Wow, friends, what a weekend! As you know from my last post, it was St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland on Thursday. However, since it’s Ireland, the city was abuzz with events all weekend. There was so much to do we had to choose the events we went to wisely to get the most out of our weekend. Here’s a little peek at what we did!
We didn’t have any classes because it’s a national holiday. Some friends and I decided to head to the city center for the parade that packs the city. It was great! There were TONS of marching bands and bagpipe players and it reminded me of the Detroit Thanksgiving Parade. After we saw about half of the parade, we packed it up and went to the next event that we had planned for the day: the Hurling and Gaelic Football finals at Croke Park! The teams that were in the finals had never been there before, so that made the crowds electric and so much fun to be a part of! We then walked back to the city center to grab some dinner (the streets were mobbed with tourists) and then we headed home. Dublin was absolutely packed for the whole day and it was an odd experience seeing my sweet little city of Dublin that’s usually so quiet and easygoing stuffed to the gills.
The festivities continued on Thursday into Friday. I had homework to finish on Friday morning so I stayed in, but during the afternoon, I ventured out to the city center again to check out an event one of my professors had told me about – Ceili Dancing in the Streets. This is exactly what it sounds like. A whole street of Dublin was shut down and a stage was set up where Ceili dancing was being taught to the crowd of people who had gathered in the street. We learned some traditional Irish line dances and one of our friends even got asked to dance by an Irishman! It was so much fun! After, we grabbed some gelato for the trek home, because we needed nourishment obviously.
The RAs of the IES Program wanted to do something fun for the weekend, too, so they planned a field trip for Saturday. We went to Causey Farm where we got to do many fun farm things. Here’s a quick list of activities: baking our own soda bread, learning to dance an Irish jig and play an Irish instrument called the Bodhran (pronounced Barron), play Hurling, play with sheep, milk a cow, and jump in a bog. Yes, jump in a bog. I personally didn’t do it, but my sister did and it sounded like a lot of fun! It was a great day and broke up the weekend well.
Even on Sunday, there were activities going on for St. Patrick’s Day! Around noon, some friends and I went down to the Chester Beatty Library behind Dublin Castle to hear traditional Irish storytelling. It was for families, so there were a lot of little kids there, but also a lot of older people. The story was about the Irish Fianna (Irish warriors) and how they met time, youth, and life while out exploring one day. It was so educational and we got to explore the library afterward. It was the perfect end to a great weekend! How did you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day?
I realized yesterday that I only have four weeks left here in Ireland. There’s still so much to do and I still have travel plans for this beautiful country yet. I’ll be sure to keep you up to date!
Until next time!