Waterford's crystal blue Atlantic persuasion...

Trip Start Dec 30, 2009
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Trip End Jan 19, 2010


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Flag of Ireland  , County Waterford,
Saturday, January 2, 2010

Woke up early and refreshed and ready to hit the road, Got to watch a little bit of Saturday morning cartoons in Gaelic Celtic language on the tv before we left the hotel....nothing stranger than watching Sponge Bob and Scooby Doo talk with an Irish accent. ..lol. 

Waterford City is a large but quaint seaside city. Founded in 914 AD by the Vikings, it is Ireland oldest city and was the largest before Dublin. They used to manufacture the Waterford Crystals from here but closed the whole operations in 2009. The rolling hills of Waterford were still suprisingly very green in the middle of winter. With the constant warm Atlantic air blowing over the hills of Ireland, it always stay green over here. 
 
We headed south along the irish coastline towards Cork to visit Jennifer's anncestorial homeland. Not too far from Waterford, we saw a signpost for a castle and decided there's never too many castle to see in Ireland and took the detour. So glad we did becuase it led to a beautiful castle ruin high up on a hill, called Dunhill castle and then just a little further from there was a side road that led to an Atlantic Ocean beach national park called the Copper Coast.

Dunhill, also called Donhill or Don Isle Castle, is a spectacularly silhouetted ruin, and was founded around 1200 on the site of an ancient fort by a branch of the Norman Le Paor clan. They soon “went native” as the Power clan, and took to terrorising the highways around Waterford City, even attacking the town itself in 1345, for which several of them were hanged.
The castle sits high up on the hill and has a country road that winds near the base of the hill. We didn't have time to explore the inside of the castle but took some great pictures of it.

After about a half hour, we jumped back into our rental car and drove back out to the nearest county road and headed south again. About an hour later we saw a small wooden sign pointing west that only said "BEACH". We figured, since we live in Florida and always see the Atlantic looking east why not take some pics of the ocean looking west. Soon we came down a country road that went down a hill towards the ocean. We park atop a lot overlooking the beach and got out to look around and take some photos. The large sign at the parking lot said we we're at the Copper Coast Geopark of Ireland. All along the beach, to our north and to our south were huge cliffs and large jagged rocks. It was spectacular and so nice to find a hidden treasure that was not on our travel plans. The Copper Coast derives its name from a long tradition of copper mining during the 19th and early 20th century. It's a 25km (15 miles) stretch of steep cliffs, arches, caverns, coves and stormy beaches. We walked along the beach taking so many breathtaking photos that we lost tracked of time and realized we had spent over two hours at the Copper Coast ! But it was worth every minute.

We finally got back into our vehicle and drove further south along the coastline passing old seaside cottages, century old cemeteries, a memorial statue and even an abandon copper mine factory. At  the next town of Dungarven, we decided to grab a "Subway" type sandwich at a local market. I went inside the to the deli and asked to have a sub. They didn't understand what a "sub" was so I had to tell them how to make one. The deli clerk had to go find a new loaf of bread from the bakery area and then get cheese from the dairy aisle to make it all together. She was very helpfull and laughed at "our silly American sandwich".... so this place should be a great place for a Subway or Firehouse Subs shop...lol.

After a few more local photographs and visiting the town's main attraction, Dungarven Castle we headed back on the road towards Cork, After only a few hours, we arrived in Cork about 5pm during their downtown rush hour.

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