Snow way!

They've been moaning about it for weeks in Britain while we've been blissfully unaffected in Spain. Then last night it began to fall. Snow. Wow.

The bloke had been telling me it would happen all day, pointing to the thick white clouds outside the window and the salt the ayuntamiento had put on the roads. And, unlike the BBC weather forecast usually is, he was right.

I didn't mind so much. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go. But my mate Karate couldn't say the same – she had been visiting from Barcelona and had a plane to catch. Similarly Aussie Girl – also visiting from Australia via Barcelona, had to get a train to Granada the next day. (Though she was at the same time jumping up and down with glee, having not seen snow for nine years)

We packed Karate off to the airport to get her 7.30pm flight. And just as we were putting the dinner on at about 9.00pm, remarking on how she would be home now, and how close Barcelona and Madrid were, and isn't it marvellous, Aussie Girl's phone beeped. It was Karate.

"Still sat on tarmac. They've got one runway clear. We are 11th in the queue, which is clearing at 3 planes per half hour. Sat next to the world's most fidgety man."

Oh dear. We went on the web to try and get some information for her when I suddenly realised that it was a year and a day since the last freak snowstorm that hit Madrid.

That time, my poor mate Neen had been in the air, on a flight from London, when the snow began to hammer it down. Just when they were circling Madrid airport, the pilot announced the airport was closed and they were diverting… to Barcelona – a good 500km away.

At the time she laughed, as she thought he was joking. But she certainly wasn't laughing an hour later, when she was dumped – with her fellow passengers in Barcelona airport and left to fend for herself.

And she wasn't laughing a further six or so hours later, when she finally arrived at my house, over 14 hours after she left London. Poor Neen.

Karate faired a bit better, getting home at 2am, a mere five hours late. And Aussie Girl won – her train was only delayed by an hour.

I just don't get it. Why does the entire city grind to a halt when it starts to snow? The grit on the road shows the Powers That Be were expecting it this time around, so why couldn't they get their arses in gear to make provisions for bad weather at the airport?

If places like Helsinki can cope with freezing temperatures and blizzards on a daily basis (I read their worst period was during the winter of 2004 when they were closed for three hours!!!) can't we stop one day of snow causing total havoc?

Remind me never to book any flights to or from Madrid before at least the middle of Jan.

No comments:

Post a Comment