We awoke in Bath ready to take on another travel day and eventually arrive in Ireland. We began the ‘pack-all-of-our-stuff-as-tightly-and-compact-as-possible’ routine and off we went, walking to the bus station. Boarding a bus destined for Bristol airport, we were extremely excited to get on our flight headed to Dublin.
Unbeknownst to us (but a very popular opinion over here), the airline, RyanAir, is the worst airline and travel decision you can make. Well guess what… we flew RyanAir! They are entirely an “online airline,” which basically means what it sounds like. Every kind of transaction or action you might need to do with a RyanAir employ is done online, with serious monetary consequences if not.
Well, we had no idea it was a requirement to check-in and print your boarding passes online BEFORE arriving at the airport. We didn’t do that. RyanAir charged us an insane amount of money to literally just print our boarding passes. Naturally, our moods and excitement for Ireland quickly went south. Don’t you just love budget airlines! Check out this British comedy singing group, Fascinating Aida, taking the words right out of our mouths. 🙂
Ok, rant over…now, back to the fun. Arriving at our highly recommended hostel, Generator, then sipping down a couple Guinness’ quickly restored our morale. From the modern interior design, to the boisterous bar and cafe, everything about this hostel felt like a hotel (which was welcomed at this point). The hostel used to be a power generator for the industrial district which surrounded the old Jameson distillery.
We only had two nights in Dublin, so we wanted to be sure to fit in as much as possible. Naturally, our first two priorities consisted of touring the old Jameson distillery and the Gusinness brewery. When you visit a city that’s known for its whiskey and Irish Dry Stout – you stop by for the craic!
We enjoyed the Jameson distillery very much, kicking it off with an Irish Coffee for me and a whiskey on the rocks for the Beard. When our tour time rolled around we stepped inside the old doors and we were whisked off into a whirlwind of whiskey knowledge. Sounds tasty doesn’t it?
Our tour guide offered up free whiskey tastings to 8 lucky people in our group – 4 women and 4 men. I raised my hand and was selected as one of the lucky ladies, 3 other women were selected as well. Next, 3 men were chosen and the last remaining whiskey tasting was rewarded to the individual that could solve a riddle.
John, our tour guide, gave the first hint… “It’s a number between 1 and 100 and something you can eat.” Matt and I stewed and stewed over it during the duration of the tour. Of course, being super competitive, it’s all I could think about. I couldn’t even hear John’s history shpeal or the rehearsed punchlines to his overplayed jokes. My focus was solving this puzzle.
As we journeyed to the next room John gave his final hint… “this number is also a symbol”… BOOM. I knew it right away. No one else in the room seemed to have a clue so I casually whispered in Matt’s ear, “pie.” Matt blurted out pie and just like that, the only two Americans on the tour had secured whiskey tastings. It provided a fantastic ending to our tour.
After receiving our super-official “Jameson Tasting Certifications,” it was onto the next event – The old Guinness Brewery. We walked our way through the streets of Dublin into what seemed to be something out of the history books. The weathered brick streets and dark walled buildings of the Guinness Brewery buildings still stand from once erected in the 1700s.
Upon walking into the giant, 7 floor, pint-shaped Guinness Storehouse, we began to experience the making of Guinness. Step by step, each floor a different phase, beginning from the origins at St. James’s gate in Dublin to growth as a global brand, known and distributed all over the world.
Included in your admission, all are given a free pint of Guinness. Either claim this pint at the ‘Guinness Academy’ by learning to pour the beer yourself, or, have the beer served on the top floor, at the Gravity Bar. We opted to pour the beer ourselves, then proceed upstairs to gaze at the 360 degree views of the city. We think we got the best of both worlds.
This was our last night before heading to the farm the next day, so we walked the streets to get some fresh air, then called it an early night. We faced another long travel day in the morning and knew we needed to prepare for two weeks of hard-ish work coming up. We grabbed quick take-away Thai food and watched Irish television until dozing off, imagining what our host had in mind for her two American city-slickers.
Blondie and the Beard