From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
A blaa /blæ/ is a doughy, white bread bun (roll) speciality; particularly associated with Waterford, Ireland... 12,000 blaas are sold each day.  
There are four bakeries making blaas, two of them in Waterford city – Hickey’s Bakery, and M & D Bakery. The Waterford blaa has been around three hundred years, since the Huguenot settlers introduced this simple bread to the locals. Never cut a blaa with a knife! It has to be torn apart by hand and eaten with butter or any filling of your choice, like rashers or chicken filet.
A student who preferred to stay anonymous, kindly gave me permission to take a picture of his blaa and rashers.
Blaa has a very special place in the heart of  Waterford people.
The graffiti in my opening photograph is not a blaa advertisement though. The other side of the river Suir in Waterford – Ferrybank – mostly belongs to County Kilkenny, and traditionally, some Kilkenny people risking their lives leave teasing graffiti on The Flour Mills or on the high vertical cliff behind the railway station to annoy  Waterford folks.
The Flour Mills, as they look in my photograph from 2015, don’t exist anymore. This summer the grain silos were taken down first, and the derelict buildings followed.

There are a few more photographs of the Mills taken in November 2015.

waterford mills

waterford mills

waterford mills

waterford mills

waterford mills

Tall Ship Festival 2005. Russian four-masted barque Kruzenshtern with the Flour Mills in background. Happy days.


The Mills were always there, ruining pictures 🙂

tall ships 2005


The nine storey building constructed in 1905 and listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage as ‘an imposing building of national importance’, has been preserved.


The rest of the mill will have to go.


There is another ghost on the other side of the river in Waterford City –  the Ferrybank Shopping Centre on Kilkenny/Waterford border, that was completed in 2008 and has never opened. Its cost is € 100M.


And one more ghost is hidden behind the Joe Caslin’s mental health artwork – abandoned Ard Rí hotel.

waterford walls

Ta-da! This picture was taken in 2005 with Ard Rí already abandoned five years prior.

tall ships 2005

But the ghosts are not easy to rid off. Especially in the internet. There still is a booking page for Ard Rí! 🙂

Hope this beautiful Sumac that grows in Ferrybank brightens the story of this less fortunate suburb of Waterford city.

And here is my latest picture of Ferrybank on the other side of the river Suir – with the Supermoon shining through the clouds 🙂 I didn’t have enough enthusiasm to camp by the river and wait for the clouds to clear away.


Thank you for walking around Ferrybank with me! I link this post to Milford Street , Equinoxio  and Geezer 94 – the blogs that are often showcasing history and old buildings. Please visit and follow.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful weekend!


  1. Great shots of Ferrybank, Inese. Hard to believe that the Ard Ri was once our place for sunday lunch and later, as Jury’s, my place to train and swim. It was such a delight to be able to see the City from such a height. Time moves on …

    1. Yes, it used to be a great spot for a panoramic photograph. Thank you for stopping by! I am so busy these days, no time for anything personal. Looked at the majestic sunset, and went home 😦 It must be lovely in Tramore tonight.

  2. Haha! I first read it “Baa” and thought it it would be a lovely post about sheep! 😉 But the “Blaa” also look nice and yummy 😉 How lovely that it combines good taste and history in a bun 😀
    And it´s so interesting to see this side of the city and hear about its history (and of how it used to ruin pictures 😉 ). The shopping mall is shocking though! SO much money! And then they´re not using it! Incredible! That´s government for you sometimes (or most of the time…)… Anyway, wish you a beautiful week, dear Inese! xxxxxxxxx ❤

    1. Thank you so much for your visit, Sarah. This time the government cannot be blamed. It is a tenant company who were supposed to move in, but had no money for that. The case is in the Court since 2008, and the tenant company has already paid 20M in fees to the builder… Probably no one else can move in before they sort it out.
      It is strange, but the monster mill is already missed 🙂 xxxxxxx

      1. Ah, well, it was worth a try ( to blame them 😉 ). But it´s a shame whoever is to blame for it, so much space that could be used… things like that happen around here too from time to time, and if it does, they somehow come to an understanding that artists and designers can use the premises in the meantime. It´s a very good thing, especially since most artists can´t afford a pricey rent 😉
        Yes, it´s strange how we can even miss things we don´t actually like 😉 But I´m sure people will get used to it…. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ❤

  3. I never knew about the blaa, but having lived in different parts of the UK, I’ve observed the many different names bread has (and the different shapes it comes in).
    How sad and weird the ghost buildings stories, especially the wasted money of the new ones. Near Sheffield, they tore down an power station and although it was an eye sore, it caused controversy in the end.
    Great pics again.

    1. Yes, the same happened with the Mills – an eye sore suddenly became a symbol of the better days 🙂
      The blaa is just a regular bun, but the name is unique and protected by EU law.

