Posted by: lifeonislandtime | July 20, 2022

If we thought London was hot…

Paris said, “hold my beer…” We as Americans in a relatively “young” country, and those of us out west in particular, don’t think of high heat as anything more than an inconvenience. Yeah, it’s hot. No, I don’t have AC. Yeah, it sucks, but it’ll be over soon.

In Europe, it’s not the same. The old world has infrastructure older than ours. Yesterday was 104F and we were lucky to get out of London when we did (we missed our first train because the “suggested hour early” is a requirement after Brexit…who knew?). After 10:30, all trains were slowed to protect the tracks, and all after 1:00 or so were cancelled because of heat damage. The tracks actually softened and warped when loaded trains went over them.

Just like in the US, however, high heat sparks fires. In East London, most of a block of houses burned, with 100+ firefighters working the fire. In the end, it moved into a neighboring field. As we walked around Paris, the wind kicked up, and the smell of the wildfires burning around France and the rest of the continent was blown in.

France had its own heat related problems, but like Paris always is, just shrugs it off and keeps on keepin’ on. The metro was sweltering, the wind blew up dust but didn’t cool the air, and the street vendors were just as pushy. Our tickets for the sunset ascension of the Eiffel Tower were cancelled because the elevator couldn’t run in the heat. The biggest insult to injury, however, was that the fan for the AC in our room didn’t work, so cold air simply oozed out instead of blowing out to cool the room. It was a hot night, after a hot day.

The good news for today is two-fold: we’re heading to Normandy, on the sea with nice sea breezes, and it rained in the night, cooling the air. But don’t worry, the heat dome is supposed to be building over Rome about the time we get there.

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