First day in Dublin was spent on a city tour. The guide pointed out the houses of Oscar Wilde, The Duke of Wellington, places associated with James Joyce who wrote Ulysses etc etc. Other famous dubliners were Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, Johnathan Swift who wrote Gullivers travel, Seamus Heaney and the list goes on. We drove past St Stephen’s Green, Phoenix park, the two Dublin cathedrals, Dublin zoo where the first lion used by MGM studio as their mascot was born. He was replaced when the silent movies were replaced by the talkies.
We then had a two hour break to walk around the city. We ended up having some snacks with Guinness to wash it all down in a lovely little pub. Next to the pub there was an antique book store full of first editions. Bram Stoker’s, another dubliner, first edition of Dracula and early editions of Pooh Corner, Alice in wonderland and Enid Blyton’s adventures of the secret seven.
Soon it was time to rejoin the rest of the tour and find out how the most famous stout in the world was brewed. As I wasn’t planning to brew any beer, I didn’t spend much time on the brewing process but instead concentrated on the parts that interested me. So we queued up for the tasting experience and they explained how it was meant to be done. Let the liquid linger in your mouth for a little while before swallowing it. The tip of the tongue gets the sweet part, the sides the malted taste and finally the back of the tongue the bitterness from the hop as you swallow it. We were each given a voucher for a free pint. There were two areas where we could get the drink. On the fourth floor we could do this by pulling our own pint and the top floor where we could watch the panoramic view of the city. I didn’t need to choose, I was going to learn to pull my own pint and then go up the stairs to the top floor to have a look at the view. The guy at the pump gave us a quick demo and soon we were pulling our perfect pints, even our elderly aunts had a go.