WATERFORD

WATERFORD

A skyline of huge metal silos and harbor cranes greets visitors to Waterford. Fortunately, behind this industrial facade lies a city with 10 centuries of fascinating history. Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, founded in AD 914 by the grandson of Viking Ivor the Boneless as a refuge for his longships. Today, traces of early Vadrafjord are still visible in the city’s streets, though her harbor is now filled with massive freighters instead of Viking warships. The highlight of Waterford is the Waterford Crystal Factory, 3km away on N25 (the Cork road). One-hour tours allow you to witness the transformation of molten glass into polished crystal. Catch the City Imp minibus outside Dunnes on Michael St. and request a stop at the factory (10-15min. every 15-20min. ‚1.20) or take city bus #1 (2 per hr. ‚1.20), which leaves across from the Clock Tower. (332 500. Gallery open Mar.-Oct. daily 8:30am-6pm; Nov.-Feb. 9am-5pm. Tours Mar.-Oct. daily 8:30am-4pm; Nov.-Feb. M-F 9am-3:15pm. Tours ‚6.50, students ‚3.50.) Reginald’s Tower, at the end of The Quay, has guarded the city’s entrance since the 12th century, (873 501. Open June-Sept. daily 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct.-May 10am-5pm. ‚2, students‚l.) To getataste of Vadraf-jord, head to Waterford Treasures at the Granary, which contains an impressive collection of Viking artifacts as well as the only extant item of Henry VIII’s clothing, a velvet hat. (304 500. Open June-Aug. M-F 9am-9pm, Sa 9am-6pm, Su llam-5pm; May and Sept. M-Sa 9:30am-6pm, Su llam-6pm; Oct.-Apr. M-Sa 10am-5pm, Su llam-5pm. ‚6, students ‚4.50.) The Quay is crowded with pubs; try T&H Doolan’s, on George’s St. which has been serving crowds for 300 years. (Pub food ‚13-19. Trad nightly at 9:30pm.)

Trains ( 876 243) leave from The Quay across the bridge for: Dublin (2!hr. M-F 5-6 per day, ‚17-21); Kilkenny (40min. 3-5 per day, ‚8); Limerick (2’Ahr. M-Sa 2 per day, ‚16); and Rosslare Harbour (lhr. M-Sa 2 per day, ‚10). Buses depart from The Quay for: Cork (2!hr. 10-13 per day, ‚15); Dublin (2%hr. 6-12 per day, ‚10); Galway (4%hr. 5-6 per day, ‚19); Kilkenny (lhr. daily, ‚8); Limerick (2ahr. 6-7 per day, ‚15); and Rosslare Harbour (lVShr. 3-5 per day, ‚13). The tourist office is on The Quay, across from the bus station. (875 823. Open M-F 9am-6pm, Sa 10am-6pm.) There are no hostels in town. Allow Mrs. Ryan of Beechwood , 7 Cathedral Sq. to invite you into her charming house. Rooms look directly onto Christ Church Cathedral. (876 677. Doubles ‚50.) BHaricot’s Wholefood Restaurant ,11 O’Connell St. serves healthy and innovative home-cooked meals. The menu changes constantly and is often vegetarian-friendly. (Entrees ‚8-10. Open M-F 10am-8pm, Sa 10am-6pm.)

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