Ireland day 0214. Saturday 30 April 2022- UKvisitors01
Inevitably, after about 2 months of sunny dry weather, now that we have guests to stay, it started raining late last night and it hasn’t stopped since. Not ideal for a day sightseeing in Dublin, of course, but actually the weather didn’t detract too much from the day.
After a substantial and enjoyable brunch at Fegan’s – our go-to café in Dublin – we headed a few metres round the corner to the Jameson’s distillery in Bow St, where we had scheduled a tour and whiskey-tasting session. The company was founded back in 1780 by John Jameson – a Scottish expatriate. Apparently the reason for his product’s success was down to its flavour, which differs from Scotch whiskey because of the different ingredients it uses. This came about as a result the unintended consequence of a tax on malt (one of the key ingredients of whiskey) was introduced in 1785. In an effort to reduce the bill, Jameson’s introduced a high proportion of unmalted barley into their “mash” (the un-fermented soup which is fermented then distilled into Whiskey) to reduce the amount of malted barley and thus the tax. This created a unique flavour which remains popular today.
Nowadays the distillery itself has moved to Cork but the old distillery buildings remain in Dublin and there’s a good “Whiskey Experience” trip – which sounds horrendously touristy but which is actually extremely enjoyable in large part down to the six generous measures of Whiskey that get thrown in along the way. By the way, the word “Whiskey” comes from the Irish Gaelic “uisge beatha” – a which is itself a translation from the Latin “aqua vitae” which means “water of life”. It’s the same in Scots Gaelic.
After a relaxed afternoon in the bar afterwards, we intended to take a leisurely walk through Dublin but got immediately waylaid by the attractions of the “Generator Skyview” Tower. It’s actually the old chimney from Jameson’s distillery and is 58m / 190 ft high. There’s a lift up the outside but it is permanently out of order so there are 244 stairs in the spiral staircase up the middle to clamber up instead. At the top there’s a glass-enclosed viewing platform where you get an excellent vantage right over Dublin. A bit obscured by cloud and mist today, but impressive nevertheless.
After a quick sandwich lunch in the shelter of an old café, we crossed over the Liffey than seemed to end up in Temple Bar, as if by magic. Guinness was drunk and craic was enjoyed, then suitably mellow we wound our way past Molly Malone, down Grafton Street, and back to Pearse station for the train to Malahide.
All in all a great day out, notwithstanding the weather, and an excellent introduction to Dublin for our guests.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(No map today)