Last full day in Ireland! We started off the morning by walking to the Connolly Station for the Luas, so we could take it to the Guinness Storehouse. We booked a morning tour ticket, but it’s self-guided, so it really didn’t matter what time we showed up. I would highly recommend going in the morning, though, because it got more and more crowded the longer we were there.
The storehouse is awesome and well worth the money for the tour. Here are some of the fun facts:
- Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery
- The brewery purchases 2/3 of the malting barley grown in Ireland each year
- The water for Guinness comes from the Wicklow Mountains rather than the River Liffey
- Arthur and Olivia Guinness had 21 (!!!) children. 10 of them survived to adulthood
- Coopering (making or repairing casks) was a big part of the Guinness company. When an apprentice became a fully qualified cooper, he built a cask, got it in, and then all of his coworkers would fill it with whatever they had on hand and roll it down the street
We visited the tasting room where we got these adorable glasses of Guinness (just the right size for me) and learned the proper way to taste it (breathe in through your nose, sip it, hold it on your tongue, exhale through your nose and swallow). Then Josh attended “Guinness Academy” where you learn how to do the proper pour of Guinness, which should take exactly 119.5 seconds.
I was going to get my pour at the Gravity Bar on the 7th floor, which has a nice panoramic view of the city, but there were approximately 700 people up there, so we stayed just for a picture and then went back downstairs.
I got my pour at one of the restaurant bars on the 5th floor. There was a group of older women who had grabbed straws and put them in their beers, and the bartenders were in the process of taking the straws off the table to prevent more people from doing it. I thought it was hilarious.
We grabbed lunch at the Brewers Dining Hall where I had the bacon, potato, and leek soup, and Josh had the beef stew again. To echo my point about going in the morning, there was a line outside to get in as we were leaving.
We took the Luas back to Connolly (the tram was full of interesting characters) and then bought DART tickets down the coast to Dalkey. The train was relatively empty, and I loved the view as we went down the coast!
Even though we got off at Dalkey, we decided to walk to Killiney Hill Park first. We walked through what I would call the suburbs of Dublin to get there and then headed up the hill. Walking up that hill was the only time I was hot on the entire trip! For once, it was sunny without any wind.
The view from the top was spectacular! I became annoying again with my remarks of “it’s so pretty!” The water is bright turquoise with the only dark patches coming from the clouds overhead.
After hiking down we walked to Dalkey Castle. Even though we’ve already toured 2 other castles, I was drawn to Dalkey because they have period actors! We started off walking through a timeline room where we learned that the lowest class passengers had to help push the train to the station if it ran out of steam. Then we watched a 10-minute video and the tour guide took us around the Abbey.
Then we met the period actors! First there was an archer who took us up to the house where we met the cook. The cook took us on the roof of the house and then brought us back into the house where we met the lady who told us all about how Henry VIII combined the company of barbers with the guild of surgeons to make one profession – barber surgeon. Barber poles got their red and white stripes from barber surgeons hanging the bloody bandages out to dry on poles.
After the tour we took the DART back to Connolly and ordered a pizza on the train. Back at Connolly we walked to a bus stop and caught a bus to the pizza shop. It took a little while to get a bus because the drivers just wave you off and keep driving if the busses are full! Thankfully it wasn’t that long, and we grabbed our pizza and walked to our AirBnb to pack up to head home!