Last week, I went to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I went with my regular group of friends from Spain and our friend Justin from Korea. Our flight was early Friday morning, so I stayed up the whole night Thursday, until we caught a bus to the airport and finally arrived in the city. We started by visiting Trinity College and getting some breakfast. Afterwards we took a bus to our hotel, about 45 minutes outside the city, where we finally got to get some rest. Afterwards we explored the small town of Leixlip where our hotel was and had dinner, and then headed back into the city. We walked around Temple Bar, which is a very popular area and home to a number of really good pubs and bars in the center of the city. On Saturday, we got a chance to explore more of the city. Dublin is surprisingly small, but also a pretty classic European city, with most buildings no taller than 3 to 4 stories, and many older, classical looking cathedrals, temples, and government building from hundreds of years ago. Another nice part of the city is where the River Liffey runs through the center of Dublin, and many bridges are built across, making for a number of nice views. We went into a pub and watched a 6 nations rugby match, and afterwards walked through St. Stevens Green, Grafton Street, and eventually made our way back to Temple Bar for a few drinks.
On St. Patrick’s Day itself, we woke up early to prepare for the parade, only to find it snowing quite heavily. Luckily, it did not last too long and we eventually made our way back to the city with a good view. The streets were lined with people, wearing all kinds of green and St. Patrick’s Day clothing. The parade was pretty cool, with a whole bunch of unique floats, and a surprising amount of American involvement, including some New York firefighters, police volunteers, and a lot of university and high school marching bands. After the parade, things got pretty crazy, but was a lot of fun. We headed back to the Temple Bar area and went inside a few pubs throughout the day, in between all the festivities going on in the streets, and finished the night in one of the local clubs. On Monday, we headed back to the city for the last time, where we visited the Dublin Castle and got a tour of the Guinness Factory. The factory is a huge complex, and we got to see the whole process of how the beer is made, sample some of it, see some of the history of Guinness, and how Guinness is doing today. At the end of the tour, at the very top of complex is the Gravity Bar. Here we got 1 free pint and some amazing views with an entire 360 degree view of Dublin from one of its highest points.
This week was much less exciting. We headed to the airport after touring the factory, and finally got back home very late Monday night. The rest of the week I took it easy as I recovered from not getting enough sleep and I have been fighting another cough for the past couple of days. It was a regular week of classes, and on Friday night, I met up with some of my group members and we went to a pub around the corner to celebrate finishing our long project.