Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Waterford Crystal

Day 2 - The next morning we found ourselves winding thru small towns and villages, back down to the coastal highway, heading south along the Irish Sea. Our bus driver ,Joe, doubled as tour guide, entertaining us with numerous stories and jokes, as well as current and historical background. We were on our way to the city and county of Waterford.
President Kennedy had visited his ancestral home at Dungastown, New Ross near here. A statue of him in the harbor and a reconstructed "famine ship", the Dunbrody, mark the place where millions of Irish emigrants tried to escape the ravages of the potato famine.
We quickly arrived at the world famous Waterford Crystal Factory for our first tour of the day.
It would be a big understatement to say I’m not very knowledgeable in area of the "home decorating arts" Several visits to the Chicago Art Museum's floor on that subject often found me quickly bored. Still, there was hope, because "artists tours" thru small towns in southwestern Wisconsin often left me enthralled watching glassblowers do their thing. As we began our tour of Waterford Crystal, I quickly realized this was my place......

The new high-tech facility exclusively produces 40,000 luxury hand-crafted crystal pieces using traditional artisan methods in addition to serving as a laboratory for innovation and modern design. Unfortunately, the ups and down of the business cycle have left much of Waterford Crystal production in other venues such as Germany and the Czech Republic. Still, here we would see a wonderful retail showcase and how each individual piece of crystal is created by highly skilled craftsmen using unique and traditional methods.
Waiting for our guided tour to begain Mrs. T and I wandered about thru the combination history/retail showcase. I was looking for that something special to buy the Mrs. Ah there it was. A crystal harp. Just perfect to go with our imaginary grand piano. The price tag is.... 64,000 Euros. At about $1.40 America for a Euro....just a little out of our price range. "Would you settle for a new table setting?" I asked the Queen. "You think we can afford one these teacups?," was the instant reply.
Then they called for us to join the guided tour. Whew! Come on along!

As the tour ended we returned to the retail area. Perhaps a Waterford Crystal Beer Stein would be in order, I thought. Not a chance!


  1. Can't believe you didn't fork over those hard earned for something to enrich your life. I bet they would ship it for free.HA!I might have got a miniture or picture in front of what I wanted.Now at Cabellas or the like it is different.It is charming stuff, but there are a lot of cheaper remakes. Czech stuff was sometimes cheap.

  2. I love reading about your trip!

  3. I've always thought Waterford crystal was beautiful. I would very much enjoy this tour (glass-blowers fascinate me), although I couldn't afford a thing. I would also like to visit that 'famine ship'.

  4. Keep the travel diary coming!

  5. That table setting is just beautiful! We drove through Waterford but did not have a stop there. Thanks for taking us along!

  6. My kind of place too, I have always been fascinated with glass blowers..that is one craftsman occupation I think I would have liked very much. Thanks for the tour..sorry you didn't buy anything:)

  7. Nice of the Queen not to insist on the crystal harp. ha-ha

    I have a few Waterfor Crystal pieces and now I shall think of you and your trip to Ireland when I use them.