|On the road from Blarney|
|Rapeseed (Canola) Field|
|Beer Cart Reminiscence|
sculptures depicting the early transport of beer and spirits and murals that are designed to remind the observer of a brewing thirst (it works!)
|Murphy's Mural (even the cat in the "window" is painted!)|
And, of course, the waterscapes are as picturesque as ever.
|Nearly postcard worthy|
Some are stunning postcard-worthy scenes; others are views that make me want to live THERE!
|I'll send you my address|
On any bus or car journey there are the inevitable traffic jams and this trip was no exception, except, of course, for the exception:
The signs for our afternoon destination came into view: Waterford.
Entering the City we encountered the usual architectural artifacts of an historic settlement - city walls and fortress towers - as in any medieval city in Great Britain or Europe . The City was settled by the Vikings in the year 914 on the main estuary of the River Suir, the major seaport in Ireland's southeast.
|Reginald's Tower with the statue of Waterford Native|
Thomas Francis Meagher
Another book could be - probably has been - written about the horseman on the statue opposite the Tower. Thomas Francis Meagher was born into luxury in Waterford in what is now the Granville Hotel where we stayed the night on this trip. An Irish Nationalist, Meagher was sentenced to death for sedition in 1848 but the sentence was commuted to life in Van Diemen's Land in Australia. He escaped and landed in New York where he studied law and then became a Brigadier General in the Union Army during the American Civil War and recruited Irish immigrants to serve with him. After the war he was appointed Acting Governor for the Montana Territory but soon after that he drowned in the Missouri River, accidentally falling from a riverboat. From grand beginnings, to heroic action, to an ignoble ending. I hope that I'm doing life the other way around (although I'm not sure about doing the "heroic" part.)
We then arrived for our afternoon tour at the
The Penrose brothers started glass making in Waterford in 1783 and along with much success the company has had many financial ups and downs. Closed in the 19th Century, it reopened in 1947 and re-earned its world renowned status very quickly though it again had more fiscal problems. A financial reoganization in the 1990s has given new life to the company which now produces most of its fine quality crystal in other equal factory settings around the world. But much of the specialty work is still done in Waterford.
As we toured the working factory, we had an early look at several of the actual trophies that will be presented at the 2012 Olympics in London:
The dazzling detail on other trophies and collectible pieces continue to maintain the high standards that enhance the icon status of the Waterford name:
Watching the pieces take shape from heating the glass, observing the skills of the blowers, molders, and engravers, doesn't even slightly diminish the sense of magic for what human hands, hearts, and minds can produce. From merely sorting the pieces to putting a masterpiece together, it is pure mastercrafting at its finest.
|New York World Trade Center Commemorative|
|Loose Corner Crystals laid out in pattern|
|The Finished Piece|
After the tour of the working factory, we had time to browse the sales floor. I considered a few things for my palatial home:
|Something for the Foyer|
or the Lbrary
|For the Dining Room, or, Perhaps the Bath?|
But, of course!