My St Patrick’s Day Birthday In Dublin

dub-1

Hey everyone, Happy St Patricks Day!! Okay, so I’m a little late on the greeting, but for those of you who celebrated, I hope it exceeded your expectations and you’re still carrying those happy vibes around with you. Being born on St Patrick’s Day, I have always wanted to celebrate my birthday in Ireland and this year I finally made it to Dublin!

Although if I’m being completely honest, this post is bitter sweet for me. Luca and I had broken up only two weeks prior but with the trip already booked and paid for, we thought, let’s just go and make the most of it. Well everything that could have gone wrong did, and now that I have a moment to look back on it all, it was no doubt the universe telling me “gurllll… you should have stayed home.” This trip was definitely not what I had always dreamed of.

Arrival… cute cottage houses and ice cold weather

Stepping off the plane I was immediately hit with an icy chill unlike nothing I have ever felt before. As I looked down at my ripped skinny jeans full of holes and tears, all I could think was I am so not prepared for this weather. I had heard that Ireland was prone to a lot of rain but I wasn’t expecting near freezing temperatures. I knew the minute we got to our accommodation I was going to have to change outfits and put on basically everything I brought with me to stay warm.

Making our way to the Airbnb, I was instantly captivated by the vibrant greens of the open fields and the cottage houses that lined the streets. With their beautiful stonework, large front yards and colourful flowers that lined the porches, they were some of the cutest houses I’d ever seen, and I could instantly imagine myself inside, warm and cosy drinking tea by a roaring fire, either writing or reading away.

Arriving at our accommodation, it was more modern than the cottage style I had been admiring during our walk, but still really cute. When it came to our room though, well  there’s only one way to describe it… small. Teeny tiny small. Images of the show tiny houses flashed through my mind, only this was the tiny room edition. An attic room in design, I can’t even remember the amount of times we bumped our heads walking from the bed to the bathroom or the single reading chair. I even had to crouch to fit under the shower head. At 160cm tall, if I can’t stand upright in the space then I’m not sure who can. Nothing at all like its advertisement… again this was probably the universe telling me I should have stayed home.

Day One… pre St Patricks Day exploring 

The vibe of the city was quite similar to London. Busy streets with a mixture of historic and modern architecture and a lively atmosphere where there’s always something to do and somewhere to eat. Which suited us just fine because before we could start exploring, we were in need of breakfast.

I’d done my research of top places to eat prior to our trip and heard that Balfes was the place to be. When we stepped into the buzzing atmosphere we knew we were in for a treat with the interior being the perfect combination of casual dining meets French elegance and with a stunning menu to match.

If you know me well, you know I love a good hot chocolate on a cold day and when my drink arrived, with a hint of orange added to it, it was by far the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.

dub-7

dub-6

After breakfast we really didn’t have much planned, we figured we’d just walk and see where the streets would take us. After about an hour, we ended up at Tivoli Theatre, and its adjoining car park featuring a ton of incredible graffiti work. We learnt that every month the car park closes for a weekend, the walls are painted black, and upcoming artists are invited to tag the walls and share their work. What we saw was amazing and I love that there’s a dedicated space for creatives in this field.

dub-12

du1

dub-11

With the weather at -2 degrees and dropping, and after getting drenched by a passing car (again should have stayed home), we decided to call it quits on our self guided walking tour, and opted for the cafe lifestyle instead. We came across a cafe called Kaph and when you need a little sit down and a cup of hot something, then this place will do the trick. The vibe is also more of a local hangout than a tourist spot, which I absolutely loved.

dub-9

After our cafe pit stop – which ended up being three hours as we avoided the cold outside, Luca on his phone and me scrolling through photos because post breakup conversations are awkward as hell – we were in need of a change of scenery. After strolling the streets for a little, trying to decide on a lunch spot, we came across Acapulco. Stepping through the door, we were greeted by friendly staff and a décor that reminded me of a Mexican fiesta. Colourful chairs, unique lampshades and fairy lights hanging throughout. It was such a happy and vibrant atmosphere. Which was so needed after our lacklustre day.

Trying to keep out of the cold as much as possible post lunch (especially when it started snowing), we did a little shopping and then headed back to the Airbnb. I ended up buying myself  a four leaf clover necklace in hopes of bringing me some luck. I had been looking forward to this trip for so long but it was not turning out at all how I’d hoped.

dub-2

Day Two… St Patrick’s Day, donuts and Trinity College Library

If I’m travelling to a place that has a beautiful library or bookshop, then that’s where you’ll find me. For over a year I’d wanted to visit Trinity College Library and the minute we woke up, I practically ran there. Why? Because we were actually supposed to visit here on day one, but when we arrived, it was closed due to student protests. There was no guarantee it would be open on St Patricks Day and the way everything else had been going wrong, I was practically begging the universe to at least give me this one thing. So I put on my four leaf clover necklace and thankfully when we arrived, it was opened. Happy Birthday to me!

dub-17

dub-16

The only downfall of visiting the library when we did. I missed most of the St Patricks Day parade.

