Almost St-Patrick’s Day in Dublin

Posted on 04. Feb, 2010 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Ireland

I desperately wanted to be in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day. There is no greater celebration than a country’s national holiday, and the Irish certainly know how to get the party started. I had almost bought my green wig and I was already excited about the green beer. But things didn’t exactly go as planned. I ended up not being able to visit Dublin for the celebrations, but instead two days before. I figured that it was either that or no trip at all, so I decided to go anyway and enjoy the er… pre-party.

After a quick ride on the 747 bus from the airport, I strolled down O’Connell Street from Parnell Square to the Leiffe. Parnell Square was actually cute and interesting, and I really thought I was off to a good start. That is until I continued my exploration and quickly realized that obviously the big hype about Ireland being pretty clearly wasn’t due to its capital.

Parnell Square

Underwhelming sights came one after the other. The Spire? Just a tall, pointy metal thing. The famine statues? Evocative, but not impressive. The bridges crossing the Leiffe river? Other than the Ha’Penny bridge, nothing to brag about. I also noticed that most establishments on the main streets were slightly rundown, left to decay or simply deserted by their owner. What was going on in Dublin? I knew the city wasn’t the most thriving of the European economical zone but I certainly didn’t expect anything so sad.

I ended up in St. Stephen’s Green area, which was surprisingly enchanting. I thought the architecture of the mall had a romantic touch to it and sort of helped Dublin get a few points back. It was soon time for dinner, and I had every intention of indulging on a classic Irish pub, both for the comfort food and the tasty cider. I ended up at the Hairy Lemon and genuinely enjoyed myself. I went to bed thinking that although my first day was somewhat disappointing, maybe things would be better with a good night’s sleep.

Merrion Square

Luckily, it was! The weather was glorious and definitely helped my mood. That, and the funny story about the colored doors of Merrion Square. Legend has it that after an evening at the pub, drunk Irish men recognized their home because of the door colour and not the actual address. Gotta love those drunk Irish stories!

As I was travelling with a beer lover, missing the Guinness Storehouse was unthinkable. I’m glad I went because even though I don’t like beer myself, it was actually very interesting and interactive.  I even got the chance to learn how to pour my own Guinness and get a “Perfect Guinness” certificate! Well worth the long walk to get there as it’s a bit out of the city center. Plus, as a bonus, you get a complimentary Guinness and a free entrance to the Gravity Bar, which boasts great views over the city. I suggest you book your tickets in advance not only to avoid the long queues but also to get a 10% discount. Clickie!

Guinness Storehouse

All in all I’m glad I went to Dublin because I know for a fact I will not be going back. I gave it a chance, but I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything by not staying longer - I just didn’t have any connection to the city. Next time I set foot in Ireland, it’s going to be in the beautiful, green country to cross that roadtrip off my bucket list.

Did you visit Dublin or another Irish city? What did you think of it? Did I miss out on something that would’ve made me enjoy the city more?

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