St Patrick’s Day in Dublin
Hey Frappées !
Let’s talk about a destination that is not Indonesia on this blog.
Two months ago now (time flies so fast), I had the pleasure of being invited to take part in the St Patrick’s Festival on Irish land, because there’s nothing better than soaking into tradition right at the source.
I took off on March 16 to Dublin on Aer Lingus, an Irish airline that connects Paris CDG to Dublin several times a day. After landing in the early afternoon at Dublin airport, a taxi was expecting me. I’m used to public transportation, so it sure felt good ! I had to meet with the tourism office representative in charge at 7 pm. So once I had dropped the luggage in the pretty room – I mean pretty suite booked for me – I still had 4 hours left to wander around town.
And my first impressions about Dublin were : Typical brick houses. Cheerful and friendly Irish. Flowers and plants everywhere to brighten up daily life. Beyond neat gardens. Colored doors that make you stop every 50 metres. Sunsets on the river. Pubs at every street corner – special mention to Temple Bar. Guinness !
Then at 7 pm, I met with the other Festival guests at the hotel lobby and we had dinner. That’s when I realised my blog trip turned out to be a press trip, with journalists from all over the world : India, Spain, the USA, England, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, China, etc … Wow ! We all had a quick briefing about the St Patrick’s Festival, and I was off to bed.
The next day obviously started with a copious breakfast, before heading out to the Festival as an International Media – whoop whoop !
The conference took place at the Belvedere House, where we learned about the 2016 Festival theme – Imagine If – which comes as a logical continuation of the two previous years’ themes. Preparing such a festival is quite the task. This year, it was all about the children and the future. They were encouraged to use their imagination and creativity. But children certainly don’t lack these traits.
The first part of our immersion took place on an open roof bus. From up there, we were able to witness the immense crowd gathered to watch the parade. And the big surprise was that the bus was part of it, in fact we were almost leading the march. It was a strange feeling to parade among the crowd with thousands of eyes upon us. While waving at them like stars, we were introduced as the “International Media bus” and everyone would applauded ! It was positively crazy. Congratulations to all those who trained for that day and marched before so many spectators – the pressure would have crushed me hahaha .. The streets were literally swarming with people, all dressed with the colors of Ireland, all smiley faces, all happy to be here. They were everywhere – in the trees, on the roofs, on the statues, on the window legdes, … EVERYWHERE !
*The warm-up artists from our bus – to make the crowd crazy*
*The beautiful crowd*
*The colorful parade*
As you can see from these many pictures, the Festival was highly colorful and it was exhilarating to see such happiness on the face of every participant ! When I got to Dublin, the taxi driver told me that every year, St Patrick’s day was all rain. Well, I guess we were lucky in 2016 because there was no rain at all – instead we had sunny weather ! Lucky us ! After the parade, we had lunch in a beautiful restaurant before being left on our own. So a few comrades and I decided to take a stroll and have a drink. For Paddy’s Day, the whole town was celebrating. Everybody wore accessories for the occasion. The streets were filled, especially around Temple Bar. It all made for a festive atmosphere. And once again, I was able to enjoy the sunset while taking pictures of a nice trio of pals who asked me just for the fun of it ! Did I mention I find Irish people very nice ?!
After that long day, it was already time to get back to the hotel to pack up for my next destination : Boston ! Yippee ! So I parted with the rest of the group of journalists who were going to the Skerries. I was a bit jealous because it looked great – a little bit of nature never hurts – but hey .. Boston !
After a good breakfast at the hotel, I headed to the Dublin airport, which is pretty nice and convenient by the way. Trust me – I spent 10 hours there on my flight back. It features tables to recharge your phone and wifi is free and unlimited. It saved my life ! =D All they have to do now is remove the armrests between each seat to allow for quick naps. Another advantage of this airport is that when you fly to the US, you can fill up a pre-declaration of customs in Dublin ! It saves you big time when you get to Boston where you can get out directly. Those who have already been to the US know what I’m talking about 😉
Anyway, after a 7h flight – that felt like a lot less thanks to Aer Lingus – I was off to new adventures in Boston ! ♥ Don’t miss the next episode !
I hope I got you immersed with me into the St Patrick’s Festival and that you won’t miss an opportunity to go there. What I know for sure is that I’ll go back to Dublin / in Ireland because there are so many places left to taste and it’s also a good excuse for a road trip, am I right ?
See you soon Trotters !