Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 2 in Dublin: the big green bus

Before I left the airport I bought a Dublin Bus Tour 1-day ticket. On the morning of Tuesday, 28 July, I set out for the nearest pick-up point for my big green tour bus. It was pretty much in front of Trinity College, which is cool because that's the school that certifies my impending certificate.

I was very disappointed by the bus. The "live commentary" was a recording and it would be prompted at not quite the right times, so I really didn't know what it was referencing. Really frustrating. But, I rode along until the Guinness Storehouse!!! Some things are worth enduring a bad tour. I was on that bus with 3 girls who had been to U2 the night before and had been on a well-narrated big green bus the day before. They added to my frustration because they spoke of what a good tour could be! However, they really bothered most of the other people on the bus, but I just laughed. They, too, got off at Guinness, but they disappeared into it before I was hardly off the bus! And I thought I was the one in a hurry for a pint.

I took my time. I was able to take part in a 1/2 hour lecture in the Archives room that went through the whole 250 year history of Guinness. It was really interesting. One amazing fact I'll share: the harp on the Guinness logo was trademarked in 1850something. When the Irish Euro was being created, they (the people in charge of putting images on coins) wanted to put the harp on it as a symbol of Ireland. Unfortunately for them, Guinness already had the harp image trademarked! The compromise: the harp could be used on the coin, but the image is FLIPPED from the one on the Guinness logo! Check it out sometime. Very cool the power of the Guinness company!

One more super neat thing I learned: the widget (what makes a draught can possible) is better than the internet!!

While I was there, I got to pour my own delicious pint. The Galaxy Bar, on the 7th floor, is the highest point in Dublin (because it's a tall building on top of a hill). Beautiful views. You'd be able to see further if it wasn't always raining or about to rain!

I bought postcards, a keychain (I gave up ALL my keys when I left the states but realized I'd soon need a keyring, now for my suitcase lock, and later for my flat door), and a much NOT needed t-shirt....but it is SO CUTE! (just add this to the long list of clothing I'm going to have to WEAR on the plane tomorrow!)

After leaving the Guinness Factory (finally!) I headed back out to the big green bus. This time, I was so fortunate to have a real, actually LIVE, narrator. I learned more in the 4 stops than I did in the initial 10! Sad. And you know where those 4 stops took me??!!!........The Old Jameson Distillery! Apparently Day 2 in Dublin was my alcohol fiesta.

Unfortunately I was pretty tired by the time I got there so I didn't take but only one photo. Of course it's super cute! So when John Jameson started distilling, he had warehouses full of barley....which means there were mice. So they had a cat in the warehouse, Smithy, who caught about 20 mice a day. He was such an important part of the growth of the distillery, that when he died he was STUFFED. So that picture of a cat is an ACTUAL 200 year old stuffed cat!

Super funny, after the tour, a girl recognized me from the hostel. She asked me if we slept next to each other! Ha ha ha...our beds are next to each other and I hadn't even noticed. So we walked home together and rested before dinner. Margot, the girl I just met at Jameson, and Miruna, another girl from the hostile, and I all went to dinner for some traditional Irish fare. We all split Chicken Curry, Fish & Chips and Beef & Guinness Stew. Delicious! Of course, with Guinness to drink!

We stopped by THE Temple Bar of the Temple Bar area for a quick pint before heading home for the day....long day of alcohol tours!

P.S. Not sure why the pictures came up in the order they did. I even deleted and started over...and still the stuff cat is showing up 2nd.

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