Not a good idea.
I could've been stuck in traffic for hours on end all because it was decided that the Queen would need the whole of Phoenix Park as her private playground. Fortunately, common sense prevailed. Phoenix Park was open to public traffic that morning. At least for traffic heading into town.
It seemed great at first - there was very little traffic going through the park that morning but then, I realised that I was being watched the whole way through the park by a couple of hundred pairs of gardai eyes decked in yellow hi-viz gear that lined both sides of Chesterfield Avenue. It wasn't a very pleasant feeling especially when ever so often as I passed by, a guard would start talking into his walkie-talkie thingy...
Check out the fat eejit on his moped looking like feckin' Darth Vader. Bwahahaha!
Should we stop him Seargent?
I didn't get stopped that morning or the morning after but still, I'd rather not have all that attention on me. Feelings of paranoia aside, other than an annoying issue with my Vespa cutting out at almost every other red light (need to sort this out ASAP), I managed to get to work on time without having to strip a single piece of clothing!
The journey home was a little bit different though.
It was actually bad even before it started. The AA's site was great at pointing out that ALL bridges across the Liffey would be closed to traffic but wasn't helpful in coming up with a solution. I came to the conclusion that since my Vespa couldn't fly or had the ability to float on water, I'd just go with the flow and hope for the best. The approach seemed to have worked fine until I reached Christ Church where traffic was at a standstill. A solitary guard blocked the slip road to Thomas Street and a quick glance opposite to where he was standing explained why he was alone.
His buddies in blue were a bit pre-occupied with a group of 50 or so break-away "protesters" who appeared determined to get to Dublin Castle so that their voices could be heard by the British monarch. Don't think that would achieve much but it all did seem like a bit of fun until gun shots were heard. Or, were they just those really loud firecrackers. Whatever it was, I wasn't curious enough to hang around and find out especially since solo guard was just given his orders to let traffic through the safer end.
I pointed my Vespa away as swarms of reporters and photographers ran in the opposite direction, towards the action. That wasn't the end of it though. I still had to escape from the traffic madness and get home. So, like on many occasions before, I let the rempit in me takeover and went all gemilang on Dublin traffic.
Still, between all the road closures, diversions, stuck lorries and mile-long queues of cars, I eventually managed to get home in about two hours. Thinking about it, that was just the rehearsal. Next week, Ireland welcomes Barack Obama.