Yesterday was mostly filled by a visit to my Dad’s friend Liam (and some more driving!) though we did get to go to Waterford crystal in the morning. They have a small factory inside the city and though it was clearly built for tourist visits, it’s really nice.

They have a showroom where you can buy Waterford crystal (if you have a fatter wallet than I do!) and get your picture taken with one of their globe pieces…

(worth about…oh, six or seven thousand dollars).

The tour then takes you up close and personal to the process they use to create the crystal – literally! You can talk to and interact with the guys (there were no females working at this factory) as they are blowing, cutting, engraving, etc. the crystal. And it’s a guided tour so everything is explained as you go along. It apparently takes a lot of work and skill to be employed by Waterford crystal as a blower/cutter/engraver – 6 to 10 year apprenticeships! However, something cool that the engravers get to do is make their own pieces – they had a table full of them on display, and I especially liked this dragon vase:

They also showed us some pieces they are currently working on, including one for the London 2012 Olympics and one for the super bowl (they make a lot of trophies).





Then we drove to Fethard, a VERY small town (village really) for dinner and relaxing with one of my Dad’s old flat mates (they lived in NYC together back in the ‘80s). He and his wife were extremely hospitable, and we stayed there last night.

I’m working on a google map that will show our driving routes and all the places we went – I’ll put it up with my last post.

More on my adventures later!