Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Fionnphort

This evening, I am posting information on the small harbour village of Fionphort which is located on the S.W.tip of the Isle of Mull which in turn is a large island off Scotland’s West coast.

Fionnphort translates from Gaelic as ‘fair’ or ‘holy’ port which is apposite because a short distance across the water is Iona on which St. Columba founded a monastery and such has a long  Christian tradition dating back 1500 years.

Despite its tiny size, Fionnphort handles tens of thousands of visitors each year who pass through on the way to/from Iona.

More information as follows:

  • To reach Fionnphort entails a 35 mile/one hour drive from Craignure. Route mainly comprises a single track road which passes through stunning scenery and a couple of small villages. Along the route it is common to encounter sheep and cattle wandering along the road.
  • The ferry trip to Iona takes about ten minutes. Motor vehicles are not normally allowed on Iona.
  • At Fionnphort it is possible to connect with a boat trip to the volcanic island of Staffa.
  • Fionnport is used for landing lobsters and other sea food for which Mull is famous.
  • There are various shops and food outlets to cater for the large number of visitors.
  • Good photo opportunities when weather conditions are favourable.

Sandy beach at Fionphort
Fionnphort

Fionnphort from Iona

Fionnphort
Lobster pots and view of Iona from Fionphort

Fionnphort
Island scene at Fionnphort, Mull

Fionnphort

View from Fionnphort towards Iona with ferry.

Fionnphort
 

 

 

Waterford Crystal
This evening, I am focusing on the Waterford Crystal Factory in Waterford, Ireland.

Crystal manufacture has a 200-year-old heritage in Waterford. Here visitors can visit the showroom wherein can be viewed the world’s largest collection of Waterford Crystal, make purchases and watch the entire crystal making process from wooden moulds to cutting and engraving.

Here are the wooden moulds which are used in the first stage of shaping the molten crystal

Making Waterford Crystal
Making Waterford Crystal

 

Here is the blowing platform where Master Blowers shape and form the molten crystal using a furnace heated to 1400 degrees centigrade.

Making Waterford Crystal

 

Making Waterford Crystal
Master Cutter at work

Making Waterford Crystal
Finished Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal
Showroom at Waterford

Waterford Crystal
Overall, a high quality and unique visitor experience which is fully deserving of a visit when in Southern Ireland.

Viking Longboat
This evening, I am posting information on Viking Ireland with emphasis on Waterford.

Waterford is a historic port located on the south coast of Ireland with population of about 50,000. The city is perhaps best known for the manufacture of Waterford Crystal.

The Vikings became established in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin around AD 841 and ruled there for three centuries with emphasis on commercial and trading activities, including slave trading.Viking power in Dublin ended in 1171 when the city was captured by the King of Leinster.

In Waterford can be found Ireland’s oldest civic building which has a lineage dating back to the Vikings. The first tower on the site was built by Vikings after 914 and formed the apex of a triangular settlement known as the Viking Triangle. The tower was re-built by the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century with two additional floors added in the 15th century. Until around 1700 the tower was an integral part of Waterford’s medieval wall defences. Today. the tower provides a key link with Waterford’s Viking past to further illustrate which a re-created longship (above) is on display close to the tower. In their time the longships were formidable and highly advanced examples of marine technology.

Reginald’s Tower is now a visitor attraction which houses an exhibition on Viking Waterford.

Reginald’s Tower

Reginald's Tower