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Trevor Norris is used to hot summer weather, being from the Prairies. But his trip to England this week – one of many European countries facing record temperatures – has left him battling train delays and searching high and low for some sort of air-conditioned refuge.

“Nowhere in England seems to have AC,” Norris said.

“I went into a pub and everyone was standing outside with their beers after ordering ... because it was too hot inside the pub itself. I was in there for maybe 10 minutes ordering drinks and my legs were drenched. It was that bad.”

Norris spoke over the phone while heading north on a train from London to Norfolk County to attend a wedding. It was a scramble, he said, as many trains have been delayed or outright cancelled because the heat has raised the risk of tracks buckling.

How you (and your home) can stay cool in a heat wave

“All the trains from London to (our destination) were cancelled at that point, so we had to get on the Tube, get to another place up the line a bit ... and that was the only way we could get up (north).”

Temperatures of over 40 C were recorded in England recently for the first time. Residents of the normally temperate country have historically had no real use for air conditioners.

“You can’t even go into a coffee shop to cool down ... because they’re all so hot and they’re leaving their doors open, hoping to stay cool. But the wind yesterday was so hot that it was almost like a hair dryer blowing on you,” Norris said.

Norris planned to tour further north in the coming days but is having second thoughts due to the train delays.

Further south, Lindsey Anderson of Winnipeg was relaxing on a beach near Naples, Italy. A recent 60-minute train ride proved stifling and the heat has made some of her plans too risky.

“I really wanted to go to Pompeii while I was here, but I feel like that’s a guaranteed bout of heatstroke. So I’m not going,” she said.

Anderson has taken care to carry lots of water and stay in the shade as much as possible.

“And don’t forget your electronics can overheat too, so keep them out of the sun where possible.”

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