Less prepared for the kind of heavy snow that regularly hits northern and eastern neighbors, France and Belgium struggled to keep moving on Tuesday amid snowy, blustery conditions across Western Europe. (March 12)
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March 12, 2013
Less prepared for the kind of heavy snow that regularly hits northern and eastern neighbours, France and Belgium struggled to keep moving on Tuesday amid snowy, blustery conditions across Western Europe.
As a quarter of flights out of Paris were cancelled on Tuesday due to heavy snow, tourists wandered through the snow covered city enjoying themselves.
Roads around northern France were blocked by snow or closed by transport authorities and trucks were banned from several routes.
Thousands of commuters were left stranded on snowed-in platforms after many trains from Belgium were cancelled, including some of the Thalys high-speed trains to France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Office buildings like those in the European Union's capital, Brussels - were only partly full.
Instead of enjoying the onset of spring, Belgium had a record 1,600 kilometres of traffic jams during morning rush hour as snowdrifts turned roads slippery and reduced vision.
A strong wind made conditions even tougher.