Monday, August 4, 2014

Glendalough and Waterford

We made two stops on our fourth day in Ireland -- Glendalough and Waterford -- before arriving in Cork for the night.

Our Glendalough stop was at a renowned monastic settlement that dates back to the sixth century.  I was initially drawn to wildflowers like these foxgloves rather than the old structures.  I do need to start remembering to shoo away flies when taking these pictures, though.

Fuchsia, which apparently came to Ireland from South America.

Saint Kevin's Church, Glendalough
When I did finally focus on ruins like St. Kevin's Kitchen, I still managed to sneak a wildflower in the shot.  Thanks to Danelle for actually suggesting this composition.

The Round Tower, Glendalough
The Round Tower stands about a hundred feet high.  Its top story has four windows facing the main compass points.
Waterford Crystal Factory
The highlight of Waterford was a guided tour of the famous Waterford Crystal Factory.  All the handcrafting that goes into producing each piece was impressive even to Zak and Taryn.

Waterford Crystal Factory
I love how this piece was changing color before our eyes as it cooled.

Waterford Crystal Factory
I don't recall exactly why the pieces get a high-pressure water rinse.  I probably should have been paying closer attention to guide rather than taking pictures.  But I still found the textures and patterns of the water and glass interesting.

Waterford Crystal Factory
The craftsmen who finish the pieces are fantastic artisans.  I wonder if it's distracting for them to have tourists walking by and gawking at them all day.  I guess it's probably like living near an airport -- you eventually tune it out.

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