January 20, 2004
Today's journey included stops at the world-famous Waterford Crystal Factory and the Dunbrody emigrant famine ship. I didn't realize how much work went into the pieces of crystal. Every piece is hand blown and engraved. I guess I had thought the pieces were made from a mold, but, actually, they are all unique. I was impressed at how easily the master craftsmen could mold the crystal.
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The Dunbrody was probably one of my favorite attractions. John F. Kennedy's ancestors had come to America aboard the original Dunbrody; the ship we were touring was a replica. The tour of the ship made it clear how hellish the voyage must have been. The steerage passengers would have been packed in like rats. Seeing the ship also put into perspective how bad the famine conditions in Ireland must have been for the people to want to escape in such a terrible manner.