When Irish eyes are smiling, it is sometimes in Germany hoisting a Guinness on Saint Patrick’s Day. When Dubliners or New Delhi travelers tire of sausage and Wiener schnitzel, the warmth and cheer of an Irish Pub is not far. Saint Patrick’s Day in Germany may not be very green, but Irish magic is where you find it.
Finding an Irish Pub on Saint Patrick’s Day in Germany
At least fifty German cities host one or more Irish Pubs. On the menu is Sheppard’s Pie, corn beef, brown bread, and other Eire fare. Pour a Guinness or sip a Jameson. The bars are grand and the walls are decorated with images of the misty isle. A fireplace crackles as the speakers play, ‘Molly Malone.’ An Irish pub directory guides you to the nearest emerald isle in Deutschland. On Saint Patrick’s Day in Germany look for the green, white, and orange flag fluttering above the fine carved doors.
Saint Patrick’s Day in Heidelberg, Germany
For over five years I traveled to Heidelberg on at least a monthly basis. This included quite a few Saint Patrick’s Days in Germany. My pub of choice is Sean Og, in the Alstadt, or old town, not far from Heidelberg College. As you walk the narrow Hauptstrasse to the pub, enjoy an amazing architectural outdoor museum. Heidelberg survived World War II without severe damage. The Alstadt projects a millennium of history. You sense the magic as you trek past the Student Prison, where unruly college students sobered up, and the Witches Tower, where prisoners, bewitched by superstition, awaited their fate.
Sean Og is dark, but the blazing fireplace warms the March cold. The bartender sound like he just arrived from Killarney. Within a few minutes I wipe off the creamy Guinness foam from my lips. Surrounding me is a United Nations of cultures including many Germans. Some evenings are music. Others include roaring cheers from a televised football match. If you are lucky, an Irish lass will mesmerize the crowd with ghost stories or tales of little people hoarding gold.
I am proud of my father’s family emigrating from Germany to the U.S. Midwest in 1854. My mother’s clan hailed from a castle near Belfast. With Deutsch and Eire blood, no wonder it was special blaring, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” on Saint Patrick’s Day in Germany.