Big freeze in northern France, have you been hit?

Transport chaos in northern France as air, rail and road networks suffer under heavy snowfall and unseasonal conditions, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands also hit just 10 days before the official start of spring.

Where are you in France and how is this cold snap affecting you?



We have JUST got over it. Having returned to the UK on the 1/3/13 we had finished the trip with a weekend at my Fathers in Margate. On Monday we heard about some bad weather but we were determined to return to our beloved Aude. To Dover was slow, the port gave warnings, the crossing was rough and then getting out of Calais was a nightmare. Lorries parked up everywhere because of the weather and strike! Traveling at 20 MPH for what seemed miles was punctuated by occasional clear spots on the road. Driving an Audi A6 AllRoad I got cocky and put my foot down. First time she twitched I caught it. Second time we started to travel along the coat road to Rouen sideways, then backwards and finally disappeared backwards into a ditch!
One hour and 120euros later and we are moving again having been dragged out of the ditch by a tow truck.
After this experience we travelled slowly. The weather cleared at Chatres. The journey took 23 hours. It normaly takes 11!

Good luck Roger! The UK is only experiencing rain and cold at the moment.

Sandra – last time I came via Rouen it was a breeze so this time was more of a shock!

Update ..... Thank God, it's thawing !

This morning, we managed to dig ourselves out by removing the drifts on either side of our gates .... had to do so because we were out of coffee, milk and dog food which required a trip to Leclerc.

I hadn't counted on the roads through the village being blocked at two points (see photos) but eventually found a way through to the main road (which was clear). When I arrived at Leclerc the carpark was knee-deep in slush and most of the shop (which is large) was closed - no fish counter, no butchery, no fresh veg BUT I did manage to buy what I needed (after queuing for half an hour to get to one of the two checkouts that were open) .... I hate the snow!

How is it affecting us? I think we've just decided that we'll ride the personal financial storms and stay put! 15 degrees here near Fréjus, no heating necessary until the evening.

Which is just as well as they've stopped selling wood in the shops, we're managing on our spitting pines and fallen leylandii branches.

The photos and stories are unbelievable for this time of year, this is more like regular Cleveland Ohio winters!

We have sunshine!!!!!!

snowing in London again now

My goodness, Kathleen, what a trip! Don't talk to me about Rouen. On our way to Calais in November, buying a campervan, there was a diversion in Rouen which took us round in a complete circle and back to the beginning of the diversion. It was only thanks to a kind garage employee that we managed to leave Rouen at all!

Good grief .... I'm contemplating a car-buying trip over to England in the next week .... that missive of yours is filling me with trepidation, Kathleen!!!

After deciding to return from the UK a few days early I was thankful that I got back before Monday even though the journey wasn't straightforward.

Firstly as I was setting off fo Folkestone from near Newmarket/Bury St.Edmunds a message popped up on my GPS to tell me that there was a 'traffic incident' and would I accept the alternative route offered. As the original route showed a delay of about 20 hours, (I didn't believe it!), I thought I'd better choose the alternative, extending the travel time by 30 minutes, as I was going to pick up a friend at Folkestone Station. I later found out that the M11 was closed in both directions for 17 hours due to an accident.

Rouen was a nightmare as apparently a lorry had smashed into a flyover bridge last week making it unsafe so it was closed affecting numerous routes, and of course, the French being French there were no helpful signs for alternative routes and it was causing traffic chaos.

I got thoroughly lost and at one point trying desperately to find a way out, (in rush hour traffic in the dark), because I was so busy looking ahead for signs I inadvertently went through two red lights. They must have been close together as I only registered the one after I was through. Anyway, a policeman pulled me over and my heart sank knowing that he could give me a double fine, one for each light. I played it a bit ‘blank-faced pathetic Englishwoman who couldn’t speak much French and was really stressed out’. I was actually.

He was quite severe at first, told me off, asked where we were going and where we wanted to be, but then told me to follow him and he took me to the right road with very good instructions as to how to get back on track. He didn’t even ask to look at my papers so I was very lucky. It made us late home but at least we got there.

On Tuesday I realised that despite that journey and the delays I was fortunate to have avoided my fate had I travelled later. The Channel Tunnel was closed because of the conditions in northern France, people couldn't reach the ports and driving was hazardous.

Currently, here in Charente -Maritime, Dept 17, it's colder than it has been but no frost or snow and even intermittent blessings from the sun. Happy to be home!

Ireland is experiencing quite low temps this week, and similar snow to the pics here. But 2011 was tortuous ! The big freeze (after the big floods of Nov 2010 and big freeze in Dec 2010) hit us hard, and we were not prepared.

But I was working from home at the time, and had a blissful 2 weeks - blogged about it recently with photos:

Amiens (80) Huge snowdrifts that even the snowploughs sometimes couldn't shift yesterday (1m50 locally); and many peoples' cars still stuck today,but at least the wind has dropped! The schools will reopen tomorrow. Has given me a couple of extra days to catch up with things at home:)

Here in the Tarn et Garonne -

greetings from 64 just north of Pau.

snow power

Snowing here in Miramont de Guyenne 47800 although not much. Love all your pics.

Paul your pictures are beautiful, but I cannot believe that we are living in the same (smallish) "county". And amazed to hear about the Tarbes Lavinia. How strange is all this?

A few flakes here near Ste.Foy too! Not enough to be pretty nor to be a nuisance!