August 21, 2011
I woke up feeling like ass. I haven’t gotten enough sleep and we’ve been traveling a few days non-stop now so I was feeling it. We woke up and had breakfast at the hostel then headed out to check out Dublin. Dublin is a really sweet town. It doesn’t feel big but you know it must be big. A lot of people live there. We headed toward Grafton Street after doing a little Google searching of where stuff was. Grafton street is the big shopping district in Dublin. We stopped in at Bewley’s Cafe for cappuccino and lunch, not realizing it was “famous”. It’s hard to stop in to a place in Ireland without it somehow being “famous.”
Perusing all of the shops and tourist trap bodegas, Boozy and I found a post card with the song Molly Malone on it. We tried to memorize it, being only 6 lines or something like that, we should have been able to but within two more blocks we totally botched it completely and f
orgot all about it. We stopped in at Brown Thomas so Phunner could try on some motorcycle jackets and I checked out some sweet cashmere sweaters. The place was full of people and, on a rare Ireland day, the sun
was out and shining warmly. I de-layered the seven layers I was already used to wearing and threw my jacket, sweater and scarf over my arm as I strolled the streets. We passed a woman selling flowers and a fantastic smelling bakery then decided to head out to the Guinness Factory Tour.
We piled into the car to drive there because, according to our map, it wasn’t really IN Dublin. It was on the outskirts of Dublin. We headed toward the general direction of the Guinness factory from the city center. According to the directions on Guinness’ website it should have been easy:
Directions from the City Centre to GUINNESS STOREHOUSE® (…)
From Dame Street (outside Trinity College), keep straight ahead. Follow the road around passing Christchurch on the right, leading onto Thomas Street. Drive past the main St James’s Gate Brewery Gates, which will be on your left. At the junction of James’s Street and Echlin Street take a left turn. At the top of the road turn left (opposite the Old Harbour Pub). Take the first left on to Market Street. The pedestrian entrance to GUINNESS STOREHOUSE® will be on the left.
To reach the car park, take the next left onto Crane Street and the car park is immediately on the right. Journey time 5 mins.
We did not take five minutes. We drove round and round to find the entrance. Finally, after turning down a one way street going the wrong way then backing up into the parking lot, we were set! We had arrived at the Guinness Storehouse. A few seconds later, we ran into some fellow SSWC participants that Phunner and Boozy had met at SSEC. Awesome. We were now a group of five! We wandered around the store with everyone else and up into the museum. Boozy began reading placards again…so…very…slowly…so we headed along with our new travel mates and stopped here and there along the way.
We ended at the Guinness Gravity Bar where we gladly redeemed our tickets for a free beer. We were joined by a large group of Japanese tourists who were cheering and pounding beers and documenting it all with their cameras around their necks. I’ve known a Japanese or two in my time and don’t be fooled: They can drink! After a few drinks and after getting our fill of the amazing 360° view, we checked out the Guinness Official Store, bought a few souvenirs and headed out of there. We found the car and drove round and round to get back to the main road. Why was getting in and out of the Guinness Factory so difficult?!?
Before sobering up completely, we freshened up at the hostel and headed back out on the streets of Dublin. We had dinner at Fitzsimmons which, again, is supposed to be something famous but I thought the food was nothing spectacular. It was good but not great. Service was okay but not awesome. Drinks were…Balmers, Guinness or Budweiser, of course! I had a Balmer’s and fish and chips while listening to live Irish music. They began to play Molly Malone (ah! the post card!) and we sang along while eating and drinking. We finished the night with beers at Temple Bar (another famous place!) with our good SSWC friends from earlier. Dublin is a great place to enjoy your time, wander the streets and get drunk!