Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Paddy's Day

Hello again,
It has been a long time since I blogged about my Irish adventures, I hadn't had many of note in a while. However, this past week my friend Mike, who you all probably know, visited for his spring break. We went all over Dublin and saw the Wicklow Mountains as well. I brought him to watch a couple rugby games with a few die-hard fans. Of course, we saw a good number of pubs and restaurants. Then it was the chaos of St. Paddy's Day to end an eventful week! 
When he arrived on Saturday, we went to the Australian bar to watch the Irish Rugby team play against the French. After a beautiful victory, we went out to listen to some live music. Sunday we walked around the city, stopping at the General Post Office, St Stephen's Green and Christ's Church. 

These are a couple window shots from Christ's Church. Seeing as we went on a Sunday, the main church and crypt were closed, but that didn't stop us from sneaking up a staircase to get pictures like these. Afterwords we stopped at a pub to have a few Guinness. Monday I went to class and then we met up to go to the Jameson Distillery, which I had never been to even though it's around the corner from my flat. 

Tuesday was a day of adventure. On Monday we had decided to take a day trip somewhere in the mountains, so Mike could see what Ireland was like outside of Dublin. We decided on a tour through Wicklow County, including Glendalough, Sally Gap, and an old monastary that looked younger than it was. The weather started out less than spectacular, but by the afternoon, it was a gorgeous sunny day. 

 Wednesday, we ventured to the seaside town Howth, and walked around a trail on top of the mountain it is built on. After the hike, we treated ourselves to fresh seafood at a restaurant at the wharf. Unfortunately I got sick that day (not from the food), so once we got home I pretty much just went to bed.

Thursday we had plans to go to Guinness, by that time the city was packed with thousands of tourists coming in for the festival. When we got to the Guinness storehouse, we saw tons of people outside luckily they weren't all trying to go on tours at the same time we were. The best part of that tour, as anyone will tell you, is the Guinness and the view you get from the Gravity Bar reaching from above the rooftops above Dublin. It was a grey day, but you could see further than the pictures show.

Friday was when the real invasion started, every pub on a main street was crowded after 6pm. Luckily. we knew of a couple places that weren't well known, but they were packed with Irish instead of tourists. We made some friends and memories Friday night, just as my Irish friends all wanted. There was singing, dancing, and even a few pics taken (to be added later). 

 As is truly St. Paddy's Day tradition, it was a short amount of time between getting home on Friday and waking up on Saturday to continue the festivities. We went to the parade, which really is like nothing I'd seen before, it was full of dancers (not just traditional Irish), and floats that were huge moving displays if art. 
The parade was full of children and colors. I'll put up more pics soon. 

After the parade, we decided to watch the finals of the 6 Nations Rugby Tournament with a couple of friends, it was quite a ruckus when Ireland lost 2nd place to the English. We were exhausted from a week of being on our feet, but we still had one stop to make before we could end the night. So we went over to my friend Rush's flat to meet some of her friends. We were way to tired to be social for very long, so we left when our week of adventures finally caught up with us. Mike flew out early Sunday morning so he could make it back for an exam Monday, and I went to sleep! 

Altogether, it was an awesome week. I needed to see more of the city and country, and visitors are the best reason to do that! Dad comes in 1 1/2 weeks so I'll find some more to see! Hope you are all well.