A tower and a pint

One last day. Tomorrow morning I’ll board the plane for home, but I had a couple of things to do first.

After breakfast I took a DART train out to Sandycove, where the tower that figures at the start of Ulysses still stands. There’s now a James Joyce museum there, run by volunteers, and free to the public to visit, although I was the only one there. It’s pretty interesting if you like Joyce, which I do.

I had originally planned to visit Clontarf Castle, but I learned that the current iteration is only about 200 years old, and is now home to a hotel. It bears little, if any, resemblance to the original Twelfth century version, which at any rate was built more than a hundred years after the famous battles with Viking invaders took place. So I decided to to skip it. The Joyce museum was a more than adequate substitute.

Sandycove itself is a nice neighbourhood, reminiscent of Kitsilano in Vancouver, but a little more reserved. The beaches are beautiful, but were sparsely populated in spite of the unusually warm weather.

The view from the top of the tower. I imagined I could make out a plume of smoke from a mail boat.

I left Sandycove and made my way back to Grafton Street, where I had a quick lunch, and then on to St. James’s Gate to tour the Guinness Storehouse. It’s interesting how similar the processes are for making beer & whisky – up to a point. Beer makers put hops into the wort, for example, and they don’t distill their product.

At any rate, i (and several hundred others today) learned the secret to pouring a perfect pint, and I picked up some souvenirs and gifts in the gift shop. I can’t imagine a similar tour involving a Canadian brewer. Who would want to learn how your a Molson or Labbatt’s beer just so?

My perfect pour, if I do say so.

Now I’m back at the hotel, and thinking about where to wander for dinner. No place too far, I think. I’ve walked nearly 17 km today already, and I’m burnt out on tourist stuff. Then I’ll come back here, and maybe have a pint or two in the pub downstairs before saying goodnight to Dublin for the last time.

This holiday has been a blast. Thanks to everyone who’s been following along. I’ll be back in a couple of days.

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