What You Need to Know About the Heat Wave Scorching Europe

If your summer travel plans include Europe, you might want to
take precautions against the heat.

In France, temperatures reached 114 degrees Fahrenheit, causing
schools to close and vacations to be delayed. People jumped into
the fountains near the Eiffel Tower to get some relief from the
heat. In Spain, the heat caused a major wildfire reported to be one
of the worst in Catalonia.

The unusually high temperatures can be life-threatening for
vulnerable people, especially the elderly, small children and those
with pre-existing health conditions. And thanks to climate change,
the heat waves are likely to get worse, not better.

Extreme Heat Affecting Travelers

Last week, temperatures soaring over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
caused the Acropolis in Athens to close,
CNN reported
. The week prior, a heat wave caused by Sahara
Desert winds swept across the continent. Areas in Poland, Germany,
France, Spain and the Czech Republic reported all-time record-high
temperatures, according to
Vox
. Italy, Belgium and Switzerland issued public health
warnings, too.

According to
The New York Times
, one of the biggest threats is to
infrastructure such as train tracks — which could buckle — and
roads, which could crack as the asphalt bakes. In Germany,
temporary speed limits were declared on the Autobahn to prevent
accidents.  And, multiple lanes on the Berlin ring road were
closed due to extreme temperatures.

“We knew June was hot in Europe, but this study shows that
temperature records haven’t just been broken. They have been
obliterated,” professor Hannah Cloke, natural hazards researcher
at the University of Reading, told
the Independent
.

In France, officials are limiting older vehicles from entering
city centers,
reportedly affecting 60% of the vehicles currently on the
road
.  These restrictions could affect tourist buses and
delivery vehicles.

The Acropolis temporarily closed because of the heat. Photo by Francesca Noemi Marconi on UnsplashThe
Acropolis temporarily closed because of the heat. (Photo by
Francesca Noemi Marconi on Unsplash.) Air Conditioning In Your
Hotel Or Airbnb

Europe just isn’t prepared for extreme heat. In Germany, for
example, only 2% of homes are air conditioned, according to the

Seattle Times
. Just 5% of French homes are air conditioned. So,
if you’re planning to stay in an Airbnb or another home rental in
Europe, check to make sure it’s air conditioned before you book
it. The same goes for hostels and some hotels.

Bottom Line

If you find yourself in Europe during a heat wave, the
Red Cross recommends
you stay hydrated even if you don’t feel
thirsty by drinking lots of liquids and skipping the caffeine and
alcohol (yes, sorry); avoid extreme temperature changes; stay
inside and abstain from strenuous exercise during the hottest part
of the day.

Travelers should also stay informed about local laws. In Rome,
for instance, wading into the fountains could get you arrested no
matter how high the mercury is rising, but there are public
fountains called fontanelle that you can drink from or use to
refill your water bottles.

Featured photo by
Rob Potvin
Unsplash

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
What You Need to Know About the Heat Wave Scorching Europe