See, I would say that it’s really tacky of tourists to wear head-to-toe green on Paddy’s Day weekend, but to be fair, Dublin itself is head-to-toe green. Heather and I got off the plane into a green airport, illuminated like the majority of the city with green lights.
We were both pretty tired, I mean I’d just handed in an essay that I’d obviously lost a lot of sleep over, so we decided to grab food from Tesco and turn in early at Abraham’s Hostel. Off topic, but I’d just like to say that this hostel has an amazing kitchen facility—Maggie approved.
The early night plan didn’t work, however, since there was a rowdy/fun bunch of Norwegians (and others) in a common area who kindly gave us free beer and dragged us out.
None of us were really sure where we were going but Petter seemed to kind of know his way around so the pack of Canadian/English/Italian/French/Norwegian tourists followed him until we ran into three Dubliners who were able to bring us to a bar called Dicey’s. It was really nifty in there, the ‘patio’ was this magical garden terrace thing underneath the balcony of the nightclub above. We stayed there a while and then exchanged numbers with the Irish guys and headed home.
The next day Heather and I grabbed Tim Horton’s coffee and a donut!!!!!!!
Then we wandered around the Trinity College campus before heading back to our hostel for the weirdest meal ever (it’s what happens when you shop at Tesco while hungry…).
Then at 2:30 we realized we were missing the Ireland-Wales Six Nations match so we panicked, threw our key at the guy at the hostel’s reception, and ran to the closest pub. Thankfully it was next door; O’Shea’s or something. Ireland ended up losing 23-16 which was kind of frustrating but it was still really fun to watch the match with a Guinness, in Ireland.
I’ve developed quite a love for rugby, especially Six Nations. We wandered some more then went back to the hostel for more food and more Guinness and met two Canadian girls (Sam and Sarah) who were aux pairs in Holland, drank more and watch the Scotland-England match on the hostel’s tv before heading out with them.
This was our first experience of the Temple Bar district and it was packed already at 6pm. We went into a pub called the Norseman and met a bunch of Welsh guys on a bachelor party. They were absolutely hilarious, and also absolutely smashed. We taught Eifion and Lichton the term “hoser,” and Lichton tried to convince Heather that her future husband was definitely somewhere in Wales. Had a great night with them then headed home after they left and we couldn’t find Sam and Sarah… very strange to be going home drunk at about 10pm! The streets had such an amazing atmosphere, although the amount of American tourists was a little obnoxious, hehe. When we got back to the hostel, the Norwegians Petter and Anders were about again, as well as the French girl Julie, so we drank with them for a while.
Woke up the next morning and went straight out to Clontarf Beach. It was a long walk and we both had to pee at random times when there were no toilets around so it was a tad painful… but worth it.
When we got to the tip there was a boardwalk road thing that went out far, even seemingly hitting another bank of land upon which there were houses?
It was all very confusing. And like I said, we had to pee. It was dire. So we turned around and headed back up the coast, finding a fish & chippy which had amazing fish & chips… they even had gluten-free fish batter! Yay for no stomachaches! Ate there then headed back to the city centre.
We stopped by this park in which there seemed to be a festival going on—like, bouncy castles and shit—whereas we were only there to see the Oscar Wilde memorial. This turned out to be him sitting seductively on a rock, in the typical Wildean way.
We also passed by his house on our way to the castle, and the Police Memorial Gardens (Garda Síochána Memorial Garden in Gaelic) which were stunning :] we were actually on our way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, because duh St. Patrick’s Day or whatever. But first we walked through the Temple Bar District during the daytime, being more able to appreciate it when there isn’t a drunken crowd…
The castle was nice, if a little strange from behind…
What really impressed me was the garden that was kind of attached to the castle. It was a memorial garden for police, and it was wonderful.
From there we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
When we arrived at it, the entrance was a bit hectic so we just weaved through a crowd up to the front door and ended up walking in directly after a German gentleman who was part of a tour group. The tour lady had passed him onwards to the church staff who shook his hand, and then turned around to grab the next member of her tour. Since we were following directly behind the German guy in the tour group, the church staff shook our hands too thinking that we were with it also. We didn’t realize until we were inside and could see the lineup of people about to pay 5euros to get in that we had snuck in in the midst of a tour group… shhh don’t tell god. We were completely elated by the fact that we had snuck in, being broke students on budget travel and all. Perfect ❤
Wandered around a bit more, seeing another church and some heroin needles in a back alley (yay) before heading back to Abraham’s Hostel for our last night (and it was an early one).
