Pub, bar, a drunk lying on the street, bar, statue of a drunk lying on the street (Oscar Wilde counts, right?), pub… No, this isn’t a shitty attempt at modern prose. This is a live stream of my sightseeing bus journey through Dublin.
I hate generalisations, I really do. The Irish have a bad rep for being constantly drunk and I in no way wish to perpetuate this heinous stereotype. All I want to do is emulate them. This is why I’m taking you on a wild, 24-hour ride around Dublin. We’ll be taking the bus, because I don’t condone drunk driving either. Our stops will include the Guinness Factory, Temple Bar and Jameson Distillery. You don’t need a ticket – just two steady feet and a strong stomach. Hop on!
Tuesday, 12pm: Driving around Dublin
When my friend Emer and I arrived in Dublin at 12pm – through no fault of our own, except for getting too drunk the night before and oversleeping – its cobbled streets were slick with rain. I’d destroyed my magnificent rain poncho two days before, so a leisurely walk through the city was not an option. Instead, I swallowed my pride and handed €17 to the smiling driver of a big green sightseeing bus
. Bad blogger, bad blogger, I know.
Statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square.
The Dawson Lounge is Dublin’s – if not world’s – smallest pub.
After boarding the bus, we were welcomed by a throng of school children and two wet seats. Good start. I readied my camera and began snapping away, leaning over the back of the moving vehicle like a mad James Bond impersonator. The views were very lovely indeed. As I pointed out above, this is what they looked like: Pub, bar, a drunk lying on the street, bar, statue of a drunk lying on the street (Oscar Wilde counts, right?), pub.
Well, that’s a lie. There were also a few stone statues of men, guarding the city day after day. They were perfectly still, so I can only assume they were one of the few sober among the rest of us.
Also, there was this delightful shop called “Knobs and Knockers”. It sells household paraphernalia. Of course it does.
Tuesday, 2pm: Guinness Storehouse
Finally, the bus dropped us off in front of the Guinness Factory. “Welcome home,” the bus driver remarked without a hint of irony as we got off. I reluctantly handed over €13 for entry and hoped it’d be worth it. I could describe the tour to you, but let’s be honest – we both know we’re just here for the beer.
Phew, now the tour’s done let’s get to the part you’ve all been waiting for: the drinking. Before Emer and I could relax with a cold pint of Guinness (it’s supposed to be served at 6-7 degrees centigrade), we had to pour it ourselves!
Look at that intense lascivious stare! I was really enjoying this! I also have a photo of Emer pouring a pint, but she looks a lot cooler doing it, her pint came out better and I will not have her eclipse my moment of glory. Do I sound bitter? Must be all the Guinness.
Holding two reddish-black pints in our hands we finally made our way to the Gravity bar, which overlooks the beautiful city of Dublin. As the bus driver pointed out earlier: “People always ask me if the Gravity bar spins. No, I tell them, it doesn’t. At first they believe me, but after two pints everyone thinks I’m lying.” He was lying.
Tuesday, 9pm: Partying in Temple Bar
When visiting a new city for the first time, there’s always an element of uncertainty. Should we go to Bar A or Bar B? Should we order a stein of beer or a glass of wine? In Dublin, I had no such problems. The answer to the latter question was a no-brainer – Guinness all the way! As for the first question, we received our answer in a fairly roundabout way the day before our arrival.
As I mentioned earlier, we missed our 9am bus to Dublin because we had a late night the preceding day and overslept. It started off innocently – a glass of gin and tonic at Lavery’s
, the oldest family-owned bar Belfast. (Un)luckily for me, it turns out that buying rounds is very popular in Northern Ireland and so one glass of gin and tonic quickly turned into five doubles. Soon, we were feeling chatty and our gaze fell upon a young man sitting alone at the bar. We quickly found out that he was a musician and had just finished playing a gig. “When’s your next concert?” I asked. “Tomorrow my friend and I are playing in Temple Bar in Dublin,” he replied. Little did he know, that Emer and I were being serious when we drunkenly promised we’d come see him.
As night was beginning to fall, we made our way to Temple Bar (an area of Dublin) and went to The Temple Bar
(a pub in the Temple Bar area of Dublin). Not confusing at all, I know. The live music was incredible and we felt like local celebrities, eagerly greeting our new friend, the guitar player, during the break. We also went to another pub afterwards, but an elderly man maybe
tried to rob us in there and I can’t remember it’s name, so yeah… I could also add that we bought a mouldy ham-and-cheese sandwich and danced with German tourists on our way back to the hostel, but I am now realising my entire family reads this blog, so I’ll end it right there.
Wednesday, 10am: Jameson Distillery
The Generator Hostel Dublin.
I woke up at 9.50am, cotton-mouthed and hungover. “Let me sleep till 10am,” I told Emer, before remembering that was the time at which we had to check out. I quickly threw my hair in a bun, brushed my teeth and stumbled out of the room. “You sounded like you had a great time last night,” our new American roommate said as I crossed the threshold. I will never know if she was passive-aggressively complaining we were loud or if she was genuinely happy for us. Oh, those wide Hollywood smiles – how they confuse me!
“Where should we go today?” Emer and I wondered as we sat hunched over two glasses of freshly-pressed orange juice. Then we realised the Jameson distillery was just around the corner from the Generator Hostel
where we were staying (€10/night). What better hangover cure than hair of the dog?
We paid €10.60 for student entry and were relieved when we realised that part of the tour was a strange film about the now-defunct distillery’s past. Excited to be sitting down, we pretended to listen as we stretched out our legs and felt sorry for ourselves. Afterward, a tour guide who resembled a metal band bass player showed us around. “Can you see the screen in front of you well?” he asked as he pointed toward a TV showing how barley is turned into Jameson whisky. “Some visitors complain that the image is too grainy. They said they could barley see it.” I love puns, I love puns.
The barrels in the last picture show whisky at different stages of maturation, ranging from one to eighteen years. The empty space which is created as the alcohol seeps into the barrels porous wood is called the “angels’ share”. Cute, isn’t it?
At one point, our guide asked for volunteers to come forward and I’d never miss an opportunity to channel my inner Katniss Everdeen, so I eagerly raised my hand. Big mistake! I was led in front of a table with three shots and my hungover stomach did three backflips. “On the left, you have a shot of Johnnie Walker, a double-distilled Scottish whisky. In the middle you will find a shot of Jameson and to its right a shot of Jack Daniels, a single-distilled whisky from America. If anybody fails to finish their shot, I will personally see to it that they are expelled from Ireland forever,” the guide told us.
Emer and I put our game face on and downed those shots like absolute champs. What better way to end our 24 hours of Irish drunkenness? Shortly thereafter, we shakily made our way to the bus station and bid each other goodbye. I probably won’t be able to pass a breathalyzer test for the next couple of months, but it was totally worth it.