Archive for May 6th, 2008

Waterford Crystal & Kilkenny Castle

New photos of Day 5 are being loaded now in my gallery.

Last night, in Waterford, I went out for a walk after dinner. Just needed a break from everyone. Strolled up the street towards this new glass building that looked pretty cool. Walked around the block and ended up on a very small dirty street. Some guys whistled at me from their balcony, but I couldn’t figure out from which apartment. Not that I was going to do anything about it. Walked right past a porn shop. On past two homeless guys, a couple black guys, and later an Indian family. I’d been wondering where the poor and the people of color were all hiding. The countryside is pretty Wonder-bread white. I found the shopping square. Everything was closed thanks to the bank holiday.

Waterford was definitely a change from the countryside. Typical city. Hotel rooms were tiny and streets weren’t as clean. Made even worse by the dump truck that Meine Schwester & Sparkles said overturned while trying to turn the corner for the bridge this morning.

The Waterford Crystal factory tour was pretty cool, even if the tour guide was a bit of a bitch. She was a little nicer towards the end—maybe she had finally woken up. Of course, our tour was a bit of a pain in the ass. Stragglers, people touching stuff, veering off the grey and yellow path.

I’m not a big fan of the old Waterford designs, but they’ve hired some new artists who are doing some pretty cool minimalist stuff that I really like. I’d definitely consider getting some of their new stuff if I didn’t live in an earthquake zone. Given that, I bought myself a votive holder that is quite solid.

We moved on to Kilkenny (you killed Kenny, you bastards!) to visit another castle. This is about the time when we all began to think that maybe we had seen enough castles. We couldn’t take photos inside, which is too bad because this was the first one we’d been to where they recreated the inside, although it was Victorian era. In the early 1900’s the family sold everything at auction. They’ve only now recovered about 7% of the items sold. One interesting item was a large painting of the Butler who had been exiled. A guy from upstate NY was on the tour and recognized Butler in another painting. Turns out he had one of the paintings at home and had it returned to the castle. I didn’t find out what family in NY had the painting, but now I’m curious where it had come from. My guess was that it might have been at Heart Castle in the Thousand Islands. Other than that, I couldn’t think of another place in upstate NY that could have housed a painting so huge, or would have wanted a painting like that.

Had lunch at a cute little outdoor cafe. They actually had decent espresso drinks, which is something we haven’t found in the pubs. I’d been complaining that there were no coffee shops, so it was exciting to find one.

To the three boys—one giving me the bird, another grabbing his balls, and the third jerking off—standing in front of the Supermac’s in Athy, Ireland; I hope you enjoyed yourself. I wish I’d taken a picture—it would last longer. Hope your parents know what you do to entertain tourists.