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Ireland – yet another space we fell deeply in love with.

We had booked this trip in November and we were not very organised as we were still booking accommodation the night before. We were originally going to just stay in Dublin as we seem to try and fit too much in.

Luckily enough we took advice of others that said don’t stay in Dublin get out, there is so much more and Clive got a few tips from the locals at work.

We landed in Dublin very excited and had hired a car… we booked the car through an external website and since we do not own a credit card we had to pay twice the usual rental cost. Darn!
Once we got to our car, Dublin car hire is 5 kms away from the airport… we were given a brand new Golf. It drove like a dream. Since it was Clive’s birthday trip I drove he sampled Guinness.

We arrived at our accommodation which was extremely flash for 35 euro it had a semi clean shower that Clive couldn’t fit in, a shagged out mattress and a view of the burnt out building next door.

First stop in Dublin…the Guinness Store House. I do not drink or like Guinness so I was not as excited as Clive, but it seemed like a rite of passage for an Australian tourist to visit. The weather was clear-ish and nice so we walked there and wander through the Temple Bar area of Dublin and saw a few beautiful buildings and then a lot of closed down shops and people in need of a dentist.

When we arrived at the Store House it takes up a very large portion of Dublin and basically you just follow the tourists to find the entrance. Oh we also walked past an old clapped out church and hall that was the location where The Chieftains played their first live gig at (we are seeing the Chieftains at the Riyal Albert Hall in June so they have come a long way). We did the tourist thing and took some photos near the gate….

We rounded the cobble stone streets that many Guinness carrying horse and carts have  and coopers had done for year before us. It was great seeing the old walls and buildings. Once we entered the Store House it was extremely modern and fancy pants. The exhibition and tourist area winds you around a large interpretation of a pint glass.

We had already purchased our tickets as we are the savvy travellers and have learnt this the hard way.

So on wards to our fascinating adventure of Guinness land. We learnt how it was made, and where they sourced their ingredients. We also learnt that Arthur Guinness was given an inheritance of 100pounds by an uncle and he used this to start his brewery. He was so committed to his craft and draught that the land is signed onto a 9000 year lease. I was very interested in the way they stacked the kegs and carved them by hand. It is called Cooperage, later to be lost as an art form when industrialisation came in and they used metal kegs. Many jobs were lost.

Here is an exert of the video….

http://youtu.be/lW4ae0DhPj8

It was all very exciting…we then were offered a tasting sample of the Guinness….and then I changed. Yes I hate to say it but Australia has poo poo Guinness and no one really knows how to serve it.

The large green image is Clive in front of a water fall/wall inside the Guinness Store House. People had thrown coins in….we did too but we lobbed them on the roof of it.

We then roamed through more levels and I was taken with the old advertising campaigns that were produced for Guinness, the artist who drew all of the original campaigns was offered a very nice position with Walt Disney, luckily he declined and keep the lovely art for Guinness, I find the adverts highly entertaining and creative. Here are some of the earlier ones.

When you purchase your ticket for the Store House you can either use it for a Pint at the Gravity Bar which is at the very top of the Pint glass we have toured around or you can use it to learn to pour your own pint the floor below. We chose to pour our own. The lady demonstrated first and then asked for a volunteer to do the first….hoping they would stuff it up a bit. But as I was trying to volunteer Clive I volunteered myself…and I NAILED IT! It was a perfect pint which put a bit of pressure on for the rest of the group. Clive did Ok..I guess. We both got a trendy certificate signed by the head brewer of Guinness and then relaxed and enjoyed our pint. No remember how I said I enjoyed the sample we had, well this was to be my first pint of Guinness EVER. I loved every last drop, it was so refreshing, it was more thirst quenching then water, or the advertising brain washed me.

The womans face behind is the instructor who is in awe of my pint.

Clive focussing because he hates to lose.

After our pints we went to the top and looked around a very crowded Gravity bar followed by another pint at the bar below. Then we slowly left and wander back through Dublin, past a large spike sculpture and along the River Liffey.

That evening we bought a selection of snack and I made a platter. We ventured over the road for a Guinness and tried to find some live local irish music, we came across a bizarre bar with a very friendly india english man, who told us to try the Corn, Fish On Box. We went for a walk following his directions…and we came across a place called the Confession Box, we could not stop laughing! It was a great little bar with an old guy on the guitar signing in a cramped corner whilst everyone else sat around and sang along with him. After that we called it a night.

I have included a selection of photos below of our time in Dublin. The next day we were headed west to Limerick, via Galway.

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