The International Society at University of Limerick had a trip planned for St. Patrick’s day and I was able to go even though I missed sign-up; a girl couldn’t attend and so I took her spot for 17 euros.
My French housemate was one of the only people I knew going, so I stuck with her. We had stopped at the Eurogiant (Ireland’s equivalent of the Dollar Store) the night before and bought some cheap things to dress up for St. Patrick’s day. We got up that Friday, dressed in our gear, painted some green designs on our faces and headed for the bus to Dublin.
Dublin wasn’t as crazy as I thought it would be. The city had flags and banners everywhere, but nothing too extravagant. Pubs were open and most stores were closed. We walked to the Temple Bar region of the city, and there we saw lots of people dressed up who from everywhere else besides Ireland. No one was drinking in the streets as it was forbidden, a surprise to me but it made sense with all the kids that were around the city.
It was really cool to be on the streets of Dublin surrounded by both Irish and international people in the country where St. Patrick’s day actually began. Children sat on fathers’ shoulders to see the parade as the streets were packed at least six people deep on each side. My friend and I waited quite a while to see the parade downtown, as it was a slow-moving parade. There were international bands and huge, odd floats that were handmade. Horses and military personnel marched past. My favorite was this one drumming group that came by in cut-offs and tattoos.
The rain began to sprinkle and the wind picked up in the middle of the parade and my friend and I were miserable. We actually ducked out early and went to get food before there was a big rush. After food, we wandered the streets and people-watched for a while. We didn’t go into any pubs because they were too crazy.
Our bus was leaving fairly late and we had a few hours to kill. My housemate was desperate to get a piercing, so we visited multiple piercing places before we found a Scottish guy who was able to do it for her. As she was getting hers done, I was contemplating getting my second lobe piercing. I ended up getting mine done and we left.
We stopped once more for a snack and then headed to the bus. The bridges were lit up with green lights and people were starting to either head home or settle into a pub for the night after hopping all afternoon.
Overall, it was a really surreal day, to be walking the streets of Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day and watching the Irish and international people roam the city.