12.07.2011 - 28.07.2011 55 °F
Quick entry since I have a limited amount of time. I kissed the Blarney Stone today (after waiting in an hour-long line), but it was worth it. The castle was actually really neat to see, so I'm not complaining. We also learned a little bit more about Irish history while coming in to Waterford, and after we stopped at the Waterford Crystal factory (quite cool to watch them make a piece from start to finish), we went on a brief city walk with a local guide. He provided a TON of history about Waterford and how it's older than the Scandinavian strongholds of Copenhagen, Stockholm, and the like.
Waterford is actually pretty cool when the history is revealed. It was a Viking stronghold and has been around since the early 1000s. We saw the oldest Roman Catholic church in Ireland, a place where a major Viking city was discovered buried under the soil for hundreds of years, and the oldest tower in continuous use in Europe. Though everything was very nondescript, the history was fascinating. We finished our tour at the oldest pub in Ireland (I think--800+ years old) with a chug of Guiness and good conversation. It's too bad we have to leave our new-found friends just when we are starting to learn about them.
Well, I'm likely to be kicked off the WiFi pretty soon, so tomorrow will be our ferry ride back to Wales for our final night on the tour. We will visit Cardiff Castle and then have a traditional Welsh dinner before leaving for London on Wednesday. We'll be stopping at Stonehenge and Bath on our way back in, and then we leave at 7:15 AM on Thursday for our return home...time sure flies! I can't believe we're back already!
Signing off from Waterford, have a wonderful evening!