Ireland Trip: Day 2 (Guinness: What Better Way To Celebrate Getting Over Jet lag?)
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Anaheim = Disneyland. Dublin = Guinness Storehouse. Here I am trying some of Ireland’s black gold in the Gravity Bar, a rooftop, 360-degree view of Dublin bar that sits on top of the Guinness Storehouse (from a distance the building is a pint, the bar being the head).
I missed out on the tour due to a morning stop at the Queen of Tarts, one of Dublin’s best breakfast joints. There’s a quiet rumor going around that they have the best scones in Dublin, which if you’ve ever spent time here, that’s saying alot. Forget the brick-like, tasteless, bland scones made in the U.S., these scones are flavorful, doughy, imaginative breakfast creations that will have you skipping cereal or the traditional Irish breakfast on most mornings. Served with tasty Irish butter or jam, there are a surprisingly wide variety of scones: currant, lemon, whole wheat, mixed berry, cranberry, gingerbread, chocolate (am I getting a little too Forrest Gump here?).
The Guinness Storehouse is only about a twenty minute walk from the center of Dublin, and 15 euros later you’re inside the city’s most popular destination. A little light on learning and a little heavy on theatrics (to make Porter you need beer — cue giant waterfall), the tour is a multi-story hike up a building in the shape of a pint glass, culminating in the aforesaid Gravity Bar.
On the way out I stumbled (quite literally) upon a sign that said “Library.” A Guinness library, this I’ll have to check out, I thought to myself. After wandering the small room a bit, I ran into (okay it was a small room — we simply saw each other when she walked in) an archivist who agreed to do an interview for the video. She told me about the need for an archivist here (there’s alot of important employee records stored in the brewery) and gave me some interesting facts about the history of the plant (preview for the upcoming video: Arthur Guinness was Ireland’s Bill Gates of the 18th century).
Dublin had an amazing full moon that night. I wandered around the manicured grounds of Trinity College around dusk. I think about half the campus was sitting outside, enjoying the weather and having a drink on the campus’s giant sports field. I think I saw cricket being practiced, but I’m not sure I’d recognize it even being played let alone practiced.
Afterward I caught a glimpse of this impressive moon while standing at Nassau and Dawson Street, just south of Trinity College. I thought of two movies as I stood there: Moonstruck and An American Tail. I have no idea the last time I even thought about the latter, but I’m thinking it was a very long time ago.