St. Patrick’s Day in Stockholm. The two don’t seem together. Much like my experience with Swedish meatballs topped with Nutella: bad in theory, fair in practice. As I look through several event pages how to celebrate the holiday, Stockholm seems to have hopped on the Shamrock bandwagon. However back when I was a student at Uppsala University in 2010-2011, it was still a weird combination.
I had wanted to celebrate the evening of St. Patrick’s day in Stockholm with my 3 girlfriends the night before our trip to Belgium and the Netherlands. Our flight to Belgium was at 7 am and our bus to the airport was around 3 am. That would give us a solid 6-7 hours of partying/stalling in Stockholm. I tried to research as much as I could for the event, but it seemed like St. Patrick’s day in Stockholm was just not the thing to do. I refused to take this lying down.
We decided to go to Gamla Stan in Stockholm and mosey around in hopes of finding an event that would call to us. Keep in mind, we were killing time until our bus to Skavsta Airport, meaning we were carrying our large bags with a week’s worth of clothes. We did not want to be “those tourists” bringing everything they own into a bar. Not for the risk of safety, but rather we didn’t want our clean gear doused in beer.
We settled on a place that fit both our time slot and space problem: O’Connell’s. The bar was a dimly lit, stone wall tavern with a flight of stairs that led into what felt like an ominous dungeon (filled with drunk Swedes). There were about 5 large rooms downstairs that contained long wooden tables and benches. The pub was snug, allowing you to rub elbows with the other drinkers and celebrate St. Patrick together.
It has been 4 years since then and my memory escapes me. Had it not been for my camera and my trigger-happy finger, I would have forgotten some very funny memories. I remember the beer was flowing, the Scottish bagpipes were playing, and the fire breathing was huffing. Like I said, Stockholm and St. Patrick’s day were an odd pair.
But there was also Constantine. Where he was from, I do not recall but he was the awkward highlight of our evening. Constantine was touchy feely, chugging Cuba Libre’s and decided to put my phone in his mouth (probably the reason I got a 100+ degree fever days later). But he was hysterical and I’ll never forget him.
For my fellow Americans (or any other St. Paddy’s enthusiasts) who find themselves in Stockholm during this holiday, you can find a list of places to get your Green and Guinness here.