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Published: January 9th 2011
Up and at em thankfully for our last Irish breaky (otherwise we mightn’t fit in our clothes) we fare welled our lovely host Kate and her husband and thanked them for there amazing hospitality. We were promptly picked for our Belfast Black cab political tour by our driver Shaun. An amazing and extremely educational tour, as we got a glimpse at what it would have been like to live in Northern Island at its worst. As we past political buildings, the international murial's, the peace wall (which we too signed!), churches and memorials, Shaun told us their story, and many others including his own personal experience in jail, the great escapes and the villain's. The four hours flew by and before we knew it we were back at our rental with directions for the best route to Dublin.
We cruised to Dublin to Karl and Martha’s parked our car and Karl dropped us at the Guiness factory (as he unfortunately headed back to work!). We took ourselves on the self guided tour starting with the famous Guiness lease for 45pounds a year for 900years. From here the tour progressed detailing the each stage of the brewing process from
the four ingredients to Mr Guiness himself and a lesson on how to drink guiness correctly (as pessimistic as we were, how hard can it be to drink, we were both surprised to learn that the breathing sequence really does make a difference). On the second floor we grabbed a late lunch and watched the arduous process of constructing the original wooden casks (now extinct replaced by metal variety.) We watched the last four decades of Guiness ad’s and various advertising campaigns before reaching the forth floor to learn how to pour the perfect pint. After a brief instruction poured two ‘perfect pints’ minus the shamrock ( I tried and failed) and sat back to enjoy it overlooking Dublin. We finally made it up to the six floor and roof top bar. Shocked at how fast time had past we called past the gift shop for a compulsory magnet and headed for the bus.
Back at Karl and Martha’s, Karl whipped up a storm in the kitchen and we enjoyed a lovely evening recounting our Asian adventures over a red wine or two!
After an unplanned sleep in, we chatted the morning away with Martha (who had regrettably
had to work late the evening before) and before long it was time to return our unscathed hire car to the airport for our flight to Dubrovnik. We thanked Martha (and Karl over the phone flat out at work) for everything, shattered we couldn't stay longer and we were a year early for their wedding!! Check in, security, duty free shops … the routine of airports becoming increasingly boring! We arrived into Dubrovnik just after 6.30pm and welcomed the hot steamy air as we got off the plane…summer here we come! We caught the bus though town and to the main bus station. Having taken a gamble and not booked any accommodation we were relieved to find Sagre offering some cheap rooms in the Lampard district (as recommended by KB and Sas). After little negotiation, as it was just about impossible to get a word in sideways we accepted a lift to check out his place with a Irish guy Rory. Sagre reeled off the bus route, supermarket, restaurants, internet café at a thousand miles a minute and just I hoped Jez (who was sitting in the front) had a least a vague idea where he was pointing. The room
was simple (2 single beds) but with fridge and aircon and at 7.30pm we were sold. We ventured to the local shop with Rory to grab a couple beers and kicked back on the terrace. We headed out for dinner, requiring a few more directions to find the restaurants and when we did there was too many to choose from. Despite being packed (usually a good sign) our choice was poor scoring a terribly overcooked seafood platter but a lovely bottle of local Chardonnay.
We carried on down to the beach stumbling across a small bar with a pumping private party. We watched as they sang and danced and were shocked when the police barged in, put an end to the party, handcuffed and lead the bartender away. The host went crazy attacking the police, the crowd dispersed and we ended up with three free cocktails and some local tips where to go next. So we kicked on into the old town, three bars packed down an tiny alley. With no other English to be heard we soaked up the local atmosphere, chatting with the odd one who spoke English before calling it a night. We wandered back through the
marble floored old town eerie at night and as it turned out by far the quietest we would see it (If only we’d taken the camera!).
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