While we were away last year lots of people always asked us had we ever been to the Guinness Store House museum? The answer was no, but we were asked so much we started to say it was something we had to do when we got back. I in fact wanted to go there the day we got back to Ireland on December 20th, but someone persuaded me that it was best perhaps to be kept for another day. That day turned out to be yesterday, May 2nd. Michelle was none the wiser about the trip as I had booked it all without telling her. It was to be a surprise. It was a bit of a recession busting trip as well. The flights cost (yes, we flew from Cork) €16 each return. Sure wouldn’t you get on a plane and go anywhere at that price! The Guinness tickets were bought online with a 10% discount and our bus tickets, for unlimited travel on Dublin Bus and LUAS(tram) were €7.50 each, also bought online. The bus from the airport is €12 return so we saved there already. All I needed now was a flask and sandwiches and food would be covered
for the day. Only joking. I’m not that tight!
Michelle knew there was a surprise but didn’t know what it was. I also had a problem that I needed her passport and as she was in Galway and me in Cork, it would be hard to get sneakily. Instead I devised a plan telling her that I need her to bring it down as I wanted to make a collage of all the stamps from the different countries we visited and hers were the best. Her reply was that we had discussed this before and we already knew hers were the best! Ha, little did she know.
Our flight was out of Cork at 7:30am and we would get a flight back that evening at 6:20pm. Up to the big smoke for a day, as they say. We left my house in Cork at 6am and were checked in, through security and sitting down at 6:23am. How cool is that. My car isn’t even parked outside my house. The airport was full of Munster fans catching an early flight to go and see the Heineken Cup semi-final in Biarritz. Other than that the airport would have been pretty
dead. On a side note, we ordered two teas while waiting and all they had was UHT milk. Its like they’ve made a decision already that you need to get used to crap milk before you leave the country and by right we should thank them. Ah, No. UHT milk is utter crap and good tea relies on good milk. It could make or break your day. It’s not something to be messed with!
Our flight took off and landed faster than the air hostess could get through the plane with the drinks trolley. Ryanair now announce with a big fanfare over the intercom that they have arrived on time. Its very annoying at 8am in the morning. Anyway, its easy for them to say they’ll arrive on time. Give themselves and extra 15-30mins on the scheduled landing time and they’ll always be on time. It’s not like someone on the plane is going to say “hey Ryanair, you’re lying. I did it a lot faster last week”. After arriving in Dublin we hoped on the Airlink which also got into town 15 minutes faster than schedule, and wandered around looking for a place that would do breakfast at
9am on a Sunday morning. It wasn’t easy and we eventually found a place on O’Connell street that was serving the aul traditional breakfast. That was over by 9:45 and it was a little to early to be going to a beer factory. We wandered the streets, got asked by skangers for €2 for the bus(my arse), took photo’s of the city centre and wondered who the hell sanctioned the Spire? What an absolute embarrassment. A big shiny needle in the middle of the city centre. Surely someone had a better plan when they decided to commemorate the millennium.
We eventually made our way out to the Guinness Store House by 11am. The LUAS ride was entertaining. Two scum bags were talking about going in and out of prison and they could barely understand each other they were so f**ked from heroin. The conversation was comical but worrying at the same time. We had already bought the tickets online so we skipped the big queue and dived straight into the tour. It’s self guided and not actually through the factory. It’s more like a museum explaining all things Guinness. The first silly tourist quote I heard was when some
one was looking at the 9000 year lease on the premises that Arthur Guinness had signed. Tourist No.1 - “What’s that?”. Tourist No.2 - “ Must be the declaration of independence or something”. Hello! What part of the sign above the door said Irish History Museum? Then it got me wondering. I bet on countless occasions while we were away we said something similar or as stupid. Maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental! The tour itself is very interesting with different aspects to the 7 floors. Some were dedicated to the process and ingredients of making Guinness, others to the long line of excellent advertising that Guinness have had, some to the great man himself, Arthur Guinness and others to the life of the workers at the factory. The best floor though was where you would collect your ’free’ pint of Guinness at the end of the tour. The views of Dublin were excellent but unfortunately there is not a lot to look at. You see, if Dublin was a person, it would probably be a bit rough around the edges, not that well dressed and maybe smell a little, but if you sat down and talked to Dublin you
could listen all night.
You would think that the pint you get poured in the factory would be the best you ever had. I had built up in my imagination that it would be somehow superior to all that have gone before it. It wasn’t. It was though as good as any other one I’ve ever had and the Guinness promise of consistency that was mentioned so much through out the tour was accurate. It was also funny that how many times were heard or saw “Guinness is good for you”, the slogan they ran with for so many years. I can imagine people leaving the place and shunning the doctor and having a pint in order to feel better. In the lift on the way down some Americans were making some silly comments and being generally loud. That got out at a different floor and two middle aged men from Dublin said “bleedin’ Yanks” when they got out. When me and Michelle got out we looked at each other and said “feckin Dub’s” before bursting out laughing. I think everyone just thinks there a little bit more ’cool’ than the next person.
I had heard of a
nice Vietnamese(Saba) restaurant and mentioned it to Michelle. I just didn’t know where it was. Off we went in search of Google before making our way there in search of Pho Bo. Beef noodle soup to you and me. After that we went to Butlers café for a hot chocolate and coffee. We were now getting tired so we hopped on the next bus to the airport so we could watch the Munster v Biarritz semi final in the airport bar. We then thought ‘when in Rome’ and decided to have a few pints of Guinness. Munster lost but the Guinness was good so things balanced out! We were asleep before the plane took off and just woke up before it was about to land. Plane touched down at 7pm. We were in our house after buying a bag of chips at 7:20pm. That is still pretty cool.
Our energy was low but we got a second wind and hit the town in search of more Guinness. The Guinness turned to rum and coke and soon it was 3am. We had been up since 5am the morning before and now it was time to call it a day on
our action packed adventures. One thing’s for sure that the Guinness tour was “worth waiting for” and that “ good things come to those who wait”. We have now ticked another place/sight off our list. Another place we said we wanted to go to while away was Scotland. Well the flights are booked for that. Four weeks time to be precise. The adventure continues…………
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: Perez Parado - Guaglione
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