Ireland is as beautiful as we have always heard it is. The green is everywhere and so are ruins dating back for centuries. No matter where you drive you trip over a castle, keep or fortress. I love history, but no one loves an ancient military installation like my husband. I think it is amazing for about 15 minutes and then I'm ready to move on to the next activity. I think it has something to do with the lack of vibrant living- no people, no furniture, no artwork. Just a lot of stones and bricks- now mind you they are very cool stones and bricks, but my juices start running with people, art and culture.
So while Rick was exploring the Rock of Cashel - which was very impressive for my short attention span, I left to wander the upper streets of Cashel. I found a young man playing Irish tunes on a violin, a chatty shopkeep who found tourists fascinating, and the most joyous sculpture I've ever seen.
From there it was on to Waterford where as soon as we arrived we high tailed it to the Waterford Crystal factory. Watching how the crystal was made was extraordinary, each design cut with incredible precision. Of course, we had to make a purchase and when we heard that one of the designs was inspired from nearby Lismore, our decision was made, as it was where one of Rick's great great grandmothers was from. Wandering the streets afterward we found such interesting people- a tour guide who was able to confirm that most certainly Jews lived in Waterford during the Viking era as they were necessary for trade; a wonderful knit artist who makes gorgeous scarves in between waiting on customers and quite opinionated wait staff on the pros and cons of ordering bangers and mash or spotted dick.
On to Cobh tomorrow!
Tracy Salkowitz is a Consultant,activist and the former CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.