Unlike most other times we have arrived in Europe, this time we were met with cold temperatures (down to 11 degrees centigrade), grey skies and rain. LOTS of rain! Cold and wet on our one day in Amsterdam, sometimes showery in North Germany, the water levels were rising when we got to the Rhine, and finally, flooding in France. A once-in-a-century flood in Paris, apparently, causing the evacuation of works of art from the cellars of the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay. We had to travel into Paris to pick up some luggage and it was complicated by the closure of some Metro stations due to flooding, thereby necessitating a 45 minute bus journey & return, & infrequent & crowded RER trains, due to a rail strike.
When we eventually took to the road at 4.00 p.m., what chaos! Roads closed, detours … and water EVERYWHERE. We had decided on a town further south, but realised we probably wouldn’t be able to reach it, so looked for accommodation en route. All booked out, because of the flooding, either by evacuees or by travellers with the same idea. I remembered an hotel we had stayed at years ago in Montargis, our original destination, so phoned & booked ourselves in. Then, venturing on some roads that were partially closed, we finally reached sanctuary at 8.30 p.m., 2 & 1/2 hours later than usual. Relief, followed by a good meal and lots of red wine – of course!
But it was so bad for the poor people affected by the flooding. Here are some photos taken en route, also a flooded street in Montargis. And everywhere there were piles of debris, goods ruined by the water & waiting to be collected. Crops were also ruined – hope they have insurance cover. Though a local told me that the Government, because it is a local disaster, will top up peoples’ claims to the level decided by the government – sometimes months later, of course. It’s the same all over the world.