Glass, cloth, religion, and Dublin
Jul 5, 2017
|Up around 6:00 and pack up then down to breakfast a little past 7:30. Seems you had to be there at 7:10 or you didn’t get to order what you wanted so I had cheese, jelly, and rolls. Yum. Not too bad though. Alice came down and nibbled.
Then on to the bus and off on our journey with George, a new driver for a couple days.
We drove about ten minutes to the Waterford crystal factory and did the tour and watched folks blow and etch glass. Got to see several unique pieces as well. Seems they only do clear glass at this plant and colored glass in other places. Keeps the furnaces clean. In any event, after about a fifteen minute tour we had 45 minutes to shop in their store.
Alice an I looked around a bit but then headed, under protest, down to the river and Reginal (the Viking) Strongbow’s keep – a massive circular tower built in 1005 or so. There was also a replica long boat and other stuff. A large statue to the commander of the Irish Brigade in the American Civil War who was born in the town.
Then back to the shop to get Alice some breakfast and me a scone – very nice with “clotted cream” and butter (clotted cream is whipped cream without sugar it seems). Finished most of it prior to our return to the bus.
Then we headed north to the Avoka Weaving Mill – a resurrected mill there that weaves Irish fiber. A lot of their stuff is done “somewhere else” but the two had looms and four mechanical ones were there and the mechanical ones were running. Looks like they only wove blankets and scarves. I asked about the patterns the mechanical looms used (Hollerith cards) but she knew nothing., In any event after a 15 minute tour we had 45 minutes to shop! We looked round for a while then hung out down by the stream.
Then back on the bus and off to the Irish mountains and Gleann Da Lock – the remains of an ancient monastery. It was quite impressive with a 100 foot town whose door was 12 feet off the ground. The guide said it was for both a lookout and as a beacon for pilgrims. There were also the remains of an old cathedral and several small churches, and many grave markers – some quite old and other new – still an active cemetery.
We finished the tour then looked at local shops – not the same as the other two – these were independent parasitic stalls selling everything from “Kevin’s Cones” (Saint Kevin’s monastery) to shamrocks in plastic. All in all an interesting site.
Then of on the bus to Dublin through the mountains and into the congested city – 1/3 of Ireland’s population lives in Dublin. In any event we work through the traffic and stopped in Phoenix Park for a break - nice monument to Wellington that he apparently had erected to himself - The Irish didn't like him much. Then we made our way to the Guinness Brewery where we leave off half the tour to take a look at the place. Then to the Gibson Hotel where we will spend two nights!
Get our room (overlooking another office building) and rest a bit, then head out for dinner on our own to Milano’s – pizza and Caesar salad. Back to the hotel Alice has a strawberry dacari and I have a rum and coke and back to the room for the night.