So, I had great intentions for a great pre-Paddy’s day post. I had never stayed in Dublin for Paddy’s Day before so was going to offer up something along the lines of a “Paddy’s Day for Beginners from a Dub beginner” kind of thing, compiled from several recommendations from my knowing Dublin mates. There was, however, one small glitch in my masterplan: the only advice my friends had regarding Paddy’s Day in Dublin was that I should, at all costs, avoid Paddy’s Day in Dublin.
Well feck the lot of them. Undejected, we decided to brave the crowds, the booze, the tourists, the pushy parents (kids on stools and step ladders? so not on) the shamrock headbands (those things will poke your eye out!) and all the rest of it and just dive headlong into the big melee. And I have to admit I really, truly enjoyed it.
We didn’t get in to town early enough to head to a hotspot like O’Connell Street, but instead motored on up Dame Street and towards Christchurch. Just as it was looking like I would end up with my nose stuck in someone’s armpit and my lovely Zoomy Sigma in my bag, we spotted an unoccupied bollard thing just outside Cafe Azteca. So that’s where I spent the next hour and a half, blissfully snapping away and letting my feet go numb. Eoghan was tall enough and kind enough to stand beside me, looking over the tops of people’s heads and making sure I didn’t fall off.
Here’s a blow by blow of the day, in words and in pictures.
The parade consisted of lots American bands, beautiful, creative, colourful costumes, massive baloon floats and even a slightly odd, motorbike riding St Patrick (with “paddy 2008” as his number plate).
We then made our way over to the Céilí in Earlsfort Terrace, where there was a really good buzz. Lots of teenagers, some of them shot gunning cans, but all them just the fun side of rowdy. You’d think it was the Arctic Monkeys on the stage, and not some lovely 50-year old trad musician from Kerry, by the way they charged it. They got a Céilí train going and snaked through the crowd, with a few nervous-looking tourists joining in.
Once we’d had our fill of that, we headed to O’Neills on Suffolk Street. Even though it was just off the parade trail, it was just nicely packed, no elbowing in necessary. I had my first proper pint of Guinness. Ok, I lie, I had a half a pint. With a blackcurrant head. ‘Twas OK. I only started drinking a couple of years ago and can’t even stand the savoury-ness of beer, so I thought I was doing well by getting through a quarter of it.
After that and some yum-yum-in-my-tum carvery grub, we decided there couldn’t be anything we’d rather do than go the funfair. We did wuss out a bit here – just a quick ride on the Ferris Wheel, a go at winning a teddy and some snaps of people looking thrilled/terrified/pukey on the amusement rides.
By 7pm, just eight hours after we’d left the apartarment, we were home, defrosting our hands and feet (it looked a lot warmer than it was) drinking tea.
Like RedMum (who has some gorgeous pics, by the way), I think there were quite a few selfish view-hogging grown-ups out there, spoiling the fun for lots of the kids. From what Brandon says, I really wish I’d made it over to the Baby Rave, even if we don’t have any babies (I’m sure we could have borrowed one…). And, like Oskar over at the Dublin Community Blog, I thought Pearl @ The Docklands was brilliant – he has some great shots.
I was completely snap-happy, so there are lots more shots on the ol’ Flickr.
All in all, we stuck to a fairly tried and tested touristy experience, but given that neither of us had ever actually tried it before, fun times were had. It was nice seeing people really enjoying the city and what it has to offer instead of being uber blasé or moany about things. I guess I just haven’t gotten to the stage where I am “so over” Dublin and so ready to move to Berlin/Australia/Brazil.