Irish Heritage Tour
April 15, 2005- April 22, 2005
January 31, 2005, Reservations made for Joyce, Carrie, Katrina and Eleisha

Tour includes sightseeing by luxury coach, a professional Irish driver/guide, first class hotel accommodations and meals, all tips and taxes.
Emergency number:
US toll free. 1-800-255-9302. Niamh O'Brien.

April 15, 2005. Day 1: Depart St. Johnsville for JFK Airport, (Carrie's car). 6:30 P.M. Depart U.S. for Shannon Airport, via Aer Lingus. Welcome aboard for the overnight flight to Shannon. Relax with inflight entertainment and meal service.

April 16, 2005. Day 2: Arrive 6:10 A.M. Shannonside & Medieval Feast. Land at Shannon Airport and after immigration, pick up luggage and locate the Tours desk in the Arrivals Hall where a group transfer us to the nearby hotel. In the afternoon, how about shopping? I remember an area where the street has pedestrial traffic only, and there are stores everywhere. Grafton? Street perhaps was the name of it. Then we will join our fellow travelers before heading to the 15th century Knappogue Castle for a medieval-style meal and entertainment.

April 17, 2005. Day 3: Cliffs of Moher & Killarney. This morning drive west through Ennis and Lahinch to see the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic surf. Then enjoy a short ferry ride across the wide estuary of the River Shannon to Tarbert and travel through Listowel and Castleisland to Killarney. This little town is famous for its exquisite location beside lakes and mountains. After checking into the hotel, head out to view some of the scenery. Take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through the grounds of the National Park and enjoy a guided tour of 19th century Muckross House, a fully furnished mansion on the shores of Muckross Lake.

April 18, 2005. Day 4: Ring of Kerry Tour. Today embark on Ireland's most popular scenic drive - the Ring of Kerry. This full day tour will reveal constantly changing vistas of mountains, open Atlantic Ocean, beaches and cliffs. Drive through the remote towns of Cahirciveen and Waterville and return through the colorful village of Sneem. Enjoy plenty of stops to admire the natural beauty all along the way and at Moll's Gap see the three lakes with the mountains and town in the background. Return to Killarney and after an early dinner head to Tralee.

April 19, 2005. Day 5: Blarney Castle & Waterford. Depart Killarney and drive through Macroom to Blarney. Here you can walk through the grounds and climb the steps of fabled Blarney Castle to kiss the famous "stone of eloquence." Travel past the outskirts of Cork to Cobh to visit the Cobh Heritage Centre, which traces the history of emigration from Ireland to the United States. Follow the coastal route via Youghal, where Sir Walter Raleigh was once mayor, to Waterford for dinner and overnight stay. This evening a local guide will take you for a brief walk of this old city.

April 20, 2005. Day 6: Kilkenny & Abbey Tavern. Visit the Waterford Crystal Factory to see the cutting and polishing of this fine product and also the excellent display of trophies and stemware in the showrooms. Then head north to Kilkenny with its intriguing medieval streets and buildings. Take a stroll around the compact city center where you can admire the massive castle or see 16th century Rothe House, which is now a museum of the region. Stop in the countryside near Athy for tea and scones in a farmhouse before driving to Dublin. This evening drive to the Abbey Tavern Singers who have a vast repertoire of popular Irish songs.

April 21, 2005. Day 7: Dublin Sightseeing. This morning tour Dublin city center to see the prominent public buildings, elegant Georgian townhouses and peaceful gardens. Note the contrasts between centuries-old historic places and modern streets which pulse with activity. Visit Trinity College's Old Library to view the early illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells and learn about its creation. Then tour the Old Jameson Distillery to see the many steps needed to create Irish whiskey and then sample some. The afternoon and evening are free for us to browse, shop and sightsee on our own.

April 22, 2005. Day 8: Back to the USA. Bid farewell to Ireland at Shannon Airport for JFK, NYC. 10:45 A.M. Arrive JFK 1:15 P.M. Depart JFK for home with Carrie's car.

April 23, 2005. Lock the door, unplug the phone and sleep. Been there, did it. You need to catch up, reset your body clock and get over the jet lag.

Bring along--comfortable walking shoes (2 pair), easy care clothing, a warm sweater or jacket, umbrella, camera, and plan to have lots of fun. Temperatures will be in the 50s to lower 60s for most of the trip. Ireland is warmed by the Gulf Current.

Our plugs will not work in the outlets over there, so make alternate arrangements. No blow dryer from the USA will work in the outlets in Ireland! Uncle Pieter promised to send his adapter when he returns from Mexico, if he remembers, we will be able to use the outlets. Some of the better hotels have blow dryers provided.

Bring spare cash too! I will provide some money for the few meals and items not covered in advance. You buy your own souvenirs.

This is the trip of a lifetime. Smiles only allowed.