Last updated 16:30GMT, Saturday 15 November.
Airports the world over are served by major roads, many of them with great views.
The tedium of traffic jams on the M25 west of London, for instance, is greatly relieved by the site of a full-blown airliner, landing gear exposed, on its final approach to Heathrow, right over the motorway.
On our travels around the Continent however we’ve come across a few roads with even better views than that.
In Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon – poor old Perpignan – and, last but certainly not least, Gibraltar, drivers get so close to the action you wonder if it should be allowed. See below.
TODAY: Dover-Calais ferries return to normal after yesterday’s strike. More severe weather for north west Italy – A10 both ways A26/Voltri-Genoa, re-opened after earlier flash floods (land landslide yesterday) – and south east France. The N20 Puymorens Tunnel in the French Pyrenees re-opens after upgrades. Snow on A2 at south Gotthard Tunnel and A13 St Bernardino Tunnel, Switzerland.
Weekend traffic + weather: France is now ‘green’ – light traffic – right up until 19 December. This Saturday is also the first weekend day this month in Germany without a congestion warning though – as always – early departers will clog roads from mid to late afternoon Friday. Light traffic is expected in both Austria and Switzerland too. According to BBC Weather, an area of heavy rain moves into northern Italy and the Alps (with snow at higher altitudes) then shifts south east. Unsettled in the West. Cold but dry East.
CHANNEL DELAYS: DFDS Dover-Dunkirk reduced service until Friday 21 November. DFDS Dover-Calais 21:15, Calais-Dover 20:00, planned cancellations.
WEATHER ALERT: now RED alert storm/heavy rain Liguria, Italy. Amber alert heavy rain/storm north Italy, heavy rain/flood south east France, north Spain coast, ice/snow Switzerland, heavy rain Slovenia.
WEATHER: unsettled Central. Drier, cold far North.
GOTTHARD TUNNEL: no delays.
MONT BLANC TUNNEL: ‘traffic is fluent’.
MAJOR TRAFFIC DELAYS: A630 ring south west Bordeaux, road works, closed, delay anticlockwise down slightly to 40mins.
Earlier: A7 southbound Hannover, road works, delay still 30mins.
See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.
The A6 motorway skirts the western edge of Orly Airport in southern Paris. Route Nationale 7 from Lyon however runs in a tunnel right underneath the runway.
Tooling into the French capital one Saturday morning we were amazed to see a plane land right in front of us, tyre smoke and all. It happened so fast there wasn’t time to get a photo but the snap we did get encapsulates the stunned reaction. Definitely worth going back for another go sometime.
The view of Schiphol Airport from the A4 – south east of Amsterdam – is so good we did it twice. Once on the way down to Stena Line’s Hook of Holland ferry terminal in September 2012…
And again just a few weeks ago, heading north this time (back) to the – equally amazing – twenty mile long A20 Afsluitdijk causeway motorway in northern Holland.
Personally have never been so close to a 747, so close you have to wonder if it’s safe. Not just because it’s distracting, barrelling along at 130kmh in the rain, but because a terrorist faking a breakdown could nip over the fence, plant a bomb, and be back in no time.
If you’re lucky however you’ll see a majestic airliner take to the skies right in front of you.
Or, even better, two majestic airliners taking to the sky right in front of you.
There are other auto-aeroplane sights to see on the A4 too like this Tesla Model S taxi, one of 167 recently delivered to the airport’s fleet (which did the company’s quarterly sales figures no harm at all).
Meanwhile, the morning commute on the A1 Autoestrada do Norte must be considerably enhanced by the sight of planes landing or taking off at Aeroporto de Lisboa in northern Lisbon.
Even if it is a boring old Ryanair 737.
Gibraltar’s airport knocks all the others into a cocked hat. This is the first time I’ve ever waited at a level crossing for a plane to land. Sadly in this case it was a false alarm.
The (only) road into town from the frontier – you really cannot miss it – actually crosses the runway. One of the very few occasions when it might be even more interesting to walk.
Finally, for all the excitement of roadside airports, there are fewer sights sadder than EAS Service’s plane graveyard from the D117 at Perpigan-Rivesaltes in south west France.
If you know of any more airports like this please let us know in the comments below: