Of course St. Patrick’s Day is a huge deal in Ireland so I was very excited to see what was going to be happening. A few people threw around the idea of going to Dublin, but as all the hostels had been booked since September some people figured they would just go, stay up all night, and take the early morning bus back. This didn’t sound appealing to me at all, and since Belfast is the second biggest city in Ireland I figured there would be a lot going on here.
That is, until I booked a trip to Scotland with Acacia.
The trip was only about $30 for the flight, round trip. The catch was that I had to fly out of Dublin at 8 a.m. on the 18th. The day after St. Patrick’s day. So, I figured what the hell, I’m young, the experience will be a cool one, I might as well go for it. And that’s how I wound up in Dublin on St. Patrick’s day.
After almost everyone else backed out me and 5 other people met up at 6 a.m. to take the early bus to Dublin. It was me, Diogo, Renan, Acacia, Noah, and Chelsea. The bus ride was 2.5 hours, most of which I slept through, and when we got there we met up with Chelsea’s friend Kim, who was visiting from where she was studying in Italy. We walked around for a bit then made our way to the street to watch the parade. The parade was unlike anything I have ever seen, or expected. I figured it would have to do with Irish history, but each county of Ireland would start out with some bizarre float and dancing people in costume, followed by something traditional, like a marching band.
The parade left me rather shocked and bewildered, but I didn’t have much time to dwell on it. Renan and Diogo (who, along with Acacia, are from Brazil), had met up with 2 other girls from Brazil who were staying in Dublin and they wanted to show us where we could eat Brazilian food. Soon we were in a huge crowd of people trying to stick together while inching along through people shoving to get by. By this time it was about 1 p.m. or so and most of the people around us were drunk. We finally pushed through and made it to the food court that served the Brazilian food. After waiting about a half hour we finally got a table and I tried some traditional Brazilian beans and rice along with some guarana, which was a delicious type of pop. After we ate, the Brazilian girls walked us to a part of Dublin where there was yet another huge crowd, this one full of Brazilians. So now not only could I not move, but I had no idea what anyone around me was saying. It was at about this time that Chelsea, Kim, Acacia, and I had, had enough of the crowds. We left the guys with the Brazilian girls and walked to a place where it was quieter. This whole time Acacia and I had been carrying the bags we were taking to Scotland around with us, so we were anxious to find a place to drop them off. After passing by St. Patrick’s Cathedral (it was closed so we couldn’t go in) and getting some shamrocks outside, we headed for the bus station to drop our luggage off.
After getting to the bus station we discovered that we couldn’t drop our luggage off there because we wanted to leave it there for longer than the station stayed open. After asking around we finally dropped them off at a 24 hour internet cafe. Then we walked to a bar and listened to some music until Chelsea and her friend decided to catch the 2 a.m. bus back to Belfast. The boys were still with the Brazilian girls so we assumed they were probably still out, and most likely were going to crash at the girl’s apartment (which is exactly what they did). Acacia and I couldn’t catch a bus to the airport until around 5:30, so we still had a lot of time to kill. After stopping in a McDonalds so Acacia could get a coffee (even though I had been up for almost 24 hours I still refused to drink coffee) we went back to the internet cafe, got online for about 2 hours then spent the last hour till the bus came sitting in the frigid cold outside of the station while I fell in and out of sleep.
After being up for over 24 hours we finally boarded a plane to Scotland for 3 days. I don’t remember anything about the flight except getting on the plane. I fell asleep before takeoff and didn’t wake up until after the plane had taxied into the terminal. Overall it was fun and definitely an experience, but not one I want to repeat anytime soon.
Here’s a picture of me looking like a tourist wearing one of my friend’s hats during the parade.