Destination Ireland: A St. Patrick’s Day Must

Destinations Other Than SpainEventssliderTime OutTravel
by Mary Foran
So close and yet so far…Haven’t you always wanted to see Ireland for yourself? Sure, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but wouldn’t you like to see the real thing?
This St. Patrick’s Day, why don’t you check out last-minute flights from Madrid to Dublin on the following sites:
There is no doubt you can find cheap return flights for the St.Patrick’s Day
weekend, and if you make it a four-day adventure, you can fit in most of the sights and sounds and degustation which Ireland
is famous for.

If you do make it to Ireland for the Big Day, be sure to see Dublin Castle, have a pint of Guinness at the Temple Bar, visit the Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery, take in the Dublin Zoo, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, take a tour of  the Guinness Storehouse which was established in 1759 with a 9,000 year lease, and be sure to wear something green!

Have lunch in the Mary/High Street restaurants, visit the goulish Kilmainham Gaol, and learn about the scores of famous Irish writers at the Dublin writer’s Museum, from James Joyce, through Oscar Wilde and Beckett. Go to Trinity College and see the Book of Kells, an embroidered Latin version of the Bible. Then take in the National History Museum for a free tour that will teach you about the real Irish, from the age of the Vikings through Irish Independence. You can do all this on your own, or save walking by taking a tour bus option.
Now, ahem, the Irish are a bit sensitive about Ugly Americans, and Ugly Tourists in general, so there are a few things you should and should not do on your trip to the Emerald Isle:
> Don’t talk about the Leprechauns you are seeing everywhere–they’ll think you’ve gone bonkers or are tipsy!
> Don’t order corned beef and cabbage–that is an American invention and not a traditional Irish dish.
> Don’t use a phony Irish accent and avoid saying “erin go bragh”.
> Don’t order an “Irish car bomb” or a “Black and Tan”, both American-invented drinks which have nothing to do with the Irish.
> Do visit Galway, Belfast, Killarney National Park, Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher.
> Don’t talk about American or Spanish politics, or politics in general. You don’t want to start a bar fight!
> Don’t brag about being Irish–you weren’t born there!
> Don’t compare Ireland to home, just enjoy!
> Do order a Guinness, but don’t crack potato jokes–too many Irish people died in the famine to joke about it.
> Do eat potato-wedge chips.
> Rent a car through!

Greening of the city starts at 5:00 pm on 5 March. Hurry!

If you go, plan to stay at least 4 days to fully savor the adventure of St.Patrick’s Day in Ireland. There will be fun fairs, live music, a 5K race and you’ll be delighted with the “Greening of the City” in which Dublin’s buildings are lighted in green. Cork holds a four-day festival, and Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland also put on a show.
The town of Downpatrick, the burial place of St. Patrick,hosts a festival with live entertainment and events for the whole family, although you should book ahead for accommodations.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t go around pinching people who aren’t wearing green: that is an American-invented custom!
So be prepared to get up early to see the parades, and bring enough cash to pay for your miscellaneous expenses instead of credit cards which may not be accepted.
Remember, you’re going to be in Ireland, an independent country since 1922.
So near and yet so far…The Emerald Isle is calling!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

Images by www.stpatrick’sfestival unless otherwise stated.
Temple Bar/Cotton, wikimedia, CC BY-SA3.0 cropped
Downpatrick/Ardfern, CC BY-SA3.0 cropped