  4. Ever thought how many of us looked at the Super Moon (almost) at the same time? It is the one object that can be seen (almost) at the same time by people thousands of miles away. If you see it as a giant mirror, you can send your daughter an unspoken message via the moon. I call it “Moon Mail”. 😉

  5. I suppose many cities have ‘ghosts’ and Waterford seems to have its share. The mill was a bit of an eyesore, and I can see how it ruined your photos. 🙂 But the old part built in 1905 will still stand, which is to be expected. We have conservation orders on so many old buildings.
    I’d never heard of a blaa, so that’s something I’ll look out for, if we get to Waterford next summer. The one filled with bacon looked so tasty!
    Lovely photos. Inese, particularly the one of the partially hidden Supermoon shining over the river. It’s so atmospheric. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Millie! I don’t know if our blaa tastes different than any other roll, but it is the name that matters 😉 I will come over to see you in Waterford next year 🙂

      1. For some reason I missed your reply to me here! I would be delighted and honoured to meet you in Waterford next summer. I’ll let you know when we’ll be in Ireland as soon as we’ve booked it. I’m hoping we may find somewhere in the Cashel area again. The countryside is so beautiful there.

          1. It was 2002 when we were there. We all loved the whole area and have been saying we’d go back again some day. Well, next year’s the year! I’m really looking forward to it, and meeting you would be a wonderful bonus!

  6. Lovely images, Inese – the last one is especially impressive!
    Rotterdam has empty mills as well that located next to the river bank (I guess that’s how they transport their products in the past), now it is being used as party events – more like the clubbing parties for young people. It seems it works out well – it’s unique and spacious/

    1. It is wonderful that the building is still in use in Rotterdam. It is a shame when good buildings have to go. Are you still living in the US? Not missing Europe ? 😉

      1. Indeed..they hold history too. The mills in Rdam was built before the WW2. Yes I still live in the US for the next two years I guess. We will see how it goes with the politics here. So far Minneapolis seems a good and progressive city to live. But I don’t plan to stay longer than my husband’s initial working assignment in the US. We will see. I do miss Europe..we will be back in the Netherlands for Xmas this year. Hope all is well with you, Inese..

        1. Thank you Indah, all is reasonably well here.
          I remember Minneapolis as a great place with wonderful people. They seem to be very sound and difficult to manipulate in any way 🙂
          Have a lovely weekend! xx

  7. Well, I had to look up rasher because i remember that word from way back, growing up in Wisconsin. A thin slice of bacon or ham, so says Wikipedia. Close to the same meaning. 🙂

  8. Only humans could be so wasteful with resources and money. We can learn a thing or two from nature! My, nothing so scrumptious as a blaa — thanks for the bread education, Inese. AND your gorgeous Supermoon looks even lovelier with the clouds! Have a fantastic week. xo

    1. Thank you so much Rose! They bake the blaas 3×3 per sheet; the blaas stick together and it is how they get to the shop. Then customers break off as many blaas as they want. There are two kinds of blaas – crunchy and soft. The one on my photograph is a soft blaa, it is good for stuffing with meat or salad. xx

    1. Oh Jean, if I wasn’t afraid to be discovered by police officer, I would go inside the building for photography 🙂 There is a great website, I left a link in a comment. They take photographs and videos inside of derelict buildings, including this one 🙂 I am very adventurous, but I don’t want to discover myself on the first page of our local paper 🙂

  9. You captured the abandoned places beautifully, especially the mills. I can’t believe the hotel and shopping centre are just sitting there. What a waste. Another wonderful walk with you my darling, a great post and I did love stopping for the roll xxxxx

  10. This is somewhat too bad about the flour mills, Inese. Although they ruin photographs, they were part of the trade and local places to work. I am sure there was pride to them.
    The blaa, with the bacon on it, looks quite delicious! I love how it is called “rashers,” there. Wonder when and how our use of a rash being red and pus-y came about. . . !?
    The best photos (my favorites) of the tall ships at day and night; with the bonus of full supermoon in the sky, were gorgeous!

  11. All so beautiful, dear Inese… loved the Ferrybank photograph in particular… not to mention the stunning landscapes… Wishing you a perfect sunday! Aquileana ⭐

  12. On a heretical note the blaa bears an uncanny resemblance to the ‘Hawick roll’ from the Scottish borders. I like the west- coast black topped ones of my childhood.

  13. Well, a blah on the tearing down of that which once created Blaa!
    Thank you for this interesting look at the past & progress… which may not be humanistic progress, but stock market progress.
    Inese, I’m not sure what to say, but i raise my simple Canadian grilled cheese sandwich to you, and Waterford!

      1. It’s a golfing trip–everything planned for us, but I might need advice on clothing to bring and foods to try (or avoid). We still don’t have firm dates.

  14. Someday I’ll have to try a blaa. Interesting word. And thanks for the photo of the supermoon, Inese. It really must be seen in context to get an idea of the size, so that was wonderful!

