The Guinness Storehouse
Trip Start Apr 12, 2006
115Trip End Ongoing
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I didn't confirm whether that meant 10 in the morning or 10 at night, but after traipsing an early morning Grafton street today, i found little sign of any Brazilians, barring the bikini-line waxing shop opposite Maccas, and figured that they meant 10 tonight. It was a gloriously sunny Dublin mornin, a sensational departure from yesterday's relative gloom and overcast Irish weather, and hopefully a sign of things to come
On the way to the storehouse, i came across a dishevilled lookin boozer, who asked me for a light. I had nothing of the sort, but noticing my Aussie twang, he asked where i was from and we got talking. At that point i remembered the advice in my Lonely Planet that said 'always, always stop to chat', and figuring that this applied to sober folk and righteous boozehounds alike, i pulled up a step next to this bloke and got chatting. Well, i gotta say, me 30 minute conversation with Dave the Irish boozer was one of the most refreshing exchanges i'd had with anyone, certainly in Ireland, but probably on the whole trip. Dave and i talked about rock n roll, our love for early Bon Scott ACDC, the fact that he'd lost 16 guitars in the last three years, and how John Lennon's dad Alfred lived some two blocks away in an old run down Dublinite townhouse. An old wrinkly lass walked passed and said gday to the both of us, Dave knew her from the rehab clinic, and they had a hilarious chat in manic Dublin accent about the state of things, and how they were going with their addictions. Dave had a crusty days old gash on his forehead where someone had smacked him in the head with a wooden crutch, a predicament he referred to as 'outrageous'. Dave's wife left him last year and he continued to linger on the streets, a lost soul, a waster, but a genuine man with a golden heart and a fabulous sense of humour
The Guinness Storehouse is a slick operation, a real modern establishment in facade and interior, and a sensational attraction to brush up on your knowledge of how those magicians actually brew this highly consumable drink of blackened gold. Walked up floor by floor i checked out each interactive display, had a few tastes along the way, and then lined up for a lesson on how to pull the perfect Guinness pint, which i then consumed proudly. Forgetting to take my token for a free Guinness, i took advantage of the staff's omission and went up a floor to the Gravity bar for another freebie, with a fantastic 360 degree window and view of Dublin and the hills that surround. The clouds o'er the Dublin pale resembled the head on my Guinness, fluffy, creamy, a joy to watch. I left the Guinness Storehouse not only more informed about the process of brewing stout, but also a fair bit pissed on my two free pints. Admission was 9 Euro, and two pints are normally 4.50. As Darryl Kerrigan might say, the ticket 'just paid for itself'. My mate Ocker used to expouse theories on how you really only needed a diet of Guinness and bananas to live. I have reason to believe he tried the diet for a reasonable length of time at some point in his life. Well Ock, let me just say that with this local Guinness, bananas aren't even necessary
Felt a tad boozy along the walk home to central Dublin, and opted for a brief siesta at the Abbey Court hostel. Arouse again some hours later, made meself some dinner, then chilled in the lounge and watched a little tele, chatted with some seedy long term residents of the hostel, and took in some bizarre Irish news segments. Read my Lester Bangs book, relaxed, watched Father Ted and just chilled. I later checked out grafton street, and though it was nearly quarter to 11, it seemed that the Brazilians were once again nowehere to be found. Ahh well. I prefer the solo gig anyway.
Another fine day in Dublin, and another fine round of Guinneses.