And I thought MSU did Saint Paddy’s big! I had absolutely no idea what to expect when we flew into Dublin, Ireland the Wednesday before Saint Paddy’s Day. Our flight arrived about 40 minutes late around 11:30 pm and we had naturally booked our shuttle to the hotel for 11:40. We hustled off the plane determined to make the shuttle only to be greeted by a passport control line with 150 people before us….and at least 90% of them were American study abroad students who flew in for Saint Paddy’s Day. I remember someone once telling me that on Saint Paddy’s Day, “all the locals fly out of Dublin so the Americans can fly in” and oh my god they were right.
After we finally made it through the line, found a new shuttle, and to the hotel room (booked for 2, we squeezed in 6 because we like being uncomfy? Why do we keep doing this?!) we had the luxury of sleeping a full 3 hours before we had to wake up. Our first event of the trip was a 13 hour tour to and from the Cliffs of Moher. Our bus was naturally filled with only American college students and our tour guide was named Paddy, fitting right?
Stop #1 The Village of Kinvara and Dunguaire Castle. A beautiful little town with white stone houses and rushing rivers. We walked clock-wise around the castle, slipping down the muddy paths almost every chance we got, sorry boots, you’re done for.
Stop #2 Doolin Harbour. After the castle we drove for probably an hour more and were just about 10 minutes from Doolin when we hit a problem. Our massive coach bus was driving down this tiny dirt road, definitely only big enough to be a 1-way but Ireland said “this’ll be more fun”. And it was, kind of. We hit our first problem when another bus approached us head on. A Mexican Standoff commenced until the other bus, finally decided to start backing up. Only to be slowed down by 3 approaching cars. Maybe our driver would have started backing up himself, if we weren’t being tailed by 3 other huge coach tour busses too. Long story short, what should have been a 10 minute drive up the dirt road, turned into a 30 minute swear off between bus drivers until finally (applause) ours won.
For lunch I had seasfood stew, 10/10, Homemade Irish Brown bread, 9/10, and (Mom are you reading this?) Rhubarb and strawberry pie. Made me miss you ❤
Finally, we made it to the Cliffs of Moher and my breath was absolutely taken away. I mean this both literally and figuratively, because the wind was so strong that high up that there were points breathing was difficult, and obviously because the cliffs were one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I won’t try to describe it, but instead show you pictures instead.
So that was Thursday, and Saint Patrick’s Day was Friday. And Saturday. And, honestly, some Sunday too.
Saint Paddy’s in Dublin is exactly what you would expect, times maybe a 500,000 more people, throw in some rain, and obviously add in that nice text from your bank account telling you to chill out.
It was absolutely insane. We stayed watching the parade for a while before we moved to Temple Bar (it’s an entire street, not just 1 bar!) for the rest of the day. We found bars with live singers playing crowd favorites, bars with old men playing the banjo and bars with Irish dancing on tables. Wild.
Saturday was the most Irish Day I have ever seen or imagined. We took the tram to the outskirts of Dublin and from there walked in the blowing rain down cobblestone streets lined with skinny houses to reach the Guinness Store House. We were there for 5 hours. Not waiting in line, not standing around doing nothing, but having so much fun. We toured the whole huge building, went to the Gravity Bar to drink our complimentary Guinness, which I love, and we ate stew at the restaurant on the second floor. And, obviously, bought souvenirs that I do not need, but are pretty dang cute.
Overall, this might’ve been my favorite trip so far. The people I met were angels, the sights I saw were out of this world, and the beer was heavenly.
Till next time Ireland, miss you already ❤