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Travel: A Day in Dublin on St Patrick's Day

Updated : 2019-03-16 10:05:43

The world is gathering its greens and heading to Dublin, the city famed for its words and the popular ruby-red stout. Why green? Because it is St Patrick’s Day weekend and there’s green everywhere. Green sugary clover on cupcakes, green nylon hair, green leggings, green horned caps, men in gigantic green sunshades, women in ropes of green beads. And if it could not get any greener -- green beer as well. St Patrick’s Day is the best time to be in Dublin. Find an inch on the parade route for your feet, hold your breath and your beer -- it is estimated that as many as 13 million pints of beer are consumed on St Patrick's Day, up from the usual 5.5 million per day. And when you are done with the parade and the greens, find the city’s other charms.

Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.

Dublin, the capital of Northern Ireland, gets its name from a combination of two Gaelic words: ‘dubh’ (black) and ‘linn' (referring to pool). Once upon a time a black pool actually existed by the River Poddle near the Castle Gardens at Dublin Castle. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Dublin, the capital of Northern Ireland, gets its name from a combination of two Gaelic words: ‘dubh’ (black) and ‘linn' (referring to pool). Once upon a time a black pool actually existed by the River Poddle near the Castle Gardens at Dublin Castle. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Celebrating on March 17 every year, St Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s most important festival. For centuries, the Irish have celebrated St Patrick’s Day as both a religious and social holiday, and today’s festivities include a massive parade, community events, and late night partying. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Celebrating on March 17 every year, St Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s most important festival. For centuries, the Irish have celebrated St Patrick’s Day as both a religious and social holiday, and today’s festivities include a massive parade, community events, and late night partying. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Getting a perfect place to watch the parade is a tricky thing. On the main parade day (March 17), streets start closing for vehicles as early as 4.30 am. An easy/expensive way out to watch the two-hour parade is to buy a seat in one of the three Grandstands - Parnell Square, Christ Church Cathedral, and St Patrick’s Cathedral. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Getting a perfect place to watch the parade is a tricky thing. On the main parade day (March 17), streets start closing for vehicles as early as 4.30 am. An easy/expensive way out to watch the two-hour parade is to buy a seat in one of the three Grandstands - Parnell Square, Christ Church Cathedral, and St Patrick’s Cathedral. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Dubbed the Unesco City of Literature, Dublin is the only city to have produced four Nobel literature laureates. He never won the coveted Nobel but ask a Dubliner about his favourite author and out pops the name of James Joyce, the man who immortalised Dublin in Ulysses. So, important is this novel to Dublin that it has marked the pathway of protagonist Leopold Bloom with copper plaques. The trail chronicles the passage of Bloom through Dublin on June 16, 1904. One can stop at Davy Byrne’s pub where fictional Bloom stops for gorgonzola cheese sandwich and a glass of burgundy and later picks up a lemon soap from Sweny’s, a pharmacy on 1 Lincoln Place. There’s a James Joyce Centre and you can find his piano and glasses at the Writer’s Museum. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Dubbed the Unesco City of Literature, Dublin is the only city to have produced four Nobel literature laureates. He never won the coveted Nobel but ask a Dubliner about his favourite author and out pops the name of James Joyce, the man who immortalised Dublin in Ulysses. So, important is this novel to Dublin that it has marked the pathway of protagonist Leopold Bloom with copper plaques. The trail chronicles the passage of Bloom through Dublin on June 16, 1904. One can stop at Davy Byrne’s pub where fictional Bloom stops for gorgonzola cheese sandwich and a glass of burgundy and later picks up a lemon soap from Sweny’s, a pharmacy on 1 Lincoln Place. There’s a James Joyce Centre and you can find his piano and glasses at the Writer’s Museum. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Dublin is the city of Oscar Wilde, an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, Wilde became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. There are wild stories about Wilde and he is at his irreverent best in Merrion Square Park – sprawled on a boulder under the shade of a tree. The statue almost stares at 1, Merrion Square, an upmarket Georgian Townhouse owned by Wilde’s father who was an oculist to Queen Victoria. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Dublin is the city of Oscar Wilde, an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, Wilde became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. There are wild stories about Wilde and he is at his irreverent best in Merrion Square Park – sprawled on a boulder under the shade of a tree. The statue almost stares at 1, Merrion Square, an upmarket Georgian Townhouse owned by Wilde’s father who was an oculist to Queen Victoria. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Arthur Guinness (1725-1803), founder of Guinness brewery, started his beer company by brewing two beers: a porter and an ale. The ale was dropped later in favour of the popular stout. In Dublin alone, 10-million pints of Guinness is produced daily. During a Guinness tour, experts teach you how to pour the perfect pint -- it takes 119.5 seconds to pour the ideal Guinness. The company was the first one in the country to register a trademark, introduce employee benefits and during World War II promised every British soldier a pint of beer on Christmas day. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Arthur Guinness (1725-1803), founder of Guinness brewery, started his beer company by brewing two beers: a porter and an ale. The ale was dropped later in favour of the popular stout. In Dublin alone, 10-million pints of Guinness is produced daily. During a Guinness tour, experts teach you how to pour the perfect pint -- it takes 119.5 seconds to pour the ideal Guinness. The company was the first one in the country to register a trademark, introduce employee benefits and during World War II promised every British soldier a pint of beer on Christmas day. (Preeti Verma Lal)
At the last count, Dublin has 666 licensed pubs. Of these, the oldest is The Brazen Head which was established in 1198 AD as a coach house. It was here that Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde ordered their fave ales and revolutionaries hatched their plans. Today, it is known for its Irish Stew, Beef and Guinness Stew, Brazen Bangers and Mash, Irish Coffee, and, of course, the drinks. (Preeti Verma Lal)
At the last count, Dublin has 666 licensed pubs. Of these, the oldest is The Brazen Head which was established in 1198 AD as a coach house. It was here that Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde ordered their fave ales and revolutionaries hatched their plans. Today, it is known for its Irish Stew, Beef and Guinness Stew, Brazen Bangers and Mash, Irish Coffee, and, of course, the drinks. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Dublin’s famous Trinity College boasts many celebrated graduates including Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, William Congreve and Bram Stoker (who wrote Dracula). Modelled after Oxford and Cambridge Universities, it was founded in 1592 as the ‘mother’ of a new university. Long Room, the college library houses nearly 5 million books that include a significant collection of manuscript, maps and printed music, the most famous being the Book of Kells dating back to 800 AD. (Preeti Verma Lal)
Dublin’s famous Trinity College boasts many celebrated graduates including Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, William Congreve and Bram Stoker (who wrote Dracula). Modelled after Oxford and Cambridge Universities, it was founded in 1592 as the ‘mother’ of a new university. Long Room, the college library houses nearly 5 million books that include a significant collection of manuscript, maps and printed music, the most famous being the Book of Kells dating back to 800 AD. (Preeti Verma Lal)
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