Friday, June 21, 2013

What do you mean, it’s “fogged-in”?

I have given up trying to predict the weather when I travel.  I have managed to be in places when it is unseasonably cold, or unseasonably hot, or very windy for this time of year, or most likely the rainiest it has been all year.  Rain and clouds and fog like to follow me around the globe.   

In Taiwan, I was excited to go to the top of Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world.  They say the view is incredible!  I will have to take their word for it, as it was cloudy and rainy and I couldn’t see a thing.  I got a brief glimpse of the outside before the weather closed in, but absolutely nothing but gray skies from the observation deck.   

 The same thing happened when I went to Switzerland.  I was going to the Alps!  I was going to see the Matterhorn!  Or not.  Even though I was there in June, I had rain and fog in Zermatt, and near-blizzard conditions at the Jungfraujoch in Interlaken.   
Ok – so maybe I should have expected snow in the mountains.  But at the Grand Canyon?  In March?  My Aussie husband had lived in the States for almost 10 years but had not seen much of the American southwest, so we flew into Phoenix and then drove up to the Grand Canyon.   I had not realized that the elevation of the south rim of the Canyon was almost 7,000 feet (over 2,000 meters per my Aussie husband) so I was rather surprised that there was snow on the ground when we got there in the late afternoon.  As mAh was keen to see the majesty of the canyon, we drove to the rim for a sunset view.  Lucky we did, because it started to snow that night and all the next day with a near whiteout in the area.  This was our view of the Grand Canyon that day.  Not so impressive, is it?   

In other weather related news; we ran into the Mistral winds while in France on our latest adventure and let me tell you the French are not kidding when they talk about them howling down the Rhone Valley.  We endured them for 2 1/2 days until we were able to escape to the Langedoc.   
My worst weather while traveling?  A few years ago I was talked into taking a cruise from Florida to the Bahamas, in November.  Living on the west coast of the US, I didn’t pay much attention to the weather on the east side of the country.  Things like “hurricanes” did not register on the radar for me.  They should have as I found myself in the midst of one on Grand Bahama Island.   It was rather scary, and it made for a nasty boat trip.  The beaches were closed, as were most of the other tourist attractions, except for the casinos.   I got a lot of reading done that week.  Oh well – it was a lesson to me to not have a weather-dependent holiday!

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