38. Molly Malone and a Black Velvet Band
Trip Start Apr 19, 2011
90Trip End May 25, 2013
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Arriving in the fair city of Dublin on Friday we remarked at first that it felt like we hadn´t left London at all. The same grey weather, the same style of building, ... but after just 48 hours, we can safely say that if you like drinking and singing and are looking for friendly, hospitable people, then a visit to Ireland for St. Patrick´s Day is well worth the expense. And what an expensive city it is.
Friday afternoon we explored the affluent south side - wandering around the Temple Bar area, having a first Guiness, and walking around the town to tick off some of the sights - Merrion Square, the Liffey river, and Trinity College
Saturday morning was hectic, with more than 500,000 people lining the main street to see the St. Patrick´s Day Parade. By the time we arrived, it was far too late for someone of my height to find a place from which to watch the going-ons. The seasoned professionals came equipped with ladders, and revellers climbed lampposts and stood on window ledges all hoping to get a good view of the floats. We ended up watching the parade through the window of a bus parked on the side of the road. Nevertheless, it was pretty good! They had an eco-energy theme, with elements like wind and water being the central focus.
Following the parade we headed to the Temple Bar area, along with every other man, woman, and child, to start the day of drinking. There were hundreds of beggars out, making quite a killing they were, and I even saw a dwarf dressed as a leprechaun offering photos opportunities! With drunk tourists squealing in delight and clambering over each other to get to him, I reckon he must have made a fair few hundred euros that day. We stayed around Temple Bar just long enough to watch the last of the Six Nations games and meet up with a few people
Jumping at the opportunity to escape the mess and have a more authentic St Patrick´s evening, we caught a taxi out to a tiny wee pub in Blackrock called O´Donohoes. Their band, She´s a Weapon, played a great set, with a mix of classic rock songs by Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, as well as Irish traditional tunes Molly Malone and Black Velvet Band. The one man on the bar was a busy boy, keeping up with the demands for drinks, even if that meant skipping out on washing the glasses altogether. The Irish were super friendly, drinking and dancing and singing all of us under the table, lasting, I hear, until well after 7am this morning.
Our final day was a short one. We only had time to enter the Trinity College old library and marvel at the Book of Kells, a 9th century Gospel manuscript, and 200,000 odd books and marble busts of famous philosophers in the Long Room, before bidding Ireland goodbye, for now...
In a word: Pubs!
Something interesting: I didn´t realise the Irish have their own language that isn´t Gaelic! We learnt Slàinte - meaning cheers!!
Rating out of 10 (on St. Patrick´s Day): 8