At first glance Dublin reminds us of Vancouver, BC. Although, there are probably fewer Americans in Vancouver. Our first Dublin adventure involved an almost steady jet lagged walking tour. We were testing a new protocol for minimizing the effects of jet lag. It was brutal, but it seems to have worked.
On our walking tour we wandered into O’Donoghue’s 15 Bar. It’s just off Grafton Street on Suffolk. We ordered small glasses of Guinness, fish and chips, and Irish stew. Donna and I were soon surrounded by fresh off the tour boat Americans. They were gushing about a leprechaun tour, and hoping to see the Loch Ness Monster when they visit Scotland. All of this was encouraged by unfailingly polite locals. Tourism boosts the economy.
O’Donoghue’s fish and chips were very good. The Irish stew was excellent. The Guinness wasn’t part of the jet lag protocol, but it was worth adding.
We have found the fastest way to orient ourselves in a new city is to take a “Hop on, Hop off” tour bus. In Dublin it’s best to take the green “DoDublin” busses. We took a red tour bus. There were three green busses for every red bus. Dublin’s chill doesn’t make longer waits desirable. If it happens to be raining? Take a green bus.
No matter which bus you choose you will wind up at the Guinness Storehouse. You will want to take the tour, and you should. It’s the Disneyland of Beer. The tour is slick, well-structured, and self-guided.
The animatronic fish riding a bicycle was a highlight. It was presented with the quote, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”. There was no accompanying quote for men. I suppose it would be, “A man needs a woman like… Give me another beer.”
The tour winds up on the sixth floor at the Gravity Bar. It’s a great place to cash in your ticket stub for a pint of Guinness. The beer comes with a 360 degree view of Dublin. Donna ordered the traditional extra stout. I ordered the #13 Hop House Lager.
The tradition pint is poured with great ritual. To get the perfect head it’s poured and allowed to sit before being topped off. It’s a process that maximizes the beer’s frothy creaminess. The lager was unceremoniously poured and served immediately. It was very hop forward with citrusy notes. This should have been worth remembering.
After demolishing our pints we headed down to the fifth floor to eat. Oysters were on the menu. Pairing them with Guinness extra stout is recommended. The oysters were fresh, briny, perfectly chilled, and delicious. The pairing??? The best oysters avoid off month muddy notes. The earthiness of a porter introduces these notes. The citrusy Hop House Lager would have made a better pairing. Forget the beer though. Give us champagne!
Jet Lag Protocol
1. Don’t consume any alcohol on your flight. 2. Only take cat naps that are no longer than an hour. 3. Once you arrive in the new time zone take a brisk walk. (We put in 3.5 miles.) 4. Stay up until 10 PM local time.
I didn’t quite manage #4. I closed my eyes between 8 and 9 PM and didn’t open them again until midnight. I read for an hour and managed to sleep for the rest of the night. When I got up at 8 AM the next morning I wasn’t fogged in with that typical jet lagged feeling. Sixteen hours and 4.2 miles of walking later I am still obnoxiously perky. Donna has tomorrow’s adventures thoroughly planned!