Hiya! This week we decided we were going to do some of the touristy things around Dublin, and we couldn’t successfully complete this goal without a trip to the National Leprechaun Museum. During the day, the museum offers a lighthearted tour where the audience mainly consists of children and families. However, they also offer night tours in which they tell some of the darker tales of Irish folklore. We were told that around 90% of all old Irish folklore would be inappropriate for the day tours, so immediately we knew we were going to be told some interesting stories. We were led into a few different rooms and in each room, we were told a story. I don’t remember enough of the details to even attempt to share the stories, and when I tried to find them online I was completely out of luck. Anyway, the stories were fascinating, and Irish folklore is something I hope to explore further.
After the museum and all the of the other things we had done this past week, there really couldn’t be a better ending than us going to the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Normally, I don’t really care about this holiday. Obviously, this is a huge drinking holiday and I don’t partake so there really isn’t much there for me. But, being that I am in Ireland I figured I should at least go and check out the parade – and it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences ever, but let me back up for a second.
The parade was to start at noon, so we figured we’d leave at 10:30 so we could get good spots. We left on time, but as soon as we started seeing other people I realized I wanted (and needed) to be more festive. I literally wasn’t even wearing green… so as soon as we got off the bus I was on the hunt for anything that would help, and luckily for me after some walking around we saw someone doing facepaint. Score. This was perfect (and it was quick and only cost 3 euro). So now I had some facepaint, but I still felt like I was missing something, so I then went looking for an Irish flag. We walked and walked until we eventually got to O’Connell Street (the main street the parade was on), and then I saw it. The place where I knew I would be able to find it, the most touristy shop there is: Carroll’s Irish Gifts. I ran in to get a flag, and of course, it was mobbed with people. Like, just regular people gift shopping. Didn’t these people know that the parade was going to start in ten minutes and some people needed lat minute outfit additions? Anyway, I found the flag and was out of there a lot quicker than I thought. But by this point, the parade was to start any minute and we didn’t have a place.
We wandered up and down the street hoping for a decent spot where we would be able to see. Unfortunately, we didn’t find one. We just kinda picked a spot and waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, we heard the parade coming towards us and for the first ten minutes, I just felt meh. I guess I just thought parades weren’t my thing, but as it went on I started to really enjoy it. The marching bands and the floats were great and the energy was surreal. Towards the end, it started to rain and a lot of people ended up leaving, so for the last 20 minutes we had a great view and it was just an incredible experience. Although it was kind of a struggle for the first half of the day, I am so happy I went. Anybody that knows me knows I normally hate being around huge crowds of people, but I really enjoyed being around so many happy people where everyone was just having a good time. Spending St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is something I never would’ve thought that I wanted to do until it happened. I am so grateful I was able to experience this and that I will have these memories forever. See ya next week – Cassidy