Panda to Sochi

Last updated 19:30 GMT.

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CHANNEL DELAYS: P&O Dover-Calais 60min knock-on delays.

Phone to check: Condor Ferries disruption today and Monday. Brittany Ferries weather disruption until Tuesday Portsmouth/Santander/Plymouth/Bilbao/Caen/St Malo. LDLines Poole/Santander/St Nazaire/Gijon cancellations.

WEATHER ALERTRED alert Spain, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia.

Amber alerts: Ireland, France, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland + Norway.

WEATHER: Rain in Western and Southern Europe, drier to the northeast. Heavy snow French Alps, Switzerland, Scandinavia + Bulgaria, possibly Baltic + north Spain.

MAJOR TRAFFIC DELAYS: Road works north of Bolzano A22 Brenner, southbound down to 20mins delay. A10 northbound from Bordeaux, accident, queue J41-40a delay 30mins.

ROADS: Snow on motorways south Switzerland (and severe fog, south east), south Austria (motorists stuck on B87 have now been rescued) and north east Italy (Lazio Rome region has declared state of emergency, there is a high risk of avalanche/landslip in north east Italy and Catanzaro seafront has been shut due to violent seas). Poor visibility Massif Central south France.

North Serbia – also badly hit, truck ban from Hungary and Romania – and Finland, plus latest from Kefalonia, the Greek island hit by earthquake last week.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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HIPSTERS HIT THE ROAD TO SOCHI.

Just hope they have their accreditation in order.

sochi panda blog

Panda to Sochi: it’s the road trip du jour, nineteen days and 4,300km from Turin to Sochi in the World’s Smallest SUV, stopping off to meet fellow hipsters along the way – like Budapest ‘street artist’ Miss KK – and finding places to go snowboarding.

Don’t be completely put off by the edgy, young corporatism – sponsored by Fiat, Nokia, Nitro, Beats by Dr Dre – they spent six hours at the Ukraine border persuading the guards they weren’t heading to the riots.

Now just 1,000km from their destination – on day 11, and suffering the intense cold in coastal city Odessa (ignore the map below) – Vice magazine journalist Gersin Livia Paya writes, ‘The city seems tensed, but really only because of the weather not because the actual situation in Kiev which is not bothering the inhabitants really. When we ask about it, they say that the ‘people up there’ (in Kiev approx. 440km away) are anyhow only doing what they want. And the only solution is, that the Ukraine should split up in west and east and make new elections.’

Since they don’t seem to be having their way cleared you have to wonder what’s going to happen in Sochi itself. The intense security around the Winter Games means ‘no strange cars’, or those without Olympic accreditation.

Follow the action at Vice magazine or see #PandaToSochi on Twitter.

sochi panda map

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