Stranded Singaporeans make the best of delay

Stranded Singaporeans make the best of delay

Singaporeans were among the travellers affected, as heavy snow and icy weather hit Europe over the weekend, disrupting travel in France, Britain and Germany.

About 140 Singaporean students were stranded for a day in their hostel, UCPA La Plagne 1800, in the badly hit Savoie region of the French Alps, where an estimated 15,000 people were affected.

The students from various British universities were on a week-long skiing trip organised by the Imperial College Singapore Society.

They were due to return to London on Sunday, but the bus picking them up on Saturday could not make it up the mountain, as the roads were closed.

Mr Andre Low, 23, a third-year University College London law student, ended up sleeping on the floor of the hostel's auditorium, after deciding not to fork out £28 (S$60) for an extra night's stay.

"It was a little frustrating," he said.

"But I had company, snacks and games to pass the time."

The winter storm knocked out power in more than 100,000 British homes.

It also shut down two British airports, and caused 20 flight cancellations in Frankfurt, Germany's largest airport.

Some Singaporeans decided to make the best of their situation, such as the Na family.

The four of them were stuck over the weekend in the small country of Andorra, as the only road to the French border was closed due to heavy snowfall.

Mrs Magdalene Na, a retired corporate senior vice-president in her 50s, said: "Although it's disruptive to our travel plans, at least it gives us time for family bonding."

Her son Bertrand, 23, who studies at an aerospace engineering school in Toulouse, France, turned the delay into "an extra day of skiing".

"I had four days of perfect weather - but lousy piste conditions - then, the weekend of heavy snowfall, and with it, good snow for skiing," he said.

"It's a silver lining."


This article was first published on December 30, 2014.
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