Travel By Degrees | The Independent

Simon Calder, often known as The Man Who Pays His Way, has been writing about journey for The Independent since 1994. In his weekly opinion column, he explores a key journey situation – and what it means for you.

“Stay inside, close all the windows and shutters” – that doesn’t sound a lot of a vacation to me. But as Alison Roberts, a journalist in northern Portugal, informed BBC Radio Scotland, it’s the official recommendation on how to deal with excessive warmth afflicting the nation’s inside – which had touched 47C within the Douro valley up to now few days.

“We’re seeing extreme danger of fire in the central and north interior of Portugal,” she informed Lunchtime Live.

Across the border in Spain, in accordance with the BBC forecast, the common excessive in Seville might be 35C or extra for the following two weeks. Even at evening the temperature won’t drop beneath 20C at weekends.

The Spanish capital, Madrid, ought to really feel brisker resulting from being the EU’s highest capital metropolis. The altitude of 657m (2,156 toes) didn’t assist a lot on Friday night: the day’s temperature peaked at 7pm, reaching 37C – regular physique temperature (98.6 F).

Nueve meses de invierno, tres meses de infierno is how the Madrileños describe their local weather: 9 months of winter, three months of hell.

The Met Office’s Annie Shuttleworth informed The Independent that temperatures in components of southern Europe might be 10C larger than common throughout a 3rd summer time heatwave.

All of which locations the inhabitants of the south of the continent in a harrowing place. People who dwell in southerly latitudes year-round face the prospect of extra excessive climate to come back, along with the upcoming hazard of wildfires and the longer-term menace of power drought.

Holidaymakers, in distinction, benefit from selection about the place to spend their money and time. Could British travellers resolve that August within the deep south of Europe now not appeals? The intense demand for journey to the Mediterranean proper now suggests in any other case: on Saturday afternoon, seats from the London space to Malaga for journey on Sunday are averaging £250 a method, excluding baggage.

Yet as international leaders battle with the attainable penalties of climate change, an rising prospect of being informed to remain inside behind closed shutters (or, extra seemingly, insufficient air-conditioning), ought to set off a rethink.

It’s a matter of levels: the connection between latitude and temperature. There is much from a linear hyperlink, in fact. Altitude and proximity to an ocean have a robust affect, and extremes of warmth can happen within the strangest of locations: simply ask the individuals of Coningsby in Lincolnshire, holder of the best temperature recorded within the UK (19 July 2022, 40.3C). That’s 104.5F in previous cash, although alongside the coast in Skegness it was slightly extra bracing on that searingly sizzling Tuesday.

Destination selections are made on all kinds of standards: tradition, delicacies, countryside… But in the event you take our two favorite nations for abroad journey, Spain and France, their mainlands cowl a broad unfold of latitudes: roughly 36 to 43 for Spain, 42 to 51 for France.

The seashores of Dunkerque within the far north of France are a match for these within the deep southwest past Perpignan, and for a lot of British travellers simpler and cheaper to achieve. In Spain, the coast of Galicia within the far northwest is as attractive because the Costa del Sol, and the Atlantic ensures that air-conditioning is never thought of.

As an August escape, I commend the one I made final yr (partly as a result of worldwide journey was so tough in these absurd “traffic light” instances): Shetland.

At 60 north, solar lotion is strictly optionally available. In the week forward, there seems to be to be a gradual excessive of 15C within the islands’ capital, Lerwick. And you’ll be able to attain this astonishingly scenic and historic archipelago with out flying. Next summer time, you would possibly recalibrate your journeys.


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