| 11.5°C Dublin

My plucky six-mile trek home through the icy depths of city's winter wonderland

As the afternoon's snow started to really pelt down at lunchtime, I thought I was looking at a slow journey home by bus. Little did I know I was facing a six-mile uphill walk -- and I wasn't the only one.

When my wife contacted me shortly after 2pm to tell me the foothills of the Dublin mountains were getting deeper in snow, I started my adventure. And with the city roads covered in compacted snow, I figured I might be quicker walking the first bit of the way.

From the north city centre across O'Connell Bridge, I was definitely making quicker progress than the traffic. And I couldn't believe how the city could have come to a sliding mass of bumper cars in just minutes. My idea was to walk out of the city and grab a bus on the outskirts that might slowly get me past Temple-ogue, but as we all know -- life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.

Around the Grand Canal, buses were sliding off the roads and into the gutters, and cars were trying to spin their way around the redundant double-deckers. Everyone's wheels were spinning at the mere hint of revs, and the snow just wasn't melting because there was no salt or grit on the roads.

By the time I reached Rathgar, the buses were opening their doors and people with a vast array of inappropriate footwear were sliding on to the frozen footpaths to join me on the trek home. Convenience stores were doing a bomb in take-away coffee as the army of pedestrians sought comfort. At this stage I was resigned to walking the six-mile journey home, punctuated with such coffee stops.

The road from Rathgar to Terenure, and on to Templeogue, was one long line of traffic slipping forward at a snail's pace. The motoring mantra was a repetitive one. Accelerate. Spin. Brake. Slide.

By the time I reached Templeogue, the sun was getting lower in the sky, and the snowballers were having a field day honing their skills on beleaguered motorists.

The Firhouse Road was a skating rink, and I realised that South Dublin County Council had been caught out. I eventually got home at around half-four, greeted by a grinning six-year-old wanting to build a snowman. At least somebody was happy!


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