Continued Travel Woes for Europe

February 10, 2012 on 2:35 pm | In Belgium travel, Czech Republic travel, Denmark travel, Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Italy travel, London travel, Netherlands travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, england travel, hungary travel, russia travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Cold weather, ice, snow and blizzard force winds continue to wreak havoc with those attempting to travel on the “Continent”, particularly those traveling in Eastern Europe. Section of the Danube River in Romania have been closed to traffic and other sections have frozen over for the first time in twenty-five years. See this detailed review at CNN for more information. These articles from the UPI and France24 provide details on various aspects of the continued weather troubles plaguing Europe.

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More Travel Troubles in Europe

November 8, 2011 on 12:06 pm | In Europe travel, France, France Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, portugal travel, things travelers need to know, train travel in europe | 2 Comments

Well, it is going to be a challenging week for travelers in Europe. Many of the train worker unions in France and other countries will be striking today against new railroad competition rules being addressed by the EU. See this article in the Local for more details on the potential problems in France, which are expected to be especially severe around Paris.

A work stoppage by rail workers in Portugal has stopped most rail travel in that country and will be followed by a nationwide general strike on November 24th. See this article in Euronews for more details.

Meanwhile in London, thousands of students are expected to protest this week in regards to cuts in support for the country’s higher education system. Although the students are usually well-mannered, they have been joined by trouble makers in the past and the same is expected this week. See this article from Sky News for more details.

If you are in France or Portugal, check locally to see the impact of the strikes and the potential for disruption that may follow later this week. If you are going to be in London this week, avoid Trafalgar Square and other city areas that are commonly used for demonstrations. Inquire at your hotel about local conditions before venturing out.

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Torrential Rains in France and Italy

November 7, 2011 on 9:08 am | In France, France Travel, Italy, Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, things travelers need to know, travel alert, travel weather warning | 2 Comments

Seemingly unending rains have descended on parts of Europe, with France and Italy being especially hard hit. Many rivers are nearing flood stage and the problem has closed several noted attractions including Pompeii in southern Italy near Naples. Read this account of the action from Euronews for more details. Also, see this article by Reuters for more information on the rains in France.

Travelers in southern France, Italy or northern Spain should exercise extreme caution if visiting the affected areas. If possible, avoid driving in the areas of these countries having problems with flooding. If you are forced to navigate these areas, inquire locally for advice.

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Ouch – Travel Troubles Everywhere

October 16, 2011 on 6:57 pm | In Egypt travel, Europe travel, France Travel, Greece Travel, Italy travel, London travel, Mexico travel, Paris Travel, Spain Travel, Travel Safety, UK Travel, air travel, england travel, international travel, new york travel, personal travel, rome travel, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel alert, travel alert Greece, travel new york city, travel warnings | 2 Comments

Where to start?

Two of the largest labor unions in Greece have announced a 48 hour nationwide strike for October 19 and 20. Currently, lawyers are on strike, as are customs officers who are on a ten-day strike. See the Belfast Telegraph for details.

The “Occupy Wall Street has gone international with demonstrations in London, Toronto, Mexico City, Madrid, Rome and other locations. Unfortunately, the demonstrations turned violent in Rome. See this article from CNN for a top level overview of the demonstrations.

In Egypt, reform leaders are criticizing Egypt’s Military leadership, while the friction between the Copts (Christians) and some sects of believers in Islam, continues.

All in all, not a good week for travelers, at least those in the centers of major cities around the world. We are unsure what lies ahead for the demonstrations in Europe and the United States, but urge you to search local news sources to see if the activity might interfere with any travel you have planned. Other hotspots such as Greece and Egypt look to be long term problems that might just wind up with you taking these potential travel destinations off your bucket list, at least for a while.

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France and its Burqa Ban

March 4, 2011 on 11:29 am | In France Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, things travelers need to know, travel alert | Comments Off

Last year, the government of France enacted a law banning face coverings, such as the burqa, worn by some Muslim women. After a six month period for conveying information concerning the ban, the law will go into effect on 11 April. CNN has a detailed story about the law and the fines for violating it. Apparently the law bans only face coverings, although there appears to be some confusion about whether it mandates bare heads. A primer on the types of Muslim veils including helpful illustrations can be found in this article at the BBC.

