For our last day in Dublin we decided to take a cab into the city, because the thought of driving and parking in Dublin’s city center frightened me to my core, and upon seeing that he was taking us to the Guinness Storehouse the cabbie muttered “quelle surprise”. We fully admitted that there was no more touristy thing we could do than start our day with a tour of Dublin’s most notorious tourist hotspot, but who goes to Dublin and skips the Guinness Tour? Even the cabbie couldn’t argue with that logic. The “factory” tour is actually through a former storehouse that has been converted into a museum, and upon entering Audrey’s first exclamation was “Oh my God, it’s Willy Wonka’s!” And that was totally apt – the building was old and industrial, with riveted girders and crumbling tiles, but they’ve filled it with escalators and LEDs and even a waterfall, so it felt like Gene Wilder and a troop of Oompa Loompas was going to burst into song around every corner. The experience itself was surprisingly well done, and we left two hours later a bit tipsy and much more knowledgeable about beer making, barrel making, and everything else related to Dublin’s finest ale.
We wandered through the city after the Guinness tour, hitting St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Stephen’s Green along the way, and just as Audrey was starting to fade I made the request that we walk through the Temple Bar section of town just to see what music we could find playing in the pubs. Navigating the crowds, I heard a fiddle, and echolocated my way into a crowded bar where a guy on a guitar was accompanying another fellow who was playing up a storm on the fiddle. I thought we’d found our spot to enjoy a few drinks, but the Irish music finished, and the guitarist said “sing along”, and suddenly the music went from folk to the White Stripes. I was having none of that, so we headed further north and heard the unmistakable notes of the song “Galway Girl” coming from a bar. That being my favorite Irish tune, we made a beeline into the bar, and spent the next 45 minutes drinking another Guinness while the Murphy Sisters absolutely killed it with amazing harmonies, a guitar, a banjo, and an accordion. All in all it was an excellent way to bring the trip to a close.