St Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland

Pic: The 340 strong LSU Tiger Marching Band on St. Paddy’s in Dublin (Mar 2014)
Another one to tick off my bucket list: Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin! Days after I published my book review ‘101 places to get f*cked up before you die‘, I received an invitation from the tourism board of Ireland to attend St. Patrick’s day in Dublin. I generally don’t accept comped trips, as it takes away the fun of scoring those exceptional hotel and airline deals, but I made an exception for this one. Aer Lingus flew me from Brussels to Dublin in 1h40m arriving at the new Terminal 2 (opened in Nov 2010). I was surprised by how modern the Dublin airport was and the high number of international destinations it serves. Did you know Aer Lingus has a direct flight between Dublin and San Francisco? That’s probably linked to the fact many large internet companies have major offices in Dublin: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo!, … which makes it the Silicon Valley of Europe.

Pic: Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn, welcoming us in Ireland (Mar 2014)
St Paddys day is celebrated on March 17, which was a Monday this year. As I arrived on Saturday March 15, I had time for some other activities too. I joined a group of 40 journalist from around the globe for a Welcome Reception hosted by the Lord Mayor or Dublin followed by a guide city tour. Later in the afternoon, we were offered a master class Irish Coffee making at the beautiful rooftop lounge of The Marker hotel.

Pic: Master Class Irish Coffee Making at The Marker Hotel, Dublin (Mar 2014)
On Saturday night, I met up with Belgian friend Bart and his Facebook colleagues Chris and Daniel to watch the Six Nations Championship Rugby Finals in Irish pub The Barge. The Irish won from the French, which resulted in a outburst of joy & emotion. For our ride from the pub to our dinner venue Bear, I ordered an Uber car which turned out to be an awesome 6 door Mercedes-Benz stretch limo!

Pic: Our Uber 6-door Mercedes-Benz stretch limousine ride in Dublin (Mar 2014)
After our dinner at Bear (try the delicious ribs!) it went on to Bar with No Name and 37 Dawson Street where we partied away the night.

Pic: Breakfast at Radisson Blu Royal in Dublin (Mar 2014)
Sunday was more relax with a late breakfast at the Radisson Blu Royal, followed by a visit to Dublin coastal village Howth.

Pic: St Patricks Day crowds in the streets of Dublin, Ireland (Mar 2014)
And then it was finally the big day, the St Patrick’s Day parade in the streets of Dublin! Everyone wearing green, fun hats, shamrock and a great atmosphere. As international journalists we had the privilege to ride a double deck bus in the parade to enjoy everything with a birds eye view!

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