Tuesday 20 August 2019

'We couldn't walk on the beach it was so hot' - Irish tourists on braving the European heatwave

Callum Lavery

As temperatures across western Europe rise to unprecedented levels, Irish tourists continue to brave the extreme conditions.

Scorching weather has swept across the continent due to hot Sahara winds with temperatures in some parts exceeding 40C.

France has today recorded its highest temperature since records began of 44.3C in Carpentras, Valucluse. The previous record was 44.1C, reached during the deadly heatwave of 2003.

A number of people have died as a result of the hot weather, as meteorologists put more than half of France on alert for high temperatures, while across Europe people are urged to look out for young children, the elderly and others at risk in hot conditions.

As the weather shows no sign of stopping, Independent.ie caught up with Irish tourists braving the European heat.

Co Dublin based travel writer Nadia El Ferdaoussi, (32) is on a cruise travelling between Barcelona and Rome

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She is coming to the end of her trip as she returns to Ireland tomorrow after travelling around the coasts of Valencia, Ibiza and Nice for the past nine days.

According to Nadia, the weather is too hot to bare.

"We went to beach but you couldn’t walk on the stones, you had to run from the shade to the water, I had a glass water bottle but I couldn’t hold it because it burned my hands.

"Yesterday was the hottest, you need to drink a lot of water, find shade, and cool off in the sea but remember that it’s a European beach in summer so they are all packed.I’m lucky I can go back to the cruise, because the boat is fully air conditioned.

"We are keeping informed, I keep checking weather apps on my phone and every night the cruise tells us what the weather is going to be like the next day.  I haven’t noticed anyone getting sick from the heat or getting sun burned yet. But to be honest, people aren’t really spending that much time out in the sun, it’s too hot.

"I’m leaving early tomorrow morning for Rome to catch my flight. I was offered a flight later in the day, but I’m leaving on the earlier one because it will be cooler, by the coast the heat is bare able but I don’t know if I could stand the heat in a city.

21-year-old UCC student Lucas Brun says that authorities are doing their best to beat the heat in Lyon,  South France

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Lucas says that coverage of the heatwave has taken over French media, but it remains difficult to stay cool as the temperatures skyrocket.

"I’m struggling, it’s incredibly hot, yesterday and today the temperatures have easily been between 36C-42C, even at night by 11pm it’s still 36C or 37C, it’s really difficult to sleep.

"It’s all over the news, it’s the only thing on the news on TV and in the papers, there are also government adds reminding people to look after kids and the elderly and to stay inside between 2-4pm.

"On public transport they are giving out free water but I’ve seen people getting escorted off the metro because the can’t cope with the heat.

"I’ve been drinking lots of water, staying inside, and keeping all the blinds down. It’s not common to have air conditioning in France.

"If you are coming over you should plan your day before noon or after 4pm, drink lots of water and make sure it’s not too cold because you can get sick if it’s too cold. I’d also use water spray and try to stay indoors."

Model and Blogger, Holly Carpenter (27) is a long way away from Raheny, as Lourdes temperatures reach up to 41C.

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While keeping herself cool is high on her list of things to do, Holly is more worried about keeping her four legged friends out of the sun and the vet.

"They were saying that it hasn’t been this hot since 2003. We saw it all over the news, thousands going into hospital and jumping into fountains in the city. Luckily it’s giving a storm on Wednesday so we hope that will clear the air a bit.

"People in the local town were all told to stay indoors and local builders have been given the past two days off because of the heat.

"I have been drinking iced water and jumping in and out of the pool but by five or six o’clock I'm like ‘okay I need to go inside now.’ But we have no air conditioning.

"I always use hydrating face mists to keep cool and it’s good for the dogs too, but make sure not to spray it on their head because it can make them get even warmer. If you spray them on the belly it stops them from over heating.

"Watch out for your phone too. Mine has overheated several times now because I keep leaving it out in the sun.

"The number one rules should be to use strong sun cream and drink lots of water."


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