Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Discovering Dublin - Hello Arthur
Since Lucy's operation three weeks ago she has been only able to eat mash and has has hardly left the house. Not surprisingly she is developing mild symptoms of cabin fever despite being quite the sweetest and most patient human being in the world. Enough was enough! After an encouraging meeting with her surgeon this morning we got the blessing to break out.
We would first attack the Guinness Brewery. I had brought Mexican tourists to St. James Gate perhaps forty years ago. It was cute then and interesting and very seventies with a pint at the end of the journey.
Nothing could have prepared me for the space age Guinness Store we discovered. We booked on line and got a ten percent discount and avoided the queues when we got to the store ( there were none). We parked the car in a convenient, monitored and totally free car park beside the store (is this the only thing in all of Ireland that tourists can get for free?).
Guinness are very good at a lot of things. They make a very fine porter. Their ads are some of the best in the world. And the storehouse is one of the best tourist attractions I have visited anywhere.
The old brewery has been tastefully remodelled - keeping the old and adding intelligently the new. It was very well attended with accents and languages from all over the world.
I would be telling a lie if I did not confess to enjoying the observation tower the best. We did not make the mistake of stopping off on the floor below to pull our own pint and drink our poorly pulled pint in drab surroundings. We ascended to the seventh and top floor with its uninterrupted views over Dublin and its circular bar counter in the middle of the floor.
I struck up conversation with Alex from New York. He had one of those interesting lived-in faces. He knew his Guinness well. Like me he was mildly disappointed with the quality of the Guinness on tap. We both agreed it was good without being great. He was staying in a hotel on St Stephen's Green so I drew him a map of Dublin 2 and pointed out where he might get some nice pints. I fully expect a complementary pint from O'Donoghues, Foleys and Doheny and Nesbitts when I return.(some hope!!)
The biggest and most pleasant surprise of the day was that of Lorraine drinking her first glass of Guinness ever. She loved it. She felt it was more ladylike to ask for a glass rather than a pint. Mind you, it did not prevent her from finishing her glass and then my pint. She has not forsaken her first love, wine, but she will include Arthur in her circle of friends.
The circle of life once again is complete. I started drinking Guinness in a pub in Churchtown when first 'going out' with Lorraine. My father had tired of our two hour phone calls and banished me to the Glenside Pub which had a coin operated phone very handily beside the bar counter.
It was great being a tourist in our town and we are committed to visiting our home town through tourist eyes more often.