.
By the way, in case you missed it, the planned BAA Cabin Crew strike at Christmas has been cancelled by the courts who ruled it illegal. We are sure that the cabin crews for BAA flying during this period will be in good holiday cheer.
Over the last two days torrential rains have plagued Istanbul and north-west Turkey. Over 20 people have died and there has been significant damage as a result of flash flooding. Read more about the problem at the BBC.
In addition, the flooding has made it difficult to reach Istanbul’s airport, as the main road accessing it has been closed by the flooding. Travelers are unable to reach the airport and those who have arrived at the airport from other destinations are unable to reach the city. If you are planning air-travel to Istanbul, you should consider postpoing your travels until later in the week, or perhaps longer.