The Beast from the East

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Snowy scenes around Dublin
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Our beloved River Poddle
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Gorse looks beautiful flowering in the snow

Yesterday I spent a few hours out exploring in a blustery winter storm, enjoying the fact that fewer cars were harrassing me. The roads are a mess right now because of an unusual winter storm (nicknamed “the Beast from the East”), which has dumped snow on Ireland. Because this amount of snow is rare here, there are no plows (or very few…I didn’t see a single one in the past two days I’ve been out…when I asked an Irish friend if there are any plows in Dublin he said he saw a video of one online) to take care of it. It was funny because on Wednesday morning, when we had our first significant snow fall here in Dublin since my arrival (nearly a year ago now), I looked around for a snow shovel to clear the path, only to realize…we don’t own one!

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Some random guy walking his dog, but I liked his colour contrast with the snow
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Our own Tymon Lake
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Out and about, I saw people trying to clear the path with brooms (ineffective after many feet have packed the snow into ridges of ice) and even a leaf blower!

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On Wednesday morning, I headed out the door with my bike…there were 20 cm of fresh, undisturbed snow sitting on the road, but I thought surely the main roads would be cleared. False! When I reached the main road, I found that the snow had been packed into a clear sheet of glare ice by hundreds of cars. This condition worsened as I worked my way into the city center…the more cars on the road packing it into ever more perfect glass-like ice.

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Students building massive snowmen
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This sad little snowman was my favourite though
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Snow covered daffodils

Later that day, the conditions had improved slightly as the temperature peaked briefly above freezing, but everything in Dublin began to shut down for the next few days. I stopped by the grocery store, just to see, and they were completely sold out of bread, beef, and milk. It is a very interesting experience because I come from places where this amount of snow would be insignificant. I realize how spoiled I am that I assumed that plows would be out at 3 am clearing and salting the roads.

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Snowy path
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I love the colours of the stems!
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But the last time Ireland got this much snow was 1982, so why would they keep snow plows around for such a rare occurrence? It makes perfect sense intellectually, though I had to make an effort not to be grumpy about the roads being a mess. So instead, I am just enjoying this very different experience of snow, curious about everyone’s reaction to it…and that is always part of living somewhere new and different. 🙂

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5 thoughts on “The Beast from the East

  1. Glad you are safe. We didn’t get as much snow here in the west, but enough for kids to do a bit of building and sleighing this morning!

    • We had a metre of snow out the front door this morning! I walked into the city centre and it is less here, but there is so much down south and without being cleared it just piles up everywhere. I asked my landlord if I could shovel and he said “Why would you do that?” I kid you not haha

      • We saw some if the footage on the RTE news, quite scary. Glad we just had a little

  2. As you say at the end, it’s not worth the expense of buying equipment when there’s so rarely heavy snow. There were weather warnings issued in Cornwall – people have been saying it’s the first time it’s snowed here in eight years! There was very little traffic going down our road and it’s on a hill so every kid on the street was out sledging up and down, using bodyboards! Was nice having so few cars about.

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