Thursday was HoHo day. That was the hop oh hop off bus trip. We started out walking to where we thought it was and went in the completely opposite direction. On the way we stopped at a cute little restaurant called The Bell & Pot. Dale ordered a full Irish breakfast which included two large sausages, bacon which comes round and flat and is much more flavorful than at home an egg which no one asked how he would like it cooked, 2 barley cakes one tastes sausage and the other dry and dark..maybe made with rye? He also got toast and a dish of beans like pork and beans without the pork. He did not get jelly or catsup which irritated him. He does not like the strong coffee overestimate here. Even the Americano is not weak enough and many places don't have sugar substitute.
I ordered Green Eggs. A lovely taste combination open faced layer of rye toast,spinich, avocado, and scrambled eggs with puréed feta cheese garnish. It was excellent.
So after breakfast we wandered around for another hour until we found the correct bus stop and started a whirlwind tour of the town. It drizzled off and on all day so this was a great option to get around and get an overview. The first driver was funny, informative, and about our age. The next bus we hopped on had a prerecorded tour. These bus drivers are amazing. Breakneck speed, narrow streets, horrible traffic, and people just walking or biking out of nowhere into their path. Yet they seem to maneuver into and around with ease.
First stop, Guinness Brewery, Guinness spent millions on this building which leads you through a Disneyesque 7 level experience on beer making without actually showing you the real process. Definitely not like the old Oly tour where you walked through the actual plant. One of the tour guides said it is because the also brew Budweiser there and it would just ruin their image for tourists to see that. Yet it was a good experience and I got a "free" pint at the end in the sky bar at the top of the building with a 360 degree view of the city. Entrance fee was $13 Fact: Guinness does not own the property where the brewery is located, but when they started they signed a 9000 year lease.
Back on the bus for a tour of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, which was a much less extravagant tour but in the same vein. Interesting fact: It takes 9 lbs of mash to make 2 bottles of Jameson. I was one of eight on the tour selected to do a taste test. We tried 3 different whiskeys , a Scottish whiskey which tasted smooth and smokey because the barley is roasted with peat, Jameson is triple distilled and roasted with propane and Jack Daniels which I don't think was fair because it is not Americas best whiskey by far.
I received an official whiskey tester certificate and after another free shot of Jameson I'm feeling rather loose.
The distillery had a cafe so we popped in for the fishermans platter of fish and mussels before resuming our tour.
There was much more to see on the tour, but we were cold and wet so decided to hop off at our stop. We didn't really pack for cold weather and are not willing to buy clothes for 2 days.
Speaking of clothing. Everyone here dresses very shabbily. Even when going out it's mostly a ratty blue jean scene. If a girl wears a dress it is always accompanied by a pr of black tights or black leggings. Plus everyone wears posh tennies.
They also walk like their heading away from a fire.Even in the evening, there is no leisurely strolling. Everyone has a cell phone to their ear. The streets literally fill up about 8:30 pm people eating and he bars overflowing into the streets. The only time these people are not hurrying anywhere is when they are sitting on the curb with a drink I their hand. There are buskers on Grafton St but they don't seem to make the money that ones In places like New Orleans do. Of course we are in the college area so most people here are young. Drinking age is 18. For all the hype about the Irish being so friendly, we didn't find that so true. Almost everyone in the service industry was pleasant but no more.
The tourists were also a funny lot. I guess in wanting to soak up the culture they only wanted to talk to you if you Irish. After several attempts at conversation and getting little more than one word answers to "hello where are you from?" we felt somewhat isolated