The trip to somewhere but nowhere
Remember winter last year? It was one of the coldest, with the most relentless snow showers…no, make that blizzards! There were so many flight delays and cancellations on the run up to Christmas that it was almost like another terrorist attack had descended upon us, only it was nature terrorising us this time!
Bubbles and I were at Stansted two days before Christmas, due to fly to Dublin, Ireland to spend Christmas with our friends there. It had been a feat just to get to the airport. The taxi we had called for had not arrived since the roads were quite treacherous. After waiting for quite a while we had decided to drive to the airport ourselves, for to wait any longer would mean risking a real late check-in for the flight.
After an uneventful journey and check-in we found out that many of the flights were facing a one hour delay. Not so bad, we thought. A delay was far better than cancelled flights like the day before. Still, it was quite worrying. We alternated between gazing pensively at the announcement board and pacing the waiting room, hoping that the gate number would appear on the board. In one and a half hours there had been two announcements that our flight had been delayed. We were certain that a third announcement would mean a cancelled flight, for it was almost 7pm. Our friends in Dublin were waiting anxiously for news of our boarding. I don’t know which is worse: waiting to know if you can fly or waiting to know if your guests will make it to your home for Christmas. Well, I’m sure it’s the latter, for we’re the life of the party. Heck, we are the party! 🙂
Finally, the next announcement came. It was time to board. Yippee! We made it! Just as the plane started taxiing, the captain made an announcement that the control tower hadn’t given them the go-ahead just yet, as the snow was being swept off the runway. Bubbles and I caught the knowing glances the stewardesses were giving each other following the announcement and thought ‘Great! We’re still not 100% sure we’ll be getting to Dublin today!’, but despite all the odds our plane took off minutes later. (We were also very lucky as all flights the next day were cancelled)
We arrived in Dublin and were greeted by our friend at the airport. Poor Arul had had quite a journey to get to the airport, shovelling his 40-50 foot driveway to get his car out and then the roads on the way! The snow was so thick that cars got stuck and we stopped a few times to help shovel the road for others so they could be on their way! I have never seen so much snow – it was practically knee-deep! I looked at the snow-covered trees and buildings and fields with child-like wonderment. It really was a beautiful winter wonderland! It was nothing short of breathtaking!
We eventually got back to Arul’s place. His missus had made a sumptuous meal which we gladly tucked into, then went out for a wander. Arul lives in a clubhouse and the back of his house overlooks a few hockey turfs and rugby fields. The entire area was a thick blanket of snow and we had fun trudging through the snow late into the night.
It continued to snow overnight and the snow was just as thick the next morning. We went to Marlay Park, a walk of less than 2 minutes from Arul’s house. Of course walking on the thick snow was such a feat it took so much longer, but well worthwhile. It was the most beautiful snow-covered landscape. There’s something about snow lining the tree branches and roofs of buildings…it’s just picture perfect! We spent hours walking in the park, despite the cold, fuelled by our visually-stimulated endorphins! I snapped so many photos and by the time we were done my fingers were borderline frostbite!
The roads were too treacherous to venture out too far, so we stayed home for the rest of the days. We were well-fed…a different meal for every meal of the day! Needless to say, we had a traditional Christmas meal with stuffed turkey and the whole works, but the rest of the meals were a fusion of Malaysian dishes and towards the end of our trip we were dying for a detox!
I can’t believe that this was our second Christmas in Dublin and both times we didn’t really go anywhere! We did explore the city centre on our first trip, but still, it was a hurried trip under limited daylight hours. This time, we only stepped out a stone’s throw away from the house, but still had so much fun! So, I call it our trip to somewhere, but really nowhere. But as Bubbles would say, it’s not the place; it’s the people you’re with that makes a memorable trip! Thanks Arul and family for a wonderful Christmas last year!