The only way to get around Paris in the snow is to use the Metro. It is decidedly dodgy to walk or cross roads as Parisians seem very uncomfortable with the snowy and icy driving conditions. Thank goodness I invested in the carnet of tickets and joined the crowds underground as the snow seemed to have stepped it up a notch on Sunday morning.
We had organized a new teacher get-together at the hotel in the morning and I had an eye on my watch as my next destination was a cocktail reception in Rome overlooking the dome of St. Peter’s. But the weather was not looking encouraging. I checked the various flight apps on my phone, like Flight Track,Trip Case, and Travel Tracker, and according to them my flight looked good.
Now the question was getting a cab to the airport. I have two apps to help me here – Uber and Hailo. It is difficult to find a cab in Paris in general. They all hang out at ranks and rarely stop when you hail them. But now there was even a blizzard involved. Both apps came back with a “We are sorry, but we are unable to locate a cab for you.” The guy at the hotel seemed to know what he was doing thank goodness and got me a cab within 20 minutes. Off we went at a snail’s pace through the blizzard.
I eventually made it more or less on time, but the airport looked like a disaster filled with long queues of disgruntled people wanting to know why their flight had been cancelled. Thankfully mine hadn’t and in fact it was showing on time. Yeah right! That’s the tease really.
In I went and thank goodness I did not check my luggage in. My bag was slightly big so I did my normal routine of hiding it behind a nearby pillar, claiming I only had my small shoulder bag with me. During any kind of emergency weather conditions, you NEVER want to check your bags in. That is just a bad mistake. Once bags are checked in you are really tied to the flight that may never take off. My flight was delayed a little bit at first then a lot more, but we eventually boarded. We then had to de-ice the plane which took a few more hours.
My seat was right by the toilet – 34C – which was handy actually given the amount of time sitting and doing nothing. Eventually with nice clean wings (hopefully…) we took off into the evening sky and left the storm below us while we sailed across the Alps into a balmy, but damp evening in Rome. It was good to see St. Peters!
Peter Jones is the founder and President of ACIS. Knowing the important difference between a trip that’s mediocre and one that’s extraordinary, he built ACIS from a deep belief and understanding that teachers and students deserve the best—from itinerary development to hotels to perhaps most importantly, the people hired to guide teachers and students throughout the journey.