Oh, Dublin. What can I say about you, you drunken, awesome devil of a city? Yes, the people are friendly. Yes, they can drink you under the table. Yes, live Irish bands in Irish pubs can make you dance to music you thought you would never be able to dance to.
Here are the awesome people I went with:
And here are the awesome people we met up with (more like bumped into) on the actual St. Patrick’s Day:
We got there on Friday, which gave us tons of time for sightseeing before the big day on Sunday. However, we found out that St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t only celebrated on the day itself, but there was a whole week of celebrations preceding it! As such, there were festivities everywhere we went, and along with those festivities were hoards of tourists (mostly Americans, Germans, and Spanish). The entire city was a big party, and going out on Friday night was just as hectic as going out on the actual day itself (although costumes were mostly worn on St. Patrick’s Day).
The first place we went to was the busiest street in Dublin, called Grafton Street. This is a pedestrian-only shopping street much like Robson Street in Vancouver. There are a ton of street performers/musicians here, and even more people trying to sell you things.
We then came across the Bank of Dublin…
…Which was directly beside the Trinity College. It’s Ireland’s oldest universities, and I though I haven’t seen any of the other ones, I’m guessing it’s probably one of the most beautiful. The following pictures were all taken within the main square once you walked through the front building’s gates.
Christ Church Cathedral. What’s interesting was that there were food tents set up on the church grounds with cuisine from all around the world. I don’t know if they do this at all churches, but I had never seen something like that before.
We walked on Dame St. all the way until it merged into Thomas St. to get to the Guinness Storehouse. This place is one of the most awesome places in Dublin and it’s a must when you visit the city.
With 6-7 floors, this tourist attraction takes you through the entire history of Guinness and the process of how the beer is made.
At the end of it, you get a pint of Guinness at Sky Bar, which has a 360 view of Dublin. It was the best view of Dublin that I saw while I was in the city.
I used to hate Guinness. However, that was when I had the beer back home. Drinking Guinness in Ireland is like drinking an entirely different beer altogether. It’s so much better in Ireland and the foam head is so creamy that it might just be the best part. The reason why Guinness tastes the way it does back in Canada is because each beer must have a longer shelf life since it is transported overseas. Therefore, more hops are in these beers for them to maintain their taste.
We went to Leo Burdock for fish n chips dinner. A tour guide told my friend that this place had the best fish n chips in town. I’m not sure how it compares with the rest of Ireland, but this may just be the best fish n chips I’ve ever had.
More than 800 years old, The Brazen Head is Ireland’s oldest pub.
I’ll come back to what we did at night later. For now, on to Saturday!
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
Best conversation of the trip:
Question: “Who was Saint Patrick?”
Response: “Well, I know he was a saint.”
Funny thing about how we got into the actual cathedral itself: We knew there was a charge to get inside, so we decided to just head to the souvenir shop to escape the rain instead. We went through the exit thinking that this would get us into the souvenir shop (it did), but little did we know that the souvenir shop was connected to the cathedral as well. Yes, we accidentally snuck into a church.
We got to Jameson Whiskey Distillery quite late, so tickets were already sold out. However, we snapped a few pics before going on to the next place.
Okay. It is now time to talk about the drinking and nightlife in this city.
You see those doors painted different colors? A tour guide told my friend that they’re painted like that so the Irishmen would be able to recognize their own houses when they were drunk and walking back home. Let that be a bit of context.
Whether it’s a stereotype or fact, Ireland has long carried the reputation of being a country of drinkers, and somewhere along the line a phrase was coined: “There are more drinkers in Ireland than people.” With that in mind, most people we met during the three nights we went out were actually not Irish; they were mostly tourists.
So here is a recipe for a fun weekend: 1. Dublin is the capital of Ireland, a country whose residents can hold their liquor; 2. This was St. Patrick’s Day weekend; 3. Most of the party goers were tourists, who are known for letting loose while on vacation.
We went to Temple Bar on all three nights. Temple Bar is basically a district with a ton of pubs and clubs. On Friday, we mostly stayed at Fitzsimons, which is my favorite place to go out in Dublin. While most places have bouncers that cut you off when the bar is full, Fitzsimons was the only one that kept allowing people inside regardless of how packed it was. We were there on Friday and Saturday, and both times it was so packed that you could barely stand. It was mayhem, but it was awesome mayhem.
Temple Bar was basically a night time playground for young people. Every night featured street parties, people singing and dancing on the streets, and high-fives given to random strangers walking by. On Saturday night, a German band had an impromptu performance on the street, which drew a huge crowd. The crowd started dancing, and out of nowhere, they formed a congo line that took us down the street for at least a block or two. A congo line.
On St. Patrick’s Day, we went to Bad Bob’s in Temple Bar from 3pm until 2am (11 hours). They had a live band playing Irish songs and even contemporary songs by bands like Mumford and Sons.
These were some of the songs they played (for multiple times, mind you): Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man (it’s been weeks and I’ve still got this song on repeat); The Dubliners – Whiskey in the Jar; Wild Rover – No, Nay, Never; Sham Rock – Belle of Belfast City. We heard these songs all weekend, so we were all addicted and singing them on our way back to Sweden (and even when we were back in Sweden).
I honestly didn’t know that I could dance to Mumford and Sons, but when you’re in an Irish bar, when there’s a live band playing, and when there’s a ton of Irish dancing all around you, you just get caught in the moment as well.
To end the post, here are a few pictures from the parade on Sunday! (PS – see if you can find Batman)