Saint Paddy's Day in Dublin

Saturday, March 17, 2012

As I said before, it seemed like Dublin transformed over night.  Most of the buildings in the city centre lit up with green lights at night, there were Irish flags everywhere, and traditional music came pouring out of every bar in the city.  I suppose this isn't entirely different from how the city normally is but there was a huge influx of tourists which made everything crowded and uncomfortable.  Saint Patrick's Day is when most of the Irish flee Dublin and, though there was a few moments where I really considered doing the same, I figured that if I only get to experience it once I should attempt to stick through it.

My original plan was to attend the parade which was happening just down the street then meet up with a few friends to watch the Ireland v. England rugby match and then call it an early night to avoid the craziness that was going to take place in the city centre.  That, of course, is not at all how my day turned out.  I should have known plans would change as soon as my friend walked up to me at the parade and said, "my dad just gave me money to buy irish coffees and hot whiskies so which do you want?"

With my warm irish coffee in hand we settled in to watch the parade.  Because we didn't bother to arrive 2 hours early we of course weren't in any position to actually see.  The parade itself was interesting though I think the only "Irish" related groups were the marching bands or bagpipe groups that were flown in from the US.  The parade goers were also pretty tame compared to home but I think they intentionally make the parade more family friendly while those who intend to get a little rowdy wait until later in the day to come out.   After getting stuck talking to a man who, after twenty minutes, could not seem to comprehend the fact that we lived in the city and were not tourists looking for advice on what bars to go to, we decided to skip out on the end of the parade, grab some lunch, and head back to the apartment.
One of the more interesting floats
Though we thought we had escaped the worst of the craziness we were quickly commanded to meet some friends at a bar to watch the rugby match and get free drinks from our friend's dad's company card.  Obviously I wasn't going to refuse free drinks.  This began as a few casual drinks during the match, which then turned into a search for another bar to find food (which didn't have food so we got Guinness instead), then finally found some kebabs, then a third bar, and a fourth... I eventually just lost count.  It was pretty crazy on the streets of the city but it wasn't so bad once you stop trying to fight it and just become a part of it instead.

Bar number 3... or 4?
Crowded Streets
Overall it was an unexpected night with some great friends and, though I don't know if I'll want to be in Dublin again for Saint Paddy's Day, I'm definitely glad that I lived through it once!

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