last major city to tour was Waterford, home of the famous Waterford
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.