Day 8 – British Isles:  Dublin 

Thursday, July 3, 2014 Permalink


We are staying at the Hilton in Dublin.  It’s on a canal.  The canal locale seems popular with Dublin folk.  People just sit on the lawn reading and/or carousing.  Dublin is also a bike friendly town.  They have designated bike paths.  And the “bikes for hire” system is similar to mine in Chicago.  Although biking Dublin sounds lovely, biking in this traffic without a helmet is a terrifying thought. The busses combined with the opposite traffic flow makes me already concerned about crossing the street as a pedestrian.

Our guide gave us a mini bus tour pointing out points of interest.  Traffic makes it sluggish.  When we stop at Trinity College, everyone disperses to explore Dublin by foot.  Our guide warns us that we are in a city and to be mindful of the tinker kids. Jenny and I head to Jameson Irish Whiskey for a tour.  Jameson is known for its unique triple distillation process.  John Jameson, a Scot, founded his distillery in Dublin in 1780.  His motto appears on every label.  ‘Sine metu‘ means ‘without fear.’ 

Unfortunately for Jameson, Arthur Guinness established his stout 20 years earlier.  Guinness already had all the barley in the area.  So, Jameson had his barley shipped from Middleton in Southern Ireland.  Eventually, the manufacturing facility moved production to Middleton.  There is even a Middleton whiskey among the 36 brands made by Jameson.  I wanted to buy it because I hadn’t heard it before.  It was 288 euros. I didn’t get it.

The tour ended with a taste test.  Eight people tasted the highest selling scotch, Johnny Walker Black Label and highest selling American whiskey, Jack Daniels.  Each one picked Jameson Irish Whiskey as the smoothest.  We all enjoyed a complimentary Jameson on the rocks or Jameson, ginger ale and lime.  Slainte!

After securing a couple souvenir takeaways, we headed to the Brazen Head for lunch.  It was established in 1198 and is the oldest pub in Ireland. We spent the afternoon tooling around Dublin. The city has the Dublin castle and other ancient buildings alongside newer structures.  Newer defined anywhere between 1700s-2000s.  Nothing is over 4-5 stories. I was intrigued by one building that said ‘Sick and Indicent Roomkeepers Society founded in 1790.‘      

We had whiskey in the morning and stout in the evening.  Mom, dad, Jenny, Christy and I did the optional Guinness Tour.  Our mini bus group received a guided tour.  The gal was adorable but she was competing with a rather loud self-guided tour so I didn’t pick up much.  There was this cool, yet odd, talking portraits gallery.  Again, it was hard to hear yet I did learn Arthur and Olivia had 21 children.  Ten survived to adulthood.  My previous time in Dublin on a bus tour, we were told that the Guinness family was revered.  They treated their employees like family and even had daycare.

One of the previous Guinness’ advertising campaign circa 1920s boasted “Guinness is good for you.”  An ad in a newspaper included this….

“Its health giving value.  Guinness builds strong muscles.  It’s for exhausted nerves.  It enriches the blood.  Doctors affirm that Guinness is a valuable restorative after Influenza and other weakening illnesses.  Guinness is a valuable natural aid in cases of insomnia.

Its nourishing properties.  Guinness is one of the most nourishing beverages, richer in carbohydrates than a glass of milk.  That is one reason why it is so good when people are tired or exhausted.”

What a hoot!  We sampled a restorative pint in the Gravity Bar on the top of the building followed by dinner at the brewery.  

When we got back to the hotel, Jenny and I went to The Barge across the street to watch the World Cup:  USA vs Belgium.  Despite our Dublin friends rooting for our home team, USA lost. 🙁       



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