Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 16

We staggered down to breakfast after a horrendous night, feeling very grumpy, but having had some food and a chat about the day ahead we all felt remarkably better.  Our fantastic tour guide, Kieran, picked us up at 9am and we set off on a tailor-made tour of all the Guinness family places of interest in Dublin.  We felt like mini-celebrities for the day, as Kieran pointed out to all and sundry that Grant, Roxy and Paula were “direct descendants of Arthur Guinness himself”!   As he said, why not milk it for all it's worth ?! 
We started off at the graveyard just outside Dublin where Arthur is buried.  What a lovely little spot!  The cemetery itself is so pretty and the surrounding countryside is absolutely beautiful, exactly what you would imagine rural Ireland to look like.

The cemetery at Oughter Ard, with the traditional round tower

Arthur's descendants at his grave site

We then came back to Dublin and drove around many places of interest -

Dublin City Hall

including many relating specifically to the Guinness family: St Patrick’s cathedral (major restoration conducted in 1860-65 was funded by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness)

and the Guinness Brewery.  The Guinness Brewery was such an awesome place to visit! 

Can you see the family resemblance??

At the brewery, you are taken on a journey through the making of Guinness, all the way up a circular building (made to look like a pint of Guinness!), culminating in the Gravity Bar, which is a see-through round bar on the very top of the building with 360deg views of Dublin.  After the brewery we stopped for lunch at The Church Restaurant, the (now de-consecrated) church where Arthur Guinness was married - an incredible restaurant that serves a mighty fine chowder. 

After lunch we headed out to St Anne’s Park (the huge estate that once belonged to the Guinness family, which is now the most gorgeous public park) via Dublin bay.  I have honestly never seen anything like the rose gardens at St Anne’s park in my entire life, and the scent of the roses….unbelievable!

We then drove around Dublin seeing various sights including the former (now derelict) U2 recording studios, a hotel owned by U2, the Molly Malone statue, the new developments in the dock area… so much….  ending at St Stephen’s Green which was bought, landscaped and given to the people of Dublin by Arthur Edward Guinness (Lord Ardilaun)

 We then headed back to our hotel, after an awesome, awesome day.  I have to say our tour guide Kieran was fantastic.  He felt more like a really good friend than a tour guide, brilliant guy and very knowledgeable too!

We found 3 geocaches on our tour, one in the cemetery and 2 in St Anne’s park and we definitely got Kieran hooked on geocaching, he was almost more excited about our finds than we were!   I’m thinking Tour Dublin may soon be running Geocaching Tours J

We were pretty tired after our hectic day, so headed next door to The Bleeding Horse (one of the oldest pubs in Dublin) for a quick bite to eat and then headed straight to bed.


Anonymous said...

So where are all the Guiness millions? Is taht why you can afford all these holidays!?? hee hee

Gill said...

Geez I wish we could lay our hands on the moola. I gather that Grant's ancestor turned down his turn at the brewery as he was a missionary!