Irish Pubs and Folklore 2016 Day 3 Waterford, Blarney, Killarney #cietours #ireland #TourismIreland #mycietour #waterford #blarneycastle

Ireland 2016
CIE Tour-Irish Pubs and Folklore
March 19-26, 2016

Monday March 21-Kilkenny to Waterford, Blarney Castle and Killarney
Slept like a log but Monday morning came too early at 6 a.m. A quick shower and our bags are outside our room at 7 a.m.. Breakfast at Savour's in the Ormonde and YES they had black and white pudding. Call me crazy but I really like black pudding.

And we're off at 8 a.m.. Our first stop is 45 minutes away, the town of Waterford and the obligatory stop at House of Waterford Crystal. I'm not really a shopper, so I'm not super thrilled about this tour but...
Waterford is the 5th largest city in Ireland with a population of about 50,000. It's also the oldest city. It was one of the Viking Cities along with Dublin, Wexford, Limmerick and Cork.

The coach drops us off in front of the House of Waterford; our tour of the famous glassware facility isn't scheduled for a half hour so Dennis, our guide/driver suggests shopping at The Hibernian Store. We opt out. Jay and I decided the hit the waterfront rather than shop or get coffee.

We pass the spot were this first Irish Tri-color flag was flown by Thomas Frances Meagher (he later became the acting Governor of Montana.) And see a plaque showing where King Richard II of England landed in 1394 at the head of the largest armada ever to sail into an Irish Port. We check out Reginald's Tower (the oldest building to use mortar.)

Reginald’s Tower is Waterford’s landmark monument and Ireland’s oldest civic building. It has been in continuous use for over 800 years. The first tower on the site was built by Vikings after 914 and formed the apex of the triangular settlement, an area known to this day as the Viking Triangle. Re-built by the Anglo Normans in the 12th century the top two floors were added in the 15th century. Until about 1700 the tower was the strong point of the medieval defensive walls that enclosed the city. The tower now houses an exhibition on Viking Waterford and is managed by the Office of Public Works.

Leaving the Viking history behind, we wander some of the side streets killing time.

Back at the House of Waterford, we are taken on a tour of the facility. We are shown each step the classic glassware takes from molten glass to personal engraving.
The tour ends in the showroom. And time for more shopping. 
We learned from Dennis that most Waterford crystal isn't made in Waterford anymore, it's imported so he told folks to ask before pruchasing.

Jay and I bust out of the showroom, and head up the hill to check out the other buildings in town. We discover a monument to Strongbow, who led the Norman Invasion of Ireland, commemorating his marriage in 1170 to
MacMurrough's daughter, Aoife MacMurrough (anglicized as "Eva".) And we pass by the Franciscan Friary Tower.

We head back down the hill quickly so as to not hold up the coach, which departs Waterford at 10:45 to make the two hour journey to Blarney. We have until 3:45 to explore Blarney Castle, the gardens and the Woolen Mills.

Jay and I decide to eat lunch first so we hit The Muskerry Arms and both order their "Best Fish and Chips in Town." Not sure if it's the best in town but it was pretty darn good.

We've been to Blarney Castle before in November of 2014-it was pouring rain that day, and we weren't super impressed with the castle and the whole "Kiss The Blarney Stone" thing-so we chose to walk around the gardens and maybe check out Blarney House-which wasn't open in November 2014 and wasn't open this trip either-dang!

We wandering the grounds and check out the lake, and the waterfalls and The Seven Sisters.
Just as the sun is coming out we have to get back on the coach for our 1.5 hour drive to Kilarney to the International Hotel right in the center of Killarney, where we'll be staying two nights.

More images from Kilkenny to Killarney:
More Travel images:

Next up The Dingle Peninsula!

Irish Pubs and Folklore
CIE Tours 2016
Day 3 March 21 Kilkenny,Waterford, Blarney, Killarney
March 19-26, 2016
Copyright ©2016 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

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