Summer in Ireland
In July Suzanne & I spent two weeks in Ireland...actually two weeks minus one day because we could not get off the ground at DFW on the appointed day due to a storm going through Chicago where we were to change plans for the trans-Atlantic flight. So we got out the next morning on a different airline, changed planes in New Jersey (after another weather delay) and got to Dublin a day late and one suitcase short. Suzanne's suitcase caught up with us the next day after we spent the day on foot in downtown Waterford. Suzanne had planned our itinerary and made reservations for all but two nights, which we left open on purpose so that we would have a little flexibility on where we went on our circuit of the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland, like the USA, had to fight a revolution with England to gain their independence. That happened in the early twentieth century, but more on that later. The first real towns in Ireland were built by the Vikings. One of the early Viking settlements was Waterford. The oldest part of town is still referred to as The Viking Triangle - it was the original walled village. First walled with wood logs, then with stone walls. The ninth century Vikings built on a point where two rivers come to the sea on the south coast of Ireland. A wooden tower was built on the point at the edge of town. It was replaced in later centuries by a stone tower that still stands today and which we visited.
The top-left photo shows the early Viking town with its wooden stockade and wooden tower.. In this view, the ocean is to the left and Reginald's Tower is on the point with the main stockade. Both the tower enclosure and the town were triangular shapes. Since it was the most substantial structure, it was where the chieftain lived and the records were kept - probably the first Tower Records. Waterford is believed to be the oldest area of continuous urban settlement in Ireland. Reginald's Tower marks the site of the first defensive structure built by the Viking settlers. The Tower is mentioned in the Irish Annals as early as 1088 thus making it the oldest civic building structure on the island.
So you are by now wondering whether the world famous Waterford Crystal comes from Waterford, Ireland. Yes it does. In fact that was our very first visit after we arrived. I was surprised that the business, which was begun in 1783 in Waterford by two Czech immigrants, was entirely shut down for a century - from 1851 until 1947. So, there is no Waterford Crystal made during that period. Today the factory is American owned, although it is still very much a European business.
I will try to enter some new pix and descriptions every few days. They will not be the same ones that Suzanne loaded to Facebook during our travels, although the subject matter will obviously overlap. So check back here every so often and I will try to make the narrative interesting.
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I am still trying new show venues to find those that provide the most effective exposure for my works.