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Europe » Ireland » County Waterford » Waterford
November 10th 2014
Published: November 10th 2014
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Route So Far

I've gone from Dublin to Galway. Galway to Cliffs of Moher to Limerick. Limerick to Killarney. Killarney through the Ring of Kerry to Kenmare. Kenmare through part of the Ring of Beara to Blarney. Blarney now to Waterford. It has been a wonderful journey so far. Only a few days left.

The place I stayed at last night in Blarney had dogs, and it made me miss my kitties back home. When I checked in to my new place in Waterford, I was super excited to learn there are kitties here! They aren't allowed in the guest sections of the house, but the owner let me snuggle with them for a few minutes near the doorway. It warmed my heart.



The drive to Waterford was uneventful. Once I got into town I dropped off my laundry (they don't have laundromats where you do your own out laundry here, you have to drop it off and pay someone else to do it) then went to the House of Waterford Crystal.



This place has been on my must-see list for months, ever since I watched a Rick Steves episode that was filmed here. I went on the guided tour and got to see all the different stages of crystal making, from lead glass molding and mouth-blowing to cooling, beveling and smoothing and on to marking and molding, and then the actual cutting and engraving. The only thing they don't do onsite there is the acid wash to make it 'crystal' clear and
Giant Crystal VaseGiant Crystal VaseGiant Crystal Vase

Like bigger than me.
sparkly. It's an 8 year apprenticeship, and they only specialize in one segment of the production. They truly are experts, the master cutters don't even use guides for any of the standard patterns, they just have them all memorized! And there are no 'seconds' here. If anything isn't perfect at any quality inspection during the manufacturing process, it just gets smashed to pieces and melted back down to try again. It was pretty awesome and I’m glad I went. Plus, it helped kill a few hours while it was pouring rain outside. I even splurged on some new fancy modern style wine glasses.



After the crystal place, I went to the nearest indoor attraction I could find, the Medieval Museum. Turns out it was field trip day and a bunch of teenagers were running around, but it was still pretty cool. I probably would have learned more had I stayed with the school's tour guide, but the kids were being kids, so I ditched them and led myself around.



After the museum, I tried walking around town, but after just a block or two my jeans and shoes were soaked. Still raining, and I don't think I used my camera once. I've learned the hard way that it's difficult to manage a wet camera and its case, and even more difficult when water gets on the lens, so I just took a few indoor pics with my iPhone. Because I was soaked, I just picked up my clothes and checked in early. I'm still trying to dry out now, and I plan to head to the pub across the street for dinner in a little while.



Since my hostess recommended the pub, I asked her about my experiences in the other 2 where I hadn't been noticed. She said that wasn't normal, but recommended I head straight to the bar and ask for a menu instead of sitting down first. She said they shouldn't have ignored me, but maybe they thought I was waiting for other people to join. Anyway, I'm taking her advice; she even offered to loan me her neon yellow coat to wear since I'll be crossing the street in the dark. Most bikers and folks who are out walking their dogs (even during the day) are wearing these bright yellow coats. I definitely think they do a better job of staying visible to cars here than we do in the States.



Oh my goodness - just as I was about to publish this, I noticed the battery getting low on my laptop. I checked the outlet, because sometimes they have a little on/off switch on them, but this one had none. I unplugged my converter and saw that one of the little metal ends had broken off and was stuck inside the outlet. Um...yikes. So I went and knocked on the home-side of the B&B. When the husband answered, I said, "Sorry, I have a bit of a problem here." He agreed, came right over and took everything apart, got the broken piece out, then even went to get a new converter for me to borrow! Super nice! So I've got enough battery power now to last until I buy another one. Hopefully tomorrow is less rainy. My next destination is only 45 minutes away, so I might spend some time in Waterford again in the morning before I head to Kilkenny.


Additional photos below
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Many Crystal ChandeliersMany Crystal Chandeliers
Many Crystal Chandeliers

In the gift shop. I didn't look at the prices.
Medieval MuseumMedieval Museum
Medieval Museum

This really was the old mayor's wine cellar. The ceiling is vaulted wickerwork - apparently it's the only intact one left in Northern Europe.


11th November 2014

crystal
Hi Jess, I bet the waterford crystal place was cool.We got nailed by a storm 9 inches towards you and more north but we only got an inch now the freezing cold is coming. Im glad you are having a good trip but you should of brought my rubber boots. Love mom

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