It is anticipated there will be extreme weather this year during winter, what not we have already seen extreme weather in Australia - snow during spring?????
2012 has indeed been a memorable year for us.
With the now happening hurricane Sandy in New York, billions of property damage, the closure of Wall Street, lives lost. Who know such disaster might happen to the least expected city in the world.
We just need to pray and hope for the best.
Anyways, stumbled across this on Lonely Planet..Well, some of you might agree and some of you might not. Personally, I hate the cold. That was what I told myself when I was in Australia for two years. Yes, the cold in a way limits your movement. Laziness will eventually prevail as you will tend to cuddle up in the warmth of your home. Now, telling myself, why not spend some time somewhere during winter?
Here is a read that some of you might want to consider on planning a trip this coming winter. However, there are some points need to be considered right at the bottom of the article.
And oh its a good time to catch the Aurora Borealis too!!!!!
The 7 Reasons to experience winter in Europe:
1. Off-season bargainsThe rush for Christmas and New Year flights is over and there are deals galore as typically ‘summery’ destinations hit their off-peak season. Take advantage of the January slump: some tour operators suspend their deals over the holidays but rev them up again in mid-January. It’s also a great time to make an offer on a holiday bidding site like Priceline.com or to scour the usual favourites like TravelZoo, Expedia and Opodo. A number of sites, like OffSeason.com and CheapTickets.com, scoop up all the off-season travel deals in one place, so snagging a deal is like shooting fish in a barrel.
2. Jump in, the weather’s fineSouthern Europe laughs in the face of Jack Frost. Plenty of European destinations are still balmy before spring, like southern Spain, the south of France, Sicily, Cyprus and Crete. Contact the relevant tourist office and ask for the stats if you have weather worries. And if you need your dose of vitamin D, get the info on daylight hours in your destination from EuroMeteo.com. Warm destinations won’t swelter as they do during their summer peak, so you can see the ruins of ancient Greece without risking sunstroke and you won’t have to avoid beaches during the midday sun. Time for another ouzo, then.
3. Don’t fear the frostBut there’s no need to chase the sun, as lashings of rain and snow give added charisma to Europe’s classic city destinations. Who could fail to be moved by an icy glaze on the turrets of Europe’s castles? And what could elicit more envy than snapshots of romantic Budapest under a smattering of snow? Wrap up in layers and embrace the cooler weather.
4. Get some elbow roomIf your travel photos are usually invaded by hordes of other tourists, spare yourself the time Photoshopping them out and travel in winter for a crowd-free view. Big-hitting destinations are open for business, but in winter more of the streets will be yours: that means fewer pairs of sandaled feet pacing La Rambla and less jostling for a view of La Sagrada Família. Over in France, the major sights in Provence favourite, Avignon, are still open for business so you can pose on the famous pont St-Bénézet and gawp at the immense Palais des Papes. But winter travellers might be tempted by some of the more curious events too, like January’s horse festival or the theatrical Fest-Hiver.
5. Live like a localWithout so many tourists flocking into their prettiest piazzas, life returns to normal in many tourist hotspots. And as locals’ guard comes down, all the better to people-watch. Try stomping into a warm Parisian brasserie to see chic locals shake their umbrellas (and wring out their soggy pet poodles). Or maybe you’d prefer to eavesdrop on Londoners as they endlessly discuss weather reports with that quintessentially British air of gloom.
6. Winter madnessWhy not unleash your daring side by timing your trip to coincide with one of Europe’s hedonistic winter events? Something about being cooped up indoors unleashes the wild side in Europeans and it’d be rude not to join in the chaos. Scandinavians leap into ice-cold lakes as part of their sauna regime, Sicilians explode in a riot of colour for the Feast of San Sebastiano, and Croatia’s February festivals are a spectacle of giddy mayhem (particularly raucous in Rijeka).
7. Cuddle upUnless you’re hunting the Northern Lights or riding husky dogs across a frozen plain, Scandinavia might seem like a crazy choice for cold weather. A Stockholm city break with shortening hours of daylight? Traipsing up to Tromsø for dark skies and gloomy museums? But in Scandinavia, the colder it is, the most tempting the cosy comforts. March your rain-battled self to a Finnish sauna, snuggle into one of Gothenburg’s beautiful cafes with a sinful hot chocolate, or head to Denmark to experience hygge, an untranslatable phenomenon akin to cosiness and goodwill.
But don’t forget to plan. Make your European travels a breeze by heeding these winter winter warnings:
- Road to nowhere. Ferries, buses and train routes can slow down or come to a complete stop over winter. Don’t pin your hopes on island-hopping Croatia or railroading across Russia before you check whether the routes will operate.
- Hammering in your head. Hotels sometimes use the low season to renovate their properties. If you want to be sure you’ll avoid a noisy night, check online reviews for mentions of building works, or be bold and ask the hotel outright.
- Closed for business. Hotels, museums and galleries sometimes give themselves a hard-earned rest after the hubbub of high season, so call ahead or check the website before you rock up.