Our hostel in the downtown area of Dublin, the Aparto Binary Hub, was a short walk up to James street and across it to the Guinness Storehouse, so we planned our tour for this morning because we flew out of Dublin for London at 3:35 pm. We left our bags at the desk for 10 Euros and walked a short trip to the Storehouse.
The Guinness Storehouse tour was fascinating–years ago, I went through the Coors brewery in Golden, CO often, so I knew the brewing story, but the Guinness story is unique for sure. The six story building had something for everyone, and it was obvious that this was a main attraction in Dublin–lots and lots of people.
“The owner of St. James’s Gate Brewery required 100 pounds as a down payment and 45 pounds per month for rent. On the last day of December 1759, Arthur Guinness somehow managed to get the owner to agree to a lease for up to 9,000 years on these terms. Guinness is still brewed at St. James Gate, and the company still pays 45 pounds in rent each month.” (https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/01/07/arthur-guinness-signed-a-9000-year-lease-for-an-abandoned-brewery-in-dublin-guinness-is-still-brewed-at-st-james-gate/)
Lin thoroughly enjoyed the tour. He was excited about tasting “Real” Guinness beer because he had been a bartender at the Leprechaun Bar in New York City for many years, and any Irish patrons said the Guinness in the USA didn’t taste the same as the Guinness in Ireland. After his sampling, he agreed.
I’m a recovery alcoholic so there were parts of the tour that were hard, but I kept focussed. While he did his sampling, I roamed the gift shop. We ended our time there up on the top floor with a 360 degree view of Dublin–it was breathtaking.
Afterwards, we retrieved our bags and hailed a taxi for the airport, arriving early, so we ate lunch leisurely. Our flight to London left at 3:35 pm, and both of us regretted leaving Ireland. We added Ireland to our trip more for Lin than me, but Ireland and its people captured my heart, too! It had been a delightful experience.
When we landed at Heathrow and retrieved our bags, we had a hard time finding our taxi driver that our travel agent had pre-arranged, but finally Lin succeeded amidst a sea of drivers waiting for arriving passengers. The driver was talkative and informative on the drive to our hotel, The Mornington Hotel.
The rest of this day was leisure and low-keyed. The hotel clerk, Charlotte, helped us as we prepared for our week in London. She directed us to where we could exchange dollars to pounds and how to get to “The Tube.”
So off we went on a walking tour. First we exchanged money, then we made our way to the Subway station–easily in walking distance. Our tour guide had sent us two Oyster cards preloaded with 20 pounds to get us started–what a true gift!
We returned to our lovely room and relaxed in the evening, excited about our next day’s adventure in London. Our tour guide had set up a wonderful itinerary for our five days:
- First day – Total London Tour – Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Tour of London, River Cruise on the River Thames, and Ride on the London Eye
- Second day – a free day to do as chose – we chose to see the Charles Dickens’ museum but it was closed. The rest of the day we spent at the British museum.
- Third day – Tour outside of London – Enjoyed a day-tour to Warwick Castle, probably England’s finest medieval fortress, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds and the historic university city of Oxford. Admission to Warwick Castle, Christchurch College and a walking tour of Oxford were included in your tour.
- Fourth day – a free day to do as chose – We went back to the Charles Dickens’ museum and “Les Miserables” at the Queen’s Theater in the West End of London
- Fifth day – Tour out of London – Enjoyed Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury Tour
That’s a quick summary of our time in London. I will go in more detail with each day because they were filled to the brim with adventure.
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Share your thoughts and comments below–I would love to hear your reaction to this post! Have you traveled to Ireland? England? Let’s have a conversation.