Ireland - 2016
23/06/16  We walked down to the City Center of Swords and caught the Swords Express bus into Dublin.  The landmark we were told to look for was the Penney's store.  Sure enough, right next to a McDonalds was Penney's.  Felt like we were back home....almost......not!  The bus ride was about 30 minutes and dropped us off near the center of Dublin with a 1 mile walk or bus ride to the Guinness Storehouse, our primary reason for being in Dublin in the first place.  Did get a few nice photos as we walked.  We had a reserved tour time of 11:30 and were to be there by 11:15.  We didn't dally and were right on time.  Since I had purchased the tour on-line, we went directly to the entrance where we were told that it was a self-guided tour and we could go right on in.  WOW!  What a place.  The photos from the web site do not do it justice.  And so much to experience on the way from the bottom to the top.  In Ireland, and maybe Europe in general, they name the floors of buildings differently from us.  Counting the entry way, there were seven floors.  However the tour only lists five floors since it has two 'ground floors'.  So any way we negotiated a series of stairs and escalators, visiting places like the tasting room where we each got a jigger sized glass of the brew and instructions on how to drink it.  I thought I already knew....wrong.  It is supposed to sipped from beneath the head since the head consists mostly of nitrogen bubbles!  Then it was on to the advertising floor where we saw all the adds going back to the beginning.  The most famous is the Toucan but there have been a host of other animals over the years including kangaroo, austrich and sea lion.  Another thing worth noting is the original lease, signed by Aurthur Guinness on December 31, 1759, 9000 years at 45 pound sterling per year.  There are still a lot of years left on the lease...  One of the floors features a clinic on how to pour the perfect pint.  Of course I've watched a lot of bar tenders pour Guinness and most of them had it mostly right.  Some might have actually done it totally correct.  But at any rate, I poured one and received not only a certificate of proficiency but also the pint!  Here's how it's done.
Yum!  Although, I'm not sure it is any better there than from a tap in the US, just great anytime I can get it.
Cathy has most of the photos on her phone and I don't know how to get them off.  So here is one of the only shots I took.  This is the Storehouse and the entry is just up the way where the little crowd of people is standing.
24/06/16  Supposedly our last night in Ireland.  Though it has been a wonderful two weeks, we are now ready to get home.  So getting up early Friday morning, we trundle our luggage out to the car and set off for the airport.  I didn't check my emails, having verified that our flight was still scheduled for 11:30 am.  So imagine my surprise when I tried to print our boarding passes and was told that the flight was delayed.  In fact, it had not yet left JFK, a six hour flight.  So we waited as the time continued to get pushed back.  Finally at about 4:30, they advised us that the flight was cancelled and we would be bussed to the Carylton Hotel for the night.  At least they picked a great place to put us up.  They also provided us with vouchers for meals.  And as it turned out, we ate two lunches, a dinner and a breakfast at the Carylton.  I also consumed a few pints of the dark as we waited.  Our flight finally left Dublin at 11:30 pm Saturday evening.  We had to change planes in Atlanta and were back in San Antonio at 10:30 on Sunday.  Talk about jet lag!  So that does it.  Now for the photo page.
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