It is the early afternoon of Thursday the 17th of March and it is quiet in the first Irish pub in Barcelona we visit. It is Saint Patrick´s day and you can tell by the green decorations. The invitations outside most Irish pubs are clear: Celebrate Saint Patrick day with us!

There is a serene atmosphere in the air, like calm before the storm. The preparations for the party are not done yet. Besides the green colour of the shamrock, the Irish flag emerges more and more. The stage is prepared for musicians, which can be seen by all the microphones and loudspeakers.  We are at Dunne´s, at Via Laietana, and talking to the owner Robbie Dunne’s: “Yes, we are busy with all preparations for tonight. I am flying in an Irish band for the music and for the extra ´touch´ there will be a group of dancers. I do not know exactly what to expect today as we are only opened this bar in September last year. We start at 5 p.m. and of course I expect a busy night”. At this time of the day, occasionally people wearing green shirts can be seen. Robby is wearing one already, maybe to get in the right mood. Robbie laughs: “You know it is quite hard to find green shirts here in Barcelona? But luckily I have found one.”  Curious about the festivities we think we have to come back tonight.

After we finished our drinks we find it time to move on, going to find out what other Irish pubs are organising today. We walk in direction Ramblas, until we walk into the next Irish bars situated at Carrer de Ferran. Green balloons are rising up, trying to get our attention. And it works. The Temple bar is still closed, and the employees are doing their utmost to fancy the place with decorations. Two doors down we see Temple Bar´s little sister, My Bar. This place is more vivid, as people are enjoying their drinks outside on the terrace and waiters are walking in and out to give their guest a pleasant stay. Over here there are hardly any decorations; it actually looks like a regular day. As Temple Bar and My Bar are actually one company, the celebrations are more focussed on Temple Bar. With live music and everything it promises to be a nice evening. Across the street, at Molly´s Fair City,  things are very different. Loud music comes out the loudspeakers, the pub-window and the inside is nicely decorated in Saint-Patrick´s-day-style. Even the waitresses are dressed up and the place is rather busy already. Asking what the plans are for the night, they tell us it is going to be a good party. Irish music, free bites and of course all drinks will be green! Very promising and for some reason we believe them on their word.

Walking down the Ramblas we finally turn left to find out about the next Irish bar called Flaherty´s. Time is ticking and it is getting later in the afternoon. Although it is still a bit quiet, it feels like the sentiment is changing. Flaherty´s is crammed into the theme, especially the food is adapted into it as they have special prices for the typical Irish dishes. With Irish stew, Irish sausage with colcannon and rhubarb crumble the day cannot get any better. The green beer gushes and the servants wearing the, clearly sponsored by a famous Irish beer brand, Saint Patrick day top hats. Again live music for the night and much people are expected. Looks like all ingredients are here to make it a good party.

Next stop: Plaça de la Sagrada Familia, it´s Michael Collins turn. This place might be the most typical of them all. All the employees are Irish and there is only one television appearing in the far away back of this big pub. Next to some flag posts there are no further decorations. As guests are drinking at the bar or little groups having a quiet conversation on a table it doesn´t look like there is going to be a big party tonight. Nothing is less true because also here will be live music later on; with three bands in total and two of them being from Ireland itself, it appears to be a promising night.

Let´s be Irish for a day and celebrate Saint Patrick day in Barcelona. We decide to take a nap and prepare ourselves for a good party. What you see is what you get. It was great!

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