This morning’s first destination was the Guinness Storehouse. Our local specialist, Mary, told us a number of stories about Dublin’s past and present as the bus toured the city en route to Guinness. Some notable sites we passed were the Georgian houses with the different coloured doors, built during a period of English rule. Four King Georges of England reigned during this time. We saw Oscar Wilde’s house and the statue built to honour him. Then there was the lady selling toilet rolls on a street corner which the locals refer to as ‘bogside’. There was a canal running through the town, straight out of the Industrial Revolution, with water spilling over a lock. And not forgetting Irish pubs, lots of them, including the newest one – The Virgin Mary. Mary told us about the hard times Dublin and its people went through, as recently as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath, but she reassured us that the city is bouncing back well again and Dublin is now back on its feet and forging ahead.
The Guinness Storehouse is in a large structure, seven storeys high, that takes the shape of a giant pint glass. It was here that the fermentation process once took place. Today it is a major tourist destination. Luckily we arrived ahead of most of the crowds. A few of us made our way to the Guinness Academy on the fourth floor to learn the craft of pouring a perfect Guinness. When the task was successfully achieved, we were able to drink the pint we had poured. It looked so good, Marg even took a few swigs of my glass. Not a bad effort from someone who doesn’t drink beer. The seventh floor bar provided 360 degree views of Dublin. As always, the exit was through the gift shop, where large amounts of tourist cash was being exchanged for all manner of goods bearing the famous Guinness label. I succumbed and bought a Guinness tee shirt.