Oh Goodness, my Guinness

Pint of Guinness from Guinness factory in Dublin

Upon finishing a thrilling ride on the Autobahn, I made my way on to Lisbon for a night via Frankfurt before heading to Dublin for the weekend. This was the second-to-last business class flight on my RTW trip, and boy was it shitty. Lufthansa’s European business class flights are nothing more than an economy seat with a better meal and a curtain separating the sections, good thing it was only a 4 hour flight. I Arrived in Lisbon late in the evening, and  checked in to the hostel some time around midnight in attempts to call it a night. While trying to fall asleep I was kept awake by a massive fireworks display at the port, just outside of my window. Apparently, it was the eve of Portugal’s Freedom day, which culminates in a massive party throughout the weekend, complete with ill-timed fireworks display’s.

I was up early in the AM and on my way to Dublin for the weekend, and it was time to meet up with my final travel partner, Amanda. We had been dating prior to my departure on this RTW trip and kept in touch consistently throughout my travels. (Editors Note: She’s now my gf upon my return back home!) It was cheaper for her to fly into and out of Dublin, and for me, it was an excuse to visit another country I’ve been meaning to visit, plus check off another item off my bucket list. That item? Grab a Guinness straight from the source!

With roughly 48 hours in Dublin we tried to make the most of it. First stop on the tour? Obviously it was the Guinness Storehouse. The museum itself is really well done, and is easily the #1 tourist attraction in Dublin, maybe all of Ireland. It is an experience for all of the senses, capped by a pint of Guinness. You can either learn to pour your own Guinness, or you can have one poured for you by one of the bartenders on the top floor of the Brewery with a wonderful 360 degree view of Dublin in the Gravity Bar. We chose the latter, since there was roughly a 30 minute wait to learn how to pour your own Guinness, and there aren’t many other times where that skill would come in handy, unless of course you’re a bartender. Part of me did want to learn how to pour a shamrock in a Guinness, but I guess that’ll have to wait for another time.

We then spent the rest of the day exploring the city and taking in the atmosphere, with intermittent stops to  continue our Guinness consumption. After talking with multiple people it was a mixed bag in terms of their reviews of the Temple Bar area. Here are my two cents. It is an extremely touristy section of town, and basically where every college-aged person goes out to get wasted, as well as the epicenter of every bachelor and bachelorette party in Dublin. However it is  still a place that should be experienced for at least a few drinks or more depending on how much fun you’re having.

The next day we took a walk through the beautiful campus of Trinity College, but we were not blessed with good weather on this day.  The clouds rolled in and brought in an uncomfortable rain and wind that brought the temperature down to 40’s. This ultimately curtailed our tour of Trinity College, and we decided to escape the bad weather and hopped on a double-decker tour bus throughout the city. After seeing all of the major sites, it was time to consume more Guinness. Many people have told me that Guinness tastes better in Ireland. I didn’t find it to be that big of a difference, but it is definitely a lot fresher.

For anyone that hasn’t had a Guinness draught, do yourself a favor and taste some liquid gold at least once in your life, and if you’re lucky do it in Dublin! Some fun facts about Guinness:

  1. It has fewer calories than most major light beers. (210 calories in a pint)
  2. For those that may be disturbed by CO2 of every other beer, Guinness is a mix of Nitrogen and CO2, which helps to give Guinness it’s thick, creamy head.
  3. It’s probably one of the only beer’s that have had advertisements claim that it is good for your health.
  4. Guinness’ official color is Ruby Red.
  5. A ‘perfect pint’ of Guinness should take 119.53 seconds to pour.

All in all I really liked Dublin. The Irish people as a whole are wonderful, and very welcoming. Dublin is a beautiful city that can be easily traversed over a weekend. It might not be a city I have an immediate desire to return to, I’d really like to rent a car some time and traverse the countryside though.

Next stop? Back to Portugal!