Friday, August 22, 2014

Mom's Trip to Europe, 1953: Giant's Causeway and Belleek Ware

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section:
August 22, Saturday – Road between Giant's Causeway and Ballyshannon, Éire
Causeway terrific.  It was raining & wind howling which made it even more interesting.  Sat in wishing seat and made a wish.  Drove to Londonderry & lunched.  Decided to drive to Belleek to get china -- got through British customs O.K. -- at Éire customs they had to contact man in Ballyshannon & get him to wait as after 5 P.M. he wouldn't have been on duty until Monday morning.  Man waited & drove into Ballyshannon where I got two cream & sugars and 1 dish of Irish Belleek for only £1.6/6.*

* From the PURCHASES section of the trip diary, it indicates Mom bought 5 pieces of Belleek ware at P. B. Stephens & Co. in Ballyshannon.

According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Commercial Hotel in Ballyshannon this night.

Giant's Causeway [July] 1968 / © Duncan David McColl / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Giant's Causeway is a popular tourist attraction in Ireland.  It's a coastal area with about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were created by volcanic activity.  There are a lot of stories and legends associated with the formations.  One area has been called the Wishing Chair because of its shape, similar to a throne.  Apparently, in the past, only ladies were allowed to sit there to make a wish.
Wishing Chair - Giant's Causeway, 1912 / W. J. Topley Studios - Canada. Patent and Copyright Office; Library and Archives Canada / CC BY 2.0

Wishing Chair - sign identifying the formation, 1 April 2013 / Elizabethe / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Irish Belleek china, 3 August 2011 / Abby flat-coatCC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The Belleek pottery was started in 1857 or 1858, and is still in existence today.  It's known for its "porcelain that is characterized by its thinness, [and] slightly iridescent surface."

The next time I am at my parents' home, I need to see if my mother still has her Belleek ware.

This is the fifteenth in a series of posts about my mother's 1953 Europe Trip.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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