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Waterford Crystal FactoryOur last major city to tour was Waterford, home of the famous Waterford Crystal Factory.Waterford Crystal Factory Craftsman Naturally we had a tour of the factory which is the largest crystal factory in the world. It was amazing watching the master craftsmen at work. They must memorize the designs during their 5 year apprenticeship so they can cut the leaded glass by hand.

Engraver - Waterford Crystal FactoryThe factory had a huge showroom with many sport championship trophies on display. Also a very nice gift shop where you could buy Waterford Crystal as well as other Irish handcrafts. We learned that Waterford Crystal is sold at a fixed price throughout Ireland so if you found a design you liked at one shop there was no need to wait and hope to find it cheaper somewhere else.Finished Product - Waterford Crystal Factory



Waterford at low tideAfter our factory tour, we had a walking tour of the city. Waterford is Ireland's oldest city, founded by the Vikings in the 9th century. It is rich in historical buildings like Reginald's Tower.Reginald's Tower - Waterford It was erected in 1003 and is Ireland's oldest standing building in continuous use. It has served as a prison, a fortress, a mint,and is now a museum.Clock Tower - Waterford After the tour, we were treated to a drink at T & H Doolan, at 170 years old, the oldest pub in Waterford.


For more photos of Waterford, go to the Ireland Photo Gallery.T & H Doolan's Pub - Waterford








Our last day in Ireland, we left Waterford to head back to Dublin. We made one last stop for lunch at Kilkenny, site of the impressive Kilkenny Castle. The stables and coach house of the Castle have been converted to artisan studios and galleries with craftspeople from all over Ireland. A great place to pick up some last minute gifts and souvenirs.Kilkenny Castle

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