Now I’m not a huge fan of crowds, all that pushing and shoving, trying not to lose the people you’re with or get lost yourself. But I know it’s something you have to endure if you want to experience these once-in-a-lifetime events. Getting there late however, did not work in our favour. As we walked along various points of the parade, we realised that we had slim chance of seeing anything but the backs of peoples heads. There were people everywhere! Crowding around the barricades, standing on building ledges, atop of bins and even plant pots just to get a glimpse of the festivities.

After fifteen minutes in near freezing temperatures, we gave up and headed to find something to warm us up.

dub-8

Now who needs a birthday cake when you have donuts! Having just purchased a baileys donut from The Rolling Donut, we were happily eating this ball of goodness when we walked past another donut shop. Off Beat Donuts. This one had crowds of people lined up outside, fun quotes painted on the walls, music playing and the staff looked like they were having the time of their life. I looked at Luca and said “we need more donuts!” Stepping inside I was immediately transported to donut heaven. Needless to say, I ate more donuts in two days than I have in the last two years.

All sugared up, it was time for some real food and and an alcoholic beverage to celebrate my birthday. The Yarn had a cosy yet vibrant atmosphere, and their cocktails were amazing.

dub-20

Overall, it wasn’t the trip I had always dreamed of. It just goes to show how not everything goes to plan and that sometimes in life, things just don’t work out. I’m glad I got to mark being in Ireland on St Patricks Day off my bucket list, but I do hope that one day I can return, see more of this beautiful country and leave with a lot more happier memories.

20 thoughts on “My St Patrick’s Day Birthday In Dublin

  1. Happy belated Birthday! I’m happy to hear you were able to check off your bucket list experience of celebrating your birthday in Ireland! Although it had to be awkward (at times) as well as heartbreaking due to the circumstances, I’m glad you were still able to go! Cheers to single lady solo travel! 🙂

    Like

  2. Sorry to hear about your breakup, but glad to see that the trip still turned out well and you have loads of great solo adventures to look forward to. I’ve never celebrated St. Patrick’s day in Ireland, but would love to try it out one day.

    Like

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your relationship with Luca. But, hey, your wished to celebrate birthday in Dublin came true. Though I can’t imagine standing in the shower at that AirBnb. 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you, the breakup hasn’t been easy but yes you’re right, I did get to fulfill my dream of celebrating my birthday in Ireland which was great. Oh and the shower…the room was just so tiny! haha

      Like

  4. Though you faced icy rough weather and some things went wrong, but you managed your day beautifully. Finding a good library and a Tivoli’s graffiti must be beautiful. I love street art and this graffiti is very colorful and vibrant.

    Like

  5. Happy belated birthday! I am sorry so many things went wrong on your birthday weekend and I am glad that in the end you still had a great time 🙂 Celebrating St Patricks Day in Ireland is also on my list and I hope I can tick it off soon.

    Like

    1. Thanks Maike. I know, I couldn’t believe how much bad luck I was having. In the end I managed to make the most of it, which I guess is all you can really do. I hope you get to visit one day! Don’t forget to try the donuts!

      Like

  6. You had a lot of fun for your Birthday ! Ah, ah when you’re born on March 17, the bars are bonkers crowded… So you’d better not have any personal space issues if you want to go out, right ? I’ve never been to Dublin but I would definitively love spending time at Trinity College Library.

    Like

    1. Haha, yes so crowed that you absolutely can’t be concerned with personal space. I try to avoid crowds generally but on St Patrick’s Day, it’s pretty much impossible! The library was so beautiful, totally made my trip.

      Like

  7. Glad you managed to make the most of your birthday despite the setbacks, not tried airbnb yet but every time I read a post where someone has stayed in one there’s been some sort of issue?

    Like

    1. I love Airbnb and I used it in soooooo many places. This was the first time something was ‘wrong’ with my room. I guess it has to happen at least once and hey, I have a funny story to tell now. I would use Airbnb again, it’s always my first choice because it’s the most affordable. You should give it a go sometime, just read the reviews first. This is from my favourite Airbnb https://nerissaswonderland.com/2018/03/11/the-penthouse-airbnb-to-inspire-your-next-travel-adventure/

      Like

  8. Dublin is such a cool city. I spent 4 days there last spring. However, I’d love to celebrate St. Patrick’s day there some day. Happy belated birthday!

    Like

  9. Happy belated birthday, Nerissa! So cool that you got to experience St Patty’s day (AND your birthday) in Ireland! Sorry to hear you had a few hiccups along the way, but glad you still had a good time overall! Looks like you found some really delicious food too!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: