Ireland isn’t used to snow but we’re getting it in bucket loads at the moment (at least in Dublin). Not only is the quantity a surprise, it’s also the fact that snow is falling in late November and early December. Must be evidence of all of that global warming that the scientists keep on talking about…
In any case, we encountered even more snow when Deirdre and I travelled to Scotland. The trip was to visit the famous Laahs family in Linlithgow and to be the TMO for the Scotland v. Samoa rugby match in Aberdeen. Scotland started off cold and got steadily colder and whiter as we approached Aberdeen. Fortunately the ground staff did a great job of clearing the pitch and the game went on as planned. Scotland eventually won 19-16 with a last-minute penalty, much to the disappointment of the Samoans.
We stayed at the Thistle Caledonian hotel in Aberdeen. The hotel is in a marvelous old building but the room we had (204) was pretty small and the bathroom rather cold. Its location (Union Terrace) is in the middle of Aberdeen and the hotel is worth considering if you have to visit.
Sunday saw us making our way back southwards. The roads were very passable until we were past Dundee, at which point the A90 became like a skating rink. It took us eight and a half hours to cover 135km from Aberdeen before the police directed us into Perth because the M90 was closed due to drifting snow. Fortunately we had somewhere to stay in Perth as we were able to go to the house of a friend’s mother, who did a great job of raising our spirits with food and a good bottle of red wine.
Things didn’t look good initially on Monday as the motorway remained closed. There’s only one road south from Perth and until it opened we remained stuck. A small break in the weather and a slight thaw enabled this to happen around noon and even though the snow had started to fall again we decided to head south at 2pm.
The M90 from Perth to the Forth road bridge proved to be a one-lane winter wonderland. It was always passable and conditions didn’t seem as bad as they were reported on the radio. It was amusing to see quite how many snowmen had been built in the closed outer lane. After two hours we reached Linlithgow to rejoin the Laahs. Meanwhile the snow continued to fall…
Tuesday dawned bright but the snow accumulation made the landscape extremely pretty and Christmas-like but difficult to move the car. A plough came by to rescue the situation and open the road to home. We escaped at 11am and reached Stranraer after a good run via Glasgow to get the 5:30pm ferry to Belfast, arriving there at 8:35pm.
The road to Dublin was cold but no problem until we got past Drogheda. At least, it was no problem to us – we later discovered that the police had closed the northbound carriageway because they had intercepted four men with an explosive device. Thankfully this didn’t stop our progress south. Some snow and ice between Drogheda and Dublin Airport made the journey “interesting” for a while but we passed on to the final hurdle presented by icy conditions along the M50 Dublin orbital motorway. We reached home at 11:20pm after some 1,300 km and lots of horrible weather.
Today we have more blizzards in Dublin. There’s no desire to go out and we shall just wait for the weather to pass before we take to the road again.