Johns River

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9 travelers at this place

  • Day32

    City of Vikings

    July 2, 2018 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Die King of the Vikings Experience ist sehr interessant. Man bekommt ne VR Brille aufgesetzt und dann wird einem mit einer Simulation die Geschichte der Wikinger von Irland erzählt. Faszinierende Erfahrung und haben die wirklich gut gemacht. Ansonsten erzählt viel in der Stadt die Geschichte der Wikinger. Nicht verwunderlich wenn sich hier der Triangle of Vikings befindet.Read more

  • Day1

    Waterford, Town Centre

    August 31, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    After a couple of hours driving (including a thunderstorm and a toilet/snack stop) we finally reach our next destination: Waterford.
    I must say I had never heard of it before, but apparently it's a major town in Ireland due to its historical importance and to its world-renowned crystal factory.

    So, here are some facts...
    The name Waterford comes from the Norse and means "Wether (ram) fiord". It was l founded in 853 by the Vikings, who were then defeated in 1015 by Brian Brou. The remains of the ancient Viking settlement are still to be seen.

    At first sight, the town looks pretty pictoresque with its colourful houses along the waterfront. We are given some free time to stroll around before starting our guided visit of the Crystal museum and gift shop.
    We use this time to go explore a bit this fascinating town, discovering traditional buildings, pictoresque pubs and ancient stone constructions. In particular, we are attracted to a monumental limestone church looking truly impressive from the outside. As soon as we enter, we are warmly welcomed by the owner of what looks like a souvenir shop who gives us all possible information regarding the church. We soon realise that the shop is a way to gather funds for the church maintenance as in Ireland the State doesn´t support the Church financially. Willing to contribute, I buy a bracelet while Ludo gets a souvenir for his sister. We are so enthusiast, that we ask what time we can come to mass tomorrow... just to find out it´s actually an Anglican church!
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  • Day1

    Waterford, Crystal Factory & Evening

    August 31, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    At 3.30pm we head back to the Crystal Factory to start our tour. At the entrance we are welcomed by our guide, who starts explaining the peculiarity of this art: each piece is 100% hand made, from the mould until the final decorations. It takes apprentices at least four years to master all the different types of cuts. Crystal must contain at least 24% of lead, otherwise it's considered as "simple glass".

    We move through the factory witnessing some craftsmen at work in the different stages of the crystal production: from moulding till final decorations. Full blocks of crystal can also be engraved using three different types of techniques. The famous New Year´s Ball of Times Square is actually made here using thousands of pieces of crystal!
    Before being put on sale, each piece must pass 6 quality checks: if it fails just one, it´s crashed immediately!

    At the end of the visit, we are shown some very famous pieces of art produced here in the Waterford Factory: there is for instance a memorial of 9/11 given to the city of New York and a huge crystal Coca Cola bottle gifted to the CEO of Coca Cola for his retirement.
    After the tour, we are given some time to visit the shop (which is apparently the biggest crystal shop in the world). If objects and decorations are quite pricey (apart from way too big for our tiny trolleys), jewellery is definitely more reasonable. And, since our anniversary is very close, Ludo decides to surprise me with a special crystal gift ❤️

    The programme for today is over, since we decided to postpone the Kilkenny Castle for tomorrow (according to Sean, it´s going to be less busy if we go in the morning). So, we have some free time for this evening.

    Our hotel is not far from the town centre and is located on the riverbank. Despite booking a budget accommodation, it´s actually surprisingly high-quality and even offers a free gym! The only problem is that restaurants close very early here in Ireland, so we have to choose between fitness and a proper dinner. In the end we compromise: Ludo goes to the gym, while I pass by a supermarket to buy some stuff for tonight. And, on my way there, I even find the perfect church for Ludo´s Sunday Mass. Well, perfect in terms of location... mass time is actually 7am! 😂

    After Ludo's gym session we enjoy a picnic dinner in our hotel room before going for a night stroll in the town centre. It's only 10pm, but all the restaurants (and, obviously, shops) are already shut so we can just do some window shopping. That's how we find out that the local fashion for men's business suits is... all the shades of pink! 🙄😂

    Quite surprisingly, there's nobody in the streets, but we soon understand why: every single soul of Waterford is drinking and singing in a pub! And walls/ceilings are so thin that, when at Midnight we try to go sleep, we enjoy an undesired live concert coming from the pub below us... 🙉
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Johns River

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