A great Irish tradition

Last weekend I gave myself the chance to do something I haven’t done in a while. With a sizable amount of free time on my hands, I headed out to partake in that a great Irish tradition, one that’s almost a sport: the pub crawl.

My adventure started solo, like any haphazardly designed pub crawl should, in O’Malley’s. A good warm up is essential and after few pints of Guinness I was starting to feel up to the task. I chatted with a few fellow patrons – chatting is essential to find running mates who can match your pace; otherwise I’m just getting drunk by myself and I could do that at home for far cheaper.

After a fair few pints of the creamy Guinness, and good conversation which spanned from university life to the war, to music, I decided I needed food. A good pub crawl is a lot like a long shift at work, it’s important to take a break and to feed yourself at some point. Remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Chatting is essential to find people who can match your pace; otherwise I’m just getting drunk by myself

My colleagues weren’t up to my pace, so I said my goodbyes and went on ahead. Once I was suitably recharged, I decided I’d make my way to another bar. This time, I predictably decided to enter my favourite bar in Groningen, the Witte Wolf. A good marathon takes you to many enjoyable destinations and a heavy metal bar is always on my list.

Once inside, I met a few fellow revellers while sitting at the bar. One was a rep from a German beer company and another was a local. Not a local student, but a true local, born and bred in Groningen. After a bit of a chat, myself and my two new friends were getting along well and, more importantly, we were all going at the same pace. Perfect.

After midnight we made our way to yet another bar, where I was back on the Guinness. Time flew as we chatted away into the wee small hours. My running mates then both made their way home, while I did my traditional end of a hard night ritual by heading into Warhol for a final drink.

In typical style, I woke up on top of the bed, mostly still dressed and sporting a horrific hangover. A hard race takes its toll.

The city is truly alive again.

NIALL TORRIS

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