We doubled up again today on things to do. It is helping us see more things. We started the morning at the House of Crystal. We took a factory tour and watched all of the different processes. We started in the blowing room. The craftsmen in this area must train for 8 years to become masters, the first 5 of that training is spent as an apprentice. Then we went to an area where they sanded the pieces where they had been attached to the blow rods. As the crystal moves through each step it receives an inspection. If at any point it is deemed unsatisfactory, it is shattered and the material is reused to make new. Then into the cutting room, where each craftsman knows the exact pressure to cut two thirds of the way into the crystal. After cutting, we saw the polishing and finishing areas. Each piece is cleaned with acid, which strip away a top layer leaving only clarity behind. After our tour we drove to Blarney Castle, with a few wrong turns. When we finally got to the right place, we headed straight to the castle. We took a close, steep staircase up to the top of the castle. Then we laid down, leaned back and kissed the stone (I only discovered this was the process in the last few days). It was a harrowing experience for both Emily and me. I don’t care much for heights and laying upside down 35 feet off the ground is a little terrifying. Same can be said for Emily because she had to scoot back further to reach the stone. We were both thankful for the man there helping us. Then we did some shopping, grabbed dinner and tomorrow we are headed for the Cliffs of Moher.
9/11 memorial at Waterford, Emily and me kissing the Blarney Stone