This week the whole of Europe seemed to have become one big highway. Holiday traffic caused long-lasting traffic jams, with dots of cars stretching from France to Austria. If you make a trip around Munich this week, I wish you a lot of patience.
But when you decided to escape the bustle of the roads and take a more scenic route along Italy's Po River, you may have enjoyed the view of engineering ingenuity and beautiful landscapes. As the Po winds its way through the Alps to the Adriatic Sea, it shows the harmony between man and nature.
Unfortunately, that harmony can quickly be disrupted. Look at the holidaymakers in Slovenia, where heavy rainfall disrupted their holiday. The dam on the River Mur near Dolnja Bistrica was hit, leading to evacuations in at least ten different places. The exact number of people affected or needing to be evacuated is currently unknown. The floods there are a stark reminder of the power of nature.
Vacation should be a moment of rest, but a snoring symphony from your partner can quickly disrupt that. Fortunately, the Truien travel organization 'De Blauwe Vogel' now offers one innovative solution. Snorers on one side, peacefully sleeping partners on the other – separated by a soundproof door. Open during the day for socializing, closed at night for rest. Brilliant!
Tourism has its challenges, especially now that the coastal areas, normally bustling with activity, are being hit by the disappointing weather and rising prices. Where cities see their streets and squares fill up, the contrast is painfully visible on the coast. But, as with any challenge, there is also an opportunity. It's time to rethink how we attract and retain tourists. Creativity and adaptability will set the tone for the future. But if the predictions are correct, we can look forward to better times as summer seems to return next week.
Technology companies such as Uber en VanMoof have their ups and downs. While Uber is finally making a profit, VanMoof is looking for a restart. It shows that progress and innovation always come with bumps in the road. On the business front, Uber was the talk of the week, with their token profits and black numbers drawing attention. At the same time, VanMoof, a bicycle brand that was once a symbol of sustainability and innovation, is waiting for a possible acquisition.
And while we're on the subject of taxis, time for the word: data. A word that evokes both fear and opportunity. When you're stuck in traffic somewhere, you could use the extra travel time to get over the new EU policy data security in taxis because Europe is working hard on the future. In the context of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU has decided to regularize data storage within its borders. A step towards an integrated digital market. This is not about personal data, but about non-personal data.
There are also many changes on our physical roads. Road works are a constant aspect of the summer landscape. But these disruptions are necessary to ensure the quality of our infrastructure. It is a temporary nuisance for a more sustainable future. By seeing the public transport landscape, we learn everything about badger sets. Changes through railway works can thus dominate the landscape of the animal kingdom.