St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

Dublin Travel Blog

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St. Patrick’s Day 2009 will forever change my view of Paddy’s Day.  In short, it was amazing!

We got off to a slow start as the buffet breakfast put on by the hotel for the holiday was less than mediocre.  I was seriously missing Avril and Tony’s yummy breakfast from the day before.  We quickly got out of there and grabbed a taxi.  We were told by the concierge of all the road and building closures in honor of the holiday so we were limited on our destinations.  Guinness Brewery was open and that is exactly where we headed.  I hadn’t planned on doing the tour based on some feedback from others but with lack of options, we decided to go ahead and do it.  And I was glad.  It was fun for someone like me, who loves shows like “How Its Made” and “Modern Marvels”  I wanted to go to the Jameson Distillery but it was just not in the cards.  As soon as we left Guinness, it was impossible not to follow the crowds as they headed toward the parade.

There was no doubt where the crowds were headed — they were dressed from head to toe in their best Irish flair.  I cannot even begin to describe to you the energy, decoration and atmosphere of Dublin on Paddy’s Day.  The best way to describe it is to take the Southside Irish Parade, plus the parade in Boston, throw in a Mardi Gras and multiple the result by 10.  It was simply amazing.  The parade AND the party in the streets afterward.  There was spontaneous singing and chanting in the streets.  People were drunk with pride.  I have never seen anything like it.  Should I return to the emerald island, it will be for another St. Patrick’s Day Festival.

During the parade, we hung out to watch the footage in Temple Bar.  Once it was over, we made our way through the amazing crowds up O’Connell Street.  It was simply unbelievable the number of people that were still there hours after the parade had ended.  The shops were overflowing with locals — NOT tourists.  I cannot say it enough — it was truly amazing.

My foot was not cooperating and truth be told, it slowed us down.  We did manage to score a seat in a cafe that was surrounded by all the activity in the Temple Bar area.  Only minutes after we were seated, the party really began.  A band stationed itself in the middle of the crowd.  The entire street was filled to capacity with people.  We had the perfect seat for people watching — and as we sipped our Irish Coffee with a TON of whiskey, we watched as the scenes unfolded.  We milked that spot for as long as we could.  When the hunger to move around struck, we left to do some shopping and eventually dinner.

We had a flight in the morning and much packing to be done so we ended the night a bit earlier than most of the Irish in Dublin.  I went to bed with a smile, knowing that I had experienced a truly unique day in Irish culture and dreaming of my return next year.

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photo by: fransglobal