When I first started re-capping this Euro-Trip I had no idea how long it was going to take. Right now I’m itching to tell you about my trip last month, but I just can’t go from one trip to the next – especially since my second visit to Dublin wasn’t quite as exciting as my first.
So yes, we’re now in Dublin! Land of Guinness, leprechauns, and Martin McDonagh!
There was nothing notable about the flight from Frankfurt to Dublin, except that the Frankfurt-Hahn airport is considerably smaller than the Frankfurt Airport. Our hotel in Dublin was in the Ballsbridge area, about a 20-30 minute walk away from the centre of town (I don’t know the actual length because we always took the bus into town).
I know it’s touristy, but one of the things I like to do (in a place I’ve never been before) is to take one of those hop-on-hop-off bus tours. Not only do you get to go past most of the “important” sights in the town, but you have a bus that will take you directly to those sights. And, if you’re in Dublin, your ticket will be valid for 2 days. 2 whole days to hop-on-hop-off.
Because of the title of this post, I’m betting you all ready know one of the stops my sister and I went to:
The funny part is that at the time neither of us really liked beer. Before this trip I tried working my way up to liking beer (starting with fruity beers and light beers), and even though I wasn’t quite *there* yet, I was determined to try a Guinness. And what better place to drink a Guinness than the Guinness Storehouse?!
The Storehouse is basically a self-propelled tour, but they start off with an introduction. The young man who gathered us together told us the story of the Guinness Lease. In 1759 Arthur Guinness (who was really confident in his beer’s future) signed a 9,000 year lease for the Storehouse. He’s still got 8,746 years to go, if you’re interested.
The lease is preserved forever in the ground of the storehouse. You can try reading it, but it’s a little hard to make out some of the words, especially when people are walking over it.
After telling us a bit of history, the young man tried interacting with us by asking us what the ingredients of beer were. The entire group (about 15-20 people) went silent. I’m not one for talking in crowds, but I could tell that the man was hoping someone would answer so I blurted out all 4 ingredients (barley, yeast, hops and water if you’re interested). My sister was surprised I knew the answers, but I’d read all that in the information booklet we’d been handed when we bought our tickets – the booklet that everyone else in the group had (it almost felt like cheating, it was so easy).
After that we were let loose in the Storehouse to explore the life of Guinness!
The Storehouse centre is shaped like a beer glass – something that’s not entirely apparent until you look at one of the floor maps:
We wandered through the floors, looking at the brewing process, the history of the beer, the history of their advertising, etc. There’s a fun story about two advertisers who were shut up in a hotel room while they tried to think of a new marketing strategy. After 3 days (and almost going crazy because they had nothing and the deadline was looming), one guy wrote down a single word. Genius.
The admission to the Storehouse includes a pint of Guinness and you have 2 options for how to get your pint – 1) you can learn to pour a perfect pint (say that 3 times fast) and then drink your pint in that small lounge area, or 2) you can go to the top level, have someone else pour your pint, and then drink as you admire the view.
We opted to learn to pour our own pint, which I think was the better of the two options (as you actively got to do something). There was a line-up, but we got to read the instructions on the wall as we waited (I’m nothing if not an overachiever). Then we were led inside and instructed on how to do a proper pour. The result was no less than spectacular, if I do say so myself:
I was ready to run off to a pub a become a certified Guinness-Pour-Person.
Then we drank. Because it was 2:30pm and we weren’t really beer drinkers, we didn’t get far. I drank half of the pint, though, for which I gave myself a big pat on the back.
Then we went to the top level for some spectacular views of Dublin:
Okay, so maybe the day wasn’t the best (it would have been nice to see the sun and big fluffy white clouds), but I don’t know if there’s another place in Dublin which gives you such a spectacular view of the Spire. That thing is really tall.
I’m glad we decided to have our Guinness earlier, because we spent more time taking pictures – and it would be difficult to take pictures with a beer in one hand.
And eventually the sun and the fluffy white clouds appeared.