Our interest in this article is to point out that the week of April 11, 2011 may be a touchy time to travel in France, due to the reaction to the ban by various parties. While we have not yet heard of plans for demonstrations, we suspect that these may occur in major cities, although only a small portion of the Muslim population in France wears the burqa. In addition, The North Africa branch of al Qaeda has weighed in indicating that this ban in France and other like it being considered in Spain and Belgium will bring revenge attacks on the countries involved.

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More Air Travel Woes in France

December 24, 2010 on 8:53 am | In Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Ireland travel, Paris Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, england travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | 1 Comment

Winter in Europe seems to be the gift that keeps on giving and one that does not want to go away. Today’s weather-related focus is Paris, where Charles de Gaulle Airport is dealing with two problems. First, heavy snow accumulations on the roof of one of the airport’s terminals has caused its evacuation. Second, the airport is running out of deicing fluid and has asked airlines to cancel flights because of the problem.

Over half of the flights scheduled to arrive or depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport have been canceled with more cancellations expected tomorrow. By the way, Orly, the other Paris airport has enough deicer and has not canceled any flights, so this may be an option for some. Information on the deicing problem at de Gaulle Airport and conditions at several other European airports are described in this article from Bloomberg.

To all of our readers, we wish you a Happy Holiday Season filled with rest, relaxation and good times. May the next year be your best ever.

Thanks for reading our blog and visiting our website ThereArePlaces.com.

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Cold and Snow Continues in the UK and Europe

December 19, 2010 on 9:39 am | In France Travel, Germany travel, Ireland travel, London travel, Scotland travel, UK Travel, air travel, international travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

The weather-related travel misery we noted yesterday continues today in the United Kingdom and Europe. It now looks as if planes might start flying on Monday, but even that is not a sure thing at this point.

See these articles by CNN and Bloomberg for more information. The CNN article has a slide show of winter scenes across Europe that might help you judge the snowfall and how cold it is in some of these locations.

We note that this has been a unique storm in the annals of weather history, but are equally sure that this is no comfort to those stuck because of it.

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Yowie – It’s cold outside!

December 18, 2010 on 11:13 am | In Copenhagen travel, Denmark travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Italy travel, London travel, air travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Europe and the British Isles are reeling under snow and record breaking cold. See this article in the Guardian for more information, or this from CTV.

In Britain, Gatwick Airport was closed due the weather and British airways suspended all flights out of Heathrow. Airports across Europe were canceling flights by the hundreds and many smaller airports (even as far south as Florence, Italy) were closed. Highways in Denmark were treacherous, as were roadways across much of the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. In Rome, the city’s fabulous fountains iced over and snow was swirling around the Colosseum.

According to the weather forecasts, it does not look like the problems will go away soon. In fact, this may go down as the coldest December in the United Kingdom since weather statistics have been kept on an official basis. If you are planning on traveling to the UK or Europe for Christmas, bring plenty of patience, prepare for traffic jams and expect canceled flights. Most of all dress warm, wear layers and bring a winter coat. Leave those flip-flops at home and wear waterproof boots.

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Paris – Snowbound

December 8, 2010 on 11:25 am | In Europe travel, France, France Travel, Paris Travel, air travel, travel warnings, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Paris, the City of Light, has been hit by white. Heavy snow closed the Charles de Gaulle airport and the Eiffel Tower. France has issued a weather alert forecasting snow through Thursday. If you are planning to travel to Paris or central France be prepared for travel delays and lots of white stuff. See this article from CNN for more details.

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France Travel – Ouch

October 19, 2010 on 11:05 am | In Europe travel, France Travel, Paris Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, strikes, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | 1 Comment

We expect that you have noticed that the strikes in France, mentioned in our last few blogs, have intensified and do not appear to be letting up. Indeed, a BBC reporter has indicated that he sensed a change in the atmosphere of the strikes and felt that it is possible the demonstrations will turn “angry”. See this report by the BBC for more details.

To show you how bad things are in France, recently a Celebrity Cruise ship on day one of 12-night Mediterranean Cruise was found to have a damaged rudder when docked at Nice, France. The cruise was canceled, but rail services is now so unpredictable in France that the passengers were offered only a 10 hour bus ride to Barcelona, rather than a seat on a high-speed TGV to Paris for a return home.

Our recommendation is that you cancel immediate plans for travel to France. Wait until the strikes and petrol shortage are resolved and, only then, consider returning to the country. We understand the emotions of the strikers and the establishment, but note that the situation is a great loss for tourists and those who depend on them for income, as this is a particularly delightful and popular time of the year to explore the wonders of France.

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