Callan, Waterford

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Europe » Ireland » County Waterford
July 21st 2013
Published: May 5th 2014
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Somehow I missed this entry, so adding it a month later.

After a leisurely start to the day, we headed off on a scenic route which would take us through Waterford, along the coast and back to Callan. Apart from the motorways there is no fast way to get anywhere because many roads have no verges or are narrow. Some roads are labelled, some aren’t. All properties are not numbered, so finding someone in the sticks without instructions is almost impossible. We did the local roads to the motorway and then the M9 to Waterford, a new and very good motorway.

After calling at the Information Office for a street map, we set off to walk and see the various attractions. After Kilkenny, we were very under-whelmed by this city. The pavements need a good clean up, there are many shops and the pavements were generally wider but the old part of the town seems to have mostly disappeared and there are only fragments spread here and there. We did visit the Waterford Crystal Show Rooms which was worth a visit but we weren’t interested in doing a tour. The crystal products are magnificent but you need the house
A beautiful little villageA beautiful little villageA beautiful little village

On the way back from Waterford
or the lifestyle to use them.

People are so helpful here. We went into an old tower that a young man came out of, ranting about how useless it was. Along the street, a young woman caught up with us, apologised for the man’s behaviour and asked us if she could help us. We wanted to find somewhere for lunch and she pointed us to Murphy’s Pub. At the door a man welcomed us, wanted to know who we were and where we were from then took us to the restaurant and bar where they served us a magnificent pub meal of roast pork, veges and all the trimmings. At least we wouldn’t have to worry about dinner. Nice experiences.

We then headed to the Information Office to get free WiFi and checked on our emails and I copied in my blogs from the past two days. Not having access to the internet is a pain but we can see that putting it on at the cottage would be very expensive getting the lines in.

From Waterford we went on the coastal road to Tramore which is a beach resort for the Irish. It has all the fun fair attractions (like Brighton) and a long sandy beach where people were actually in swimming despite the coolness. There was rubbish everywhere there and along the coastal parts where people gathered which is not a good look for tourism. It’s the superficial things that need a cleanup and also wouldn’t take a huge amount of effort – like picking up rubbish, collecting it, sweeping the footpaths and getting off chewing gum. The effort is being made in many towns with “clean town” campaigns being had.

We called in at little coves along the coast to have a look and they are quite charming (apart from the rubbish) with low cliffs and rocky inlets. The coast is called the Copper Coast because of the copper mining that took place here, mainly at Bunmahon. They also displayed a GeoPark which explained the geology of the rocks along the coast – volcanics, sandstone, conglomerate and mineralised quartz.

We stumbled upon a most beautiful village called Stradbally which was pristine. It had lovely flower gardens and pots, all the buildings were newly painted in harmonizing colours, signs were tastefully done, and the streets clean. We were impressed.

From the coast we headed back inland until we got to the R677 and R698 back to Callan. Along the way we saw a sign to ‘the Tall Crosses’ so we went to investigate what they were. There are a few of these sites in the area and they appear to be old Celtic Crosses from the 800’s where the monks gathered to pray. Despite their age, you can still recognise the celtic designs on the stone on most of them. They reside in the cemetery where there also used to be a small abbey. All that remains of that are 3 small walls and a holy water well.

Finally, back to Callan and the cottage. Breda called to leave us some eggs, check that all was well and to have another long chat. Shane told us all about the various birds around the area with his lovely child’s enthusiasm. He will be a great story teller when he grows up. I wonder if he’ll still be scared of spiders then?


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