As usual I said I would get back to you and didn't, but at least this time I actually have a decent reason. Rearranging one's whole life, along with trying to fit in all those things I was supposed to do before I left and haven't, does tend to keep a person quite busy I've gotten a good bit figured out including plane tickets and hostels, etc. Some things, like me taxes, keep haunting me, but I'll get to them eventually. However, I'm sure you are all wondering about St. Patrick's Day in Ireland (or maybe it's been so long you've forgotten) so I'm here to give you a little run down!
We decided to start the day off by heading to the ever classic St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin. However, in our normal fashion, we arrived quite late and were unable to really see what was going on. I think most of us pushed our way forward enough to get a view at some point or another, but we didn't last long. Also arriving late meant we had to get a move on in order to get to our next destination.
Here's a shot of the madness right in front of the ever famous GPO.
And another shot of the madness looking the other way down O'Connell.
So our next stop, and big entertainment for the day, was Croke Park for the all Ireland finals of hurling and gaelic football. As we arrived here late (big surprise I know) after fighting our way through all the crowds, we came in on the middle of the hurling. Now, while the hurling was definitely interesting and cool to watch it wasn't too much of a let down to be late, as it wasn't the big event. It was a most definite second runner to the gaelic football. Hurling, for those that don't know, is very similar to field hockey and is said to be the fastest game on land. It's been a while since I've played field hockey, but I think the one big difference is that in hurling you can pick the ball up and throw it around. However, maybe you can also do this in field hockey, who knows?
So we got warmed up with the hurling and then comes the gaelic football. Now, Irish people love this game and to add to that one of the teams was a Dublin team, so there was lots of support. Gaelic football is one weird sport. Very interesting, but to this American brain, quite odd. It's a mixture of football/soccer, American football, rugby, and a tiny bit of volleyball. Big difference between it and "regular" football would be that you can pick up the ball. The "end zones" have a typical football net with an American football goalpost above it. You can either kick a point into the net, for three points, or kick it between the goalposts, for one point. Overall there is a lot of hand handling the ball and the footwork is generally not as skilled as football players, but the game is incredibly intriguing. A very, very Irish experience and a truly wonderful way to spend St. Paddy's Day! And Krystal even got us our tickets for free
Nadia looking very fashionable in a shamrock hat!
On our way out there were all kinds of people including one overly dressed fan. This brings me to introduce you to COTU, otherwise known as Case of the Unfortunates. This feature is something my friend Matt A. has in his blog. And sadly, it's one of my favorites. So, I've now stolen it from him, to bring it's goodness to y'all.
And here she is on the left hand side dressed so lovely in blue and white (team colors). Trish was kind enough to point this lady out and then take a picture of "me" as evidence. Thanks Trish!
Sadly though, no Shamrock Shakes this year - guess it's not so Irish Until next time . . .