    1. Thank you so much, Diana! The moon was at her best shortly after 5pm, but I came home much later, and missed a lot 🙂 I haven’t noticed a big difference in size, but the brightness was remarkable. Unfortunately the moon was in the clouds most of the time, and I simply enjoyed the view without taking photographs.
      EU protected the ‘blaa’ word by law 🙂 If you decide to bake the same bun, say, in Dublin, you have no rights to call it blaa.

  15. I am learning about “Blaa”. From the look of it, it looks like sour dough bun. Blaa and the rashers look so good. If I have an opportunity to visit Ireland next time, I will try to look for one. I hope they are not hard to find.

    I am fascinated by those old time sea travel ships as these. Are they still operational? If they are still in used. What kind of purposed are they serving today?

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Blaas are baked only in Waterford, so it is where you have to go to try them 🙂
      I have attended two Tall Ship festivals in Waterford – in 2005 and 2011. I think the next one is in 2018, but I might be wrong. In 2005, more than 100 ships came to Waterford from around the world. The purpose of them depends on the ownership – it could be leisure and travel, or they can be used for training. Many of them have been filmed in various movies.

  16. What happens to folks who use a knife to cut into their blaas? We didn’t get to see the super moon – fog – your glimpse of it is lovely.

    1. Nothing will happen, but it will be considered ignorant here in Waterford :). Blaa has been granted a EU protection status which means that it can only be baked in Waterford. If you bake it anywhere else, it cannot be called a blaa 🙂
      I went to see the Moon a bit too late – at 7pm. They say at 5Pm it came out of the clouds for several minutes. The quay was lined with photographers 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Hotel will go next year, after the Mills. The shopping centre has an anchor tenant – Dunnes Stores, who already lost 20M to the developer in court, but still have no money to launch the mall.

  17. Blaa! Or perhaps ‘blah’ my accursed internet is denying me some of the photographs…so much for the high speed internet I pay a King’s ransom for! That said, a fine, fine read. I shall revisit come morn.

    1. Ah, dang it, may be you just have to reload the page.
      The blaa is a Waterford thing. There are two kinds of them – with a soft and a crunchy crust. The one in the picture is the soft variety. They say that the name derives from a french word for white bread.

      1. French white bread is the only white bread worth eating. Fresh in the morning, dry thereafter as quality bread should be! As to my internet ‘reload/refresh’ does nothing…we’re paying a small fortune for a rubbish service. Will, as promised check out in the AM.

          1. Today I get to see your super photographs…at last. By way of a coincidence and if I’m not mistaken that Russian tall ship is the self-same one I took a snap of in Folkestone Harbour two summers ago! Plainly, my snap not as good as your photographs!

            1. Russia has two tall ships – the black four-masted barque is Kruzenshtern (former Padua) they got after annexation of some parts of the East Prussia in 1946. The other one is white STS Mir, a smaller, three-masted ship built in the 1980s. I will put up a blog about tall ships this winter, long due 🙂

          1. Good point and you are 100% correct. Sugars and other unmentionables preserve this stuff we call ‘bread’ in this here island. ‘Bread’ that stays ‘fresh’ for days on end. Then we wonder why our rate of type 2 diabetes is ever going up.

            1. Since I gave up rubbish food and took up serious exercise I have been out of the diabetic zone for 5 years. The plus is also that proper food works out cost efficient…if only people cooked and gave up takeaways!

  18. I never thought the word blaa would get me excited, but that bread looks delicious! I enjoyed the rest of the tour…especially the Super Moon shot…fantastic.

    1. Thank you so much, I am a fan of blaas. The Moon didn’t come out well, because it was behind the clouds, so I decided to include other objects in the picture 🙂

  19. I very much enjoyed this stroll around Ferrybank, Inese. Interesting story about the blaa and the mill; and the economy of the area is sobering. I really liked all of your photos, as I always do.

    1. Thank you so much! That blaa graffiti made me smile when it appeared last year. Some day I will take a picture of the vertical cliff, another place for the teasing messages, that is really dangerous, and not fun at all. These messages appear year after year, and regardless of the police efforts no one knows who does it.

    1. Thank you for joining me Christy 🙂 It was quite a walk indeed. Most of the pictures are taken last fall. I left my car with mechanics and declined the offer to take me home because I didn’t realise how far it actually was. Good that I always have my camera with me.
      Have a lovely weekend! xx

  20. Haha, right away you had me hankering for bread. I do love bread too much… I hope you are feeling well now — happy and sassy.
    Such contrasts in this post, Inese. The bleak mill buildings (OMG it was huge) and the beautiful ships. I especially like the last photo, Super Moon shining through the clouds, the lovely boat and reflection, the lights. It makes it seem a magical evening. I enjoyed this stroll. Mega hugs.

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