This past week in Dublin was one of the most hectic and eventful weeks I have had in a long time. The week started with an HC group activity on Saturday with Silvia, our cultural coordinator. Silvia took us to see a production of the Tony-Award winning musical Once at the Gaiety theater. Seeing the production in Dublin was quite a treat because it is also the setting of the musical itself. Not only was Saturday the day of our HC gathering, but it was also the day that my sister arrived to visit me for her spring break. My parents arrived two days later for a week of family-filled adventures. While I went to class my parents did some touring around the city and saw the National Gallery and Christ Church Cathedral. Together we took a day trip to a quaint seaside suburb called Howth, which is a twenty-minute train ride north of the city. There, we walked along the water, wandered through the fish markets and had delicious, fresh fish for lunch. Among many other activities last week I also finally bought my first Irish sweater, went out to many lunches and dinners with my family at Dublin restaurants that I had been dying to eat at for moths, and I introduced my parents to the new HC friends that I have met in Dublin this semester.
While I spent the week running around trying to squeeze time out of my schedule to spend time with my family between classes and schoolwork, the city of Dublin spent the week gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day. By March 14th the city was packed with tourists and the shops were full of costumes and green paraphernalia for the big day. I have never seen the city so full and I have to admit, it was quite overwhelming. Everywhere I walked I heard people speaking a different language and the quiet little side streets I used to wander were now filled with street vendors and performers. Unfortunately neither my sister nor my parents stayed in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, but my friend Catherine (who is studying at St. Andrews this year) came to stay with me for the weekend festivities.
Despite the insanity of the masses of people and the endless sea of green, I have to say, I can’t think of a cooler place to be on St. Patrick’s Day than in Dublin. The morning of the parade Catherine and I woke up to what else but snow! I, like everyone else in the city, just piled on a few extra layers of green and grabbed my umbrella to head out into the flurries. I was even able to get a decent view of the parade, watching from the steps of a pub so I could see over people’s heads. It was a very long day, starting around 9am to get ready for the parade and lasting until the wee hours of the morning. The city truly came alive this past weekend and I am so glad that I was here to be a part of it. Between St. Patrick’s Day and the visit from my family, I would definitely say that this has been the best week in Dublin thus far.
Katie Riley '14