Breithlá shona duit ! Birthday in Dublin (with Guinness and Porter)

Dublin Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
An unguarded minute has an accident in it.

When I opened the door of the bedroom BJ was waiting for me, grinning and asking 'Sheesha?'. Well, six o' clock in the morning when you're on your way to the airport is not the best time for our beloved Arabian water pipes ... At least not before having coffee. But no time to linger, we got in the car, drove down to Weesp station and took the train to Schiphol airport, where Derk was already waiting for us.

 

Normally I mention a flight was 'uneventful'. Well, not this time. When we entered the aircraft some guy was complaining to the stewardesses about not being allowed to take his hand luggage on board, creating a long queue of passengers behind him. Derk and I tabbed him on the shoulder asking him ' Sir, could you please .

Changing busses in Dublin.
..' and I mumbled ... f*ck off'. One of the stewardesses overheard this and broke out laughing. She thanked me and bowed in reverence. 'We're never allowed to say that, so I'm so glad that you can'. Later on I had some more fun with this lady when I knocked over my cappuccino, soaking my jeans. She got me some napkins, a small towel and Schweppes. 'Don't rub the coffee in, it will smudge! Simply soak this towel with Schweppes and press it on the stains', she said while demonstrating it on my soaked left leg. 'And don't you look like you're enjoying this!', she grinned. 'Well ... can I have another cup of coffee for my other leg?’ She laughed and threatened to smack me in the face. It's a rarity to have a laugh with aircraft staff, so if all Irish are this easy going I'll have a great time. 'Now, be good', one of the other stewardesses said when we got of the plane around 10 AM local time.
Contemplating the Liffey, Dublin.
;-)

 

After a relatively long wait for our luggage we got Dublin Passes that would seemingly give us many free entries to the city's main sights and after getting direction we hopped on the air coach bus. As more people got off the bus the driver checked with us where we were going. Guess what ... they'd put us on the wrong bus. The driver gave us instructions how to get back and after a minute or ten we went back into town on another bus. 'Don't worry', our new driver said. 'You're tourists; you're supposed to get lost'. I like these people. ;-)

 

With a 'slight delay' we arrived at the Maldron Hotel shortly after 1 PM. Unfortunately our rooms were not ready yet, so we decided to drop off the bags and head back into town.

Lunch at Gruel, Dublin.
BJ had spotted a recommended place to eat in the Lonely Planet which we decided to go for since it was in the same direction as the place we wanted to visit this afternoon (more about that later).

 

Although Gruel was 'the place to eat’ according to the Lonely Planet, it looked a bit run down. The food was good nevertheless; we all had a pint of ridiculously expensive beer (as we found out later when checking the receipt) and a stuffed roll with pork meat, apple sauce and filling. Filled up and satisfied we proceeded towards the St. James's Gate Brewery (being accompanied by a light but fortunately very temporary shower).

 

St.

Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
James's Gate Brewery was built in the mid 18th century and became world-famous as the place where Guinness is made. Guinness has of course become THE symbol of Dublin, as all souvenir shops will testify. Back in 1759 Arthur Guinness had signed a lease contract for a small brewery that would cost him a mere 45 pounds per year for the next 9000 years and no additional costs for the water used. It's of course doubtful if these conditions still apply. It wasn't the only smart business decision Arthur made: in 1799 he decided to focus solely on the porter beer that had been created by accident in the 1770s. This beer eventually became what we now all know as Guinness. In the 1930s the brewery employed 5000 people, a number that has now been brought down to 600 by heavy automatisation.

 

The Guinness Storehouse, located at the brewery, is an excellent museum with stylish and fun decoration that takes you through all things Guinness in seven floors.

Arthur Guinness' original lease contract, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
It's got lots of stuff about the brewing process, the company's history, advertising and more. There's good use of multimedia and even some interactivity here and there. When you've made your way to the top floor and arrive at the Gravity Bar you get rewarded with a pint of the black stuff and can enjoy the high and far views over Dublin.

Now, I wasn't really looking forward to that pint since I fiercely disliked Guinness when I first tasted it some 15 years ago. I've stayed well away from the stuff since. I have to admit though that I really, really (really) liked this re-introduction and was slightly disappointed that we couldn't buy ourselves a new one in the Gravity Bar. Sure, I still think it feels like swallowing a whole brown bread but seemingly taste comes with the years and at 39 I'm finally ready for it. ;-)

 

After our first taste of stout our appetite for more was kick-started.

Apprentices of the Master Brewer, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
And what better thing to do than head straight for the competition for a little bit of comparison? We made our way to the Porterhouse Brewing Company's pub for a couple of pints of Porter Plain stout and Porter Red. Since it was my birthday today I spent all of my cash on feeding the boys more alcohol. ;-) This stuff could certainly compete with Guinness and after downing three pints we decided we might as well have some pub food in here.

 

The long day, traveling and walking had worn us out, so we thought it better to save the real pub crawls for another night and made our way back to the hotel. At the reception some confusion and discussions about the number of reserved rooms followed and the room turned out to be more like a sauna since it had the heating turned up to the max. Not the best way to end the day but we'd had enough fun today to hit the sack tired but satisfied.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
An unguarded minute has an acciden…
An unguarded minute has an accide…
Changing busses in Dublin.
Changing busses in Dublin.
Contemplating the Liffey, Dublin.
Contemplating the Liffey, Dublin.
Lunch at Gruel, Dublin.
Lunch at Gruel, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Arthur Guinness original lease co…
Arthur Guinness' original lease c…
Apprentices of the Master Brewer, …
Apprentices of the Master Brewer,…
Guinness Storehouse,  Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
At the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
At the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse,  Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse,  Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Derk at Guinness Storehouse, Dubli…
Derk at Guinness Storehouse, Dubl…
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Pure art !
Pure art !
Slainte ! (Guinness Storehouse, Du…
Slainte ! (Guinness Storehouse, D…
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.
Guess whats on my mind ...
Guess what's on my mind ...
Porterhouse Brewing Companys pub,…
Porterhouse Brewing Company's pub…
Porterhouse Brewing Companys pub,…
Porterhouse Brewing Company's pub…
Dublin
photo by: fransglobal