Heathrow Airport in London seems to be adding to traveler woes this summer.
Take a look at this article in the Los Angeles Times that describes the numerous problems the airport has experienced while dealing with an ever increasing numbers of travelers.
If you are transferring through Heathrow, you might want to budget some extra time and pack a change of clothes in your carry-on. Don’t forget, in Europe you can board only one carry-on. There is no variance for an additional purse, briefcase or laptop (these are regarded as your one carry-on), unless they fit inside your carry-on. Your carry-on will be subject to size and weight limits. Check with your air carrier for details.
The first new bridge crossing the Grand Canal in 70 years is under construction. The unamed 180 foot long structure conncects the city’s train station on the north side of the Grand Canal with the Piazzale Roma car park on the south bank of the Grand Canal. The construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Major sections of the bridge were floated up the Grand Canal to the location of the new bridge. Yahoo News has more information.
Our Venice map shows the location of the new bridge. Use the satellite image option for more detail.
Various news organization are reporting that Big Ben will not chime of over the next six weeks (until mid-September) due to maintenance and cleaning. The work is part of the preparations for the “Great Clock’s” 150th aniversary in 2009. As you may know, “Big Ben” is the name of the 13.5 tone bell the clocktower houses. For more information, see this article by the BBC
The German courts have ruled that Germany’s train drivers may not strike until the end of September. The union representing the drivers indicated that it would appeal. For now, however, the strike is off.
You may have heard that Rome’s main airport (Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino) had massive baggage handling problems last weekend. It was the start of the high travel season and thousands of bags were not loaded onto their flights. In addition baggage claim was very slow. See this article on how the Italian Transport Minister plans to solve this problem.
As many of you know, the beginning of August marks the start of Europe’s summer vacation season. Unfortunately, it also marks the time when many transport unions strike, knowing that it will cause massive disruption and unhappy customers.
This week, starting on Wednesday, Germany expects to be hit with a massive train strike headed by train drivers. See this link from the BBC for more information.