Another Paddy’s day in Dublin… Hmmm... Having seen the parade a few years before, I wasn’t exactly too excited to be taking part in this event again this year. Especially that it didn't impress me at all the first time I saw it. All I remember from that parade was being cold and wet (surprise, surprise - it was raining!) and seeing a lot of loud and drunk teenagers everywhere trying to pick a fight. I didn't really see much of the parade itself either cause I wasn't anywhere close to the barriers - I've seen a lot of heads in front of me though 😉 One thing I did enjoy about Paddy’s weekend that year was a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. We went there a day before Paddy’s day and it seemed that all the tourists visiting Dublin that weekend came up with the same idea as the place was packed! Even though we had to queue for an hour to actually get inside, still it was totally worth it! Many bands taking part in the parade the next day, came to show off theirs skills before the main event. There were performances on each floor, music was filling
the whole place and all around you could find stands with snacks to fill the stomachs of hungry tourists and free samples of Guinness to quench their thirst. Overall, there was a great atmosphere in the air, we were walking around, learning all about the brewing processes, watching the performances and people all around while having little bites to eat and tasting the brewery’s 'One and only product' along the way. Of course the experience wouldn’t be full without learning how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness and later on enjoying it in the bar on the top floor! Guinness Storehouse is a place worth a visit on any day really, but on Paddy’s weekend it’s even more enjoyable!
Since my sister hasn’t been to the parade yet and my parents were coming over for the weekend, I decided I’ll give the parade a second chance! Weather forecast for the weekend was just horrible but that wouldn’t stop up on this day, so armed with umbrellas and our hopes high, we headed to town! Once we got to town, it was time to decorate ourselves with some ‘green stuff’. It wasn’t difficult since on every corner there were
stands with all sorts of hats, scarves, flags, stickers and many more gadgets to choose from. Shortly after we were ready to join the crowds. The parade was supposed to start at 12.00 and since we were close to its ending point, we had plenty of time before it would reach us, so instead of waiting, we just started moving through the crowds towards College Green trying to find a perfect spot somewhere there. The further we went, the more crowded it got, but there was still no sight of the parade anywhere. At some point it started to drizzle a bit and looking at the clouds that were heading in our direction it was just a little warning of what would come next. But somehow the clouds passed us by and it turned out to be a pretty nice day after all – funny though because later on we found out that in our part of Dublin it was actually hailing!!! Right place at the right time I guess?! We picked a place on Dame Street – there was no point moving any further as it was getting just too crowded, but then it was getting louder and louder
all around, which could only mean one thing - the parade was getting close. I actually didn’t know that at the time, but every parade has its own theme – this year’s was ‘How? What? Why?’ exploring the wonders of science. Overall the parade was ok, nothing spectacular but there definitely were some pretty good performers and costumes. Still the best part was simply watching the crowds cheering and smiling, enjoying the atmosphere. People from all sorts of nationalities and cultures, all dressed or at least decorated with something green, integrating together and celebrating Irish culture. Apparently 3,000 performers took part in the parade and more than 500,000 people showed up on that day to see it. I have to say that this year I enjoyed it much more than the first time. Was it really that much different from the one I've seen before? I seriously doubt it… I do know that it’s me that changed with time, appreciating more what I have and experience, I definitely look at things differently now then the few years back.
We walked around a little bit more afterwards, but since it was packed everywhere and there were more and more drunk
people around, we grabbed the car and went away from town, stopping for some lovely stew and a pint of Guinness closer to home and cheering for the Irish team playing rugby against England. Sadly they lost though... Still we had a really good time and it turned out to be a nice day out after all.
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