The next morning we packed up and went directly to Trinity College to get into the library for exactly opening time (and STILL had to wait in a queue… oh well) to see the Book of Kells, possibly my favourite thing ever. The most famous page, the Chi Rho Iota page, is both my phone and my laptop coverscreen. For those who don’t know, my favourite period of study is medieval Britain—we’re talking about 500CE to about 1500CE. It’s got some amazing literature, art, everything. I geek out hardcore about it. Now, you may note that Kells is in fact in Ireland and therefore not technically a part of Britain BUT the origin of the Book of Kells is uncertain, possibly originating in Scotland where the monks who made it were driven out due to Viking raids. Possibly. Trinity College didn’t mention any of this.
Anyway. We went in amongst this giant crowd to this little dark room where it was on display and if we properly weaseled our way to the front of the crowd and held our position we could behold the wonder of one page of script. I was so excited about it but the crowd totally killed my mood. How many tackily-dressed, loud-speaking, semi-disrespectful tourists can you tolerate when you’re having a moment? The answer is like, pretty much zero. So we were swept along out of that room and came across the central hall of the library which was actually incredible. There were busts of famous philosophers and thinkers up each side of the grandiose hall, ancient books everywhere, and glass display cases with books new and old of various origins. It was basically a celebration of good literature. Heather and I both geeked out over this one.
From Trinity we stopped by Tim Horton’s for like the millionth time (it was NECESSARY) and high-tailed it out to the Jameson Distillery, not because we were going there but because our next hostel was literally attached to it. It was called the Generator Hostel and it was posh and not really geared towards budget backpackers, but it was serviceable :p
We then went directly to the Guinness Storehouse for our tour and pint. Mostly for our pint.
The rest of the day was spent meeting up with the various Canadian girls as they arrived. We bought Guinness in cans from Tesco and wandered into the Temple Bar area again, meeting various people and having various banter. We spent some time with two guys from Boston but ended up “losing” them in the Temple Bar itself, conveniently with the Guinness cans they’d paid for… hehe. Our meeting place had been declared in advance as the Norseman pub again, so at the assigned time we made our way there and then finally the whole crew was together. I texted the Irish guys we’d met on the first night and they came out which was nice. I’m pretty sure they led us to less touristy clubs, ones you need to be local to know about.
The next morning, St. Patrick’s Day itself, was the day of much frivolity. I started talking to two guys who were staying in my room at the hostel, a Californian and an Australian, and they agreed to accompany us to the parade. First we grabbed these amazing breakfast rolls which I still have dreams about. It was basically a full Irish Breakfast on a bun. Soooooooo delish. We geared up at a tourist shop in some green and orange, then we weaved through the crowd as best we could to get a decent spot at the parade.
The parade took up much of the early afternoon, and was very very strange. Apparently the floats and things were meant to represent Irish folklore, which I found out retrospectively… would have made more sense at the time, whereas we spent most of it laughing at its strangeness.
From then onwards was just so. much. alcohol.
The worst bit was leaving at around 1am to get to our hostel, not getting to sleep at all, and leaving almost directly after a quick shower to get to the airport to catch our flight. It was pretty dire. Dublin airport that early in the morning after St. Patrick’s Day was a battlefield.
Caught our flight and passed out immediately. Got off in Edinburgh to a day that was way too sunny for hangovers. Katie, Heather, Shannon, Syb, and I all caught the bus together and it was just hilarity while also being very very dire. Got home and Heather and I made poutine with smiley-face fries, that’s how dire it was. So dire. I was home with plenty of time to get to class, but obviously I didn’t go. Died a bit instead.
That night after Heather left, instead of sleeping and detoxing, Katie and I met up for the Canada-themed party put on by the North American Society at Teviot, because obvs. It was fun, we spent some time with a bunch of hosers and a Dutch friend of Katie and I’s. There was also this guy who was a friend of one of my friends who was visiting from Winnipeg and had THE most Canadian accent ever, he was a blast. Anyway, we really didn’t stay out late because Katie and I were both exhausted and in need of not alcohol…
Dublin was amazing, but I’d love to go back at another time when it isn’t full of tourists. Thanks for a perfect drunken bender, Ireland ❤ and thanks to all my Canadian/other pals for making it so fun :] xox