Trip to Ireland September – October 2006


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Return to previous day, Thursday 21 September.

Friday 22 September

In Dublin (indeed, in Ireland) it seems it either has just stopped raining or is just about to start.

After breakfast we bought day tickets for Luas and took the tram to Heuston station where we purchased the tickets for Galway on Monday.  It was then a short walk to the Guinness visitor centre.  There is a very slick presentation which finished with a glass of Guinness at the Gravity bar at the top of the building.  The presentation not only looked at the production (four ingredients are malt, yeast, hops and water while there is a fifth which is the genius of Arthur Guinness) but also the marketing with the various slogans with the pelican followed by the toucan and the girder man, "Guinness is good for you" and this was followed by a description of how Guinness used to be available on doctor's prescription as a pick me up and to help get over a bout of influenza.


There were two locomotives on display, a planet diesel and a steam locomotive.  Unfortunately there was no write up, nor a description of the way they use the narrow gauge locomotives to power a broad gauge chassis.

One of the most interesting displays was a short movie made in 1951 showing a cooper making a barrel.  There must have been an enormous saving when the brewery switched to metal casks.  Master coopers could tell a bad barrel that needed repairs by its smell.  A cooper's apprenticeship was seven years and after he had made his first barrel, it would be filled with Guinness, sawdust and other dirt.  His mates put him in it and rolled him around the street for as long as they thought fit.

The Guinness was excellent, not so bitter as last night.  To get your drink you surrendered a ring which is attached to a souvenir plastic bubble ticket with a bubble of Guinness.

People buying a coffee at the snack bar were served it in black containers with a white cover giving an imitation of a glass of Guinness.

Although the presentation was slick there was nothing in depth.  For example there were no details on the railway or the locomotives or the barges and vessels.

From there we walked to the James Luas station and took the tram to the end of the line at Tallagh.  It goes along the street with the traffic, on private right of way and also in the centre of a dual carriageway.  The area at the end was not inviting so we took the next tram back to Blackhorse to the Blackhorse Inn where we had a very substantial bowl of Irish Stew and shared a chicken sandwich.  Another Guinness was as good as the earlier one but served cooler.  This was definitely not a tourist place but quite adequate food.  It only cost €14.70.


We took the tram back to Heuston station to find out that the IRRS bookstore was only open on Thursday evenings.

Back to Abby street and then we walked across the Liffey, past Trinity College to St. Stephen's Green for a walk in the park and then we caught the tram out to Sandyford, at the end of the Green Line.  This line is different from the Red Line as it goes through pleasant suburban areas and, except at the north end, it is on the right of way of the old line to Bray.

St. Stephen's Green

Back in the centre of town we went into an old shopping mall, St. Stephen's Green shopping centre which was of metal and glass construction - very attractive.  We wandered back to the hotel though Dame Street and Temple Bar.

We took a short walk in the evening around Temple Bar with a stop for a shared pizza.  Most people in the service industry are from Eastern Europe.

Go to next day, Saturday 23 September