Pictures from Ireland

Exploring our Celtic Spirituality

A Pilgrimage to Ireland

Led by:

The Rev. Orion Davis

September 6 – 16, 2012

Trip map

DAY 1: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - Depart the United States for our trans-Atlantic flight to Ireland. M

DAY 2: Friday, September 7, 2012 - We arrive in Dublin and meet our driver and guide and travel to Newgrange for a visit to the Stone Age passage graves.  We will see the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick lit a Paschal fire as a challenge to the pagan High King of Tara and visit Monasterboice to see Muiredach’s High Cross, the finest high cross in all of Ireland.  Later we will visit Mellifont Abbey, founded in 1142 and the first Cistercian Abbey in Ireland. We will return to Dublin where we will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Evensong.  This evening our accommodation is in Aishling Hotel Dublin. BD

DAY 3: Saturday, September 8, 2012 - Today we will spend a day in Ireland’s capital, Dublin, where we visit Trinity College to see the magnificent Old Library and the 1200 year old Book of Kells, the beautifully illuminated version of the Gospels, designed by monks in the 9th century.  We continue to the National Museum, housing a rich collection of Irish antiquities from the prehistoric times to the end of the medieval period.  We visit St. Audoen's Church the oldest parish church in Dublin still in use and St Michan’s Church rebuilt in 1686 on the site of an 11th century Hiberno-Viking church.  Deep in its vaults lie a number of bodies that have barely decomposed because of the dry atmosphere created by the church's magnesian limestone walls.  Their wooden caskets, however, have cracked open revealing the preserved bodies, complete with skin and strands of hair.  We will return to our hotel and are free to enjoy dinner in a city restaurant of our own choosing.  Later we will meet and enjoy The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl where we hear some history, listen to music, and literature, washed down with a pint.  Led by two actors, the tour will take us to several pubs frequented by some of Ireland’s greatest writers, Joyce, Beckett, Shaw, Yeats, Wilde, and Behan, among others.  Overnight Aishling Hotel Dublin. B

DAY 4: Sunday, September 9, 2012 - This morning we will visit Glendalough a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul.  We will visit the Heritage Centre and Museum where we see a video entitled “Ireland of the Monasteries”.  We will meet Fr. Michael Rodgers who returned to Ireland after twenty years of missionary service.  During this time he began to explore his own roots, a journey that led him eventually to mystical Glendalough.  He will lead us on a walk to St. Kevin’s Monastic City where we will visit St. Kevin’s Church, Kevin’s Cross, the Cathedral, the Round Tower and St. Mary’s Church.  We will celebrate Holy Eucharist at Glendalough before we return to Dublin where we will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral for EvensongDinner and overnight in Dublin. BD

DAY 5: Monday, September 10, 2012 - This morning we travel toward Galway and visit Clonmacnoise, an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century.  This site includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight churches (10th-13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs.  We will continue to Galway for our overnight stay in the Meyrick Hotel Galway Eyre Square. BD

DAY 6: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - This morning we travel through beautiful Connemara to Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys.  The community of nuns who have resided here since 1920 have a long history stretching back almost three hundred and forty years.  We will visit the Abbey on the grounds, the Gothic Church, the Victorian Walled Gardens, the Craft Shop, Pottery studio, as well as the Lake and Woodlands.  This evening we will enjoy a dinner cruise on board the Corrib Princess which departs from the pier at Woodquay in city centre.  Passengers will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the lake as we cruise River and Lough Corrib.  The group will enjoy a four course dinner followed by an Irish coffee demonstration giving the history of Irish whiskey and showing the art of Irish coffee making.  The evening will continue with entertainment from Carmel Dempsey who is a well-known musician and singer from Galway.  Carmel will be joined on board by Brenda Curtin.  Brenda was one of the soloists from Michael Flatley’s world-renowned Lord of The Dance Show.  Our talented Irish dancer will amaze the audience with her performance.  Overnight Meyrick Hotel Galway Eyre Square. BD

DAY 7: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - After breakfast we travel to the ferry port Rossaveal where we take a ferry to the Aran Islands.  We tour by coach and visit Dun Aengus, the Iron Age fort built as four concentric stone walls.  The fort has been called the “most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe”.  We visit Na Seacht dTeampaill, the Seven Churches which make up a monastic settlement dedicated to St. Brecan.  We meet with Padraigin Clancy who has lectured extensively and has facilitated retreats and seminars throughout Ireland, appearing frequently on Irish national radio and television.  We will renew our Baptismal Vows on the island before dinner in our guesthouse.  Overnight Kilmurvey House, Inishmor, on the Aran Islands. BD

DAY 8: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - This morning we depart on the ferry from the Aran Islands and travel to Kilmacduagh, an old monastic settlement and then continue to The Burren in North County Clare.  There are no bogs and very few pastures here, instead there are huge pavements of limestone.  The Burren is also famous for its plant life.  We continue to the Cliffs of Moher.  The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare.  O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs.  From there we go on to the lovely town of Killarney at the Lake Hotel for our overnight stay. BD

DAY 9: Friday, September 14, 2012 - In the footsteps of St. James and St. Brendan, we explore the Dingle Peninsula with its beautiful seascapes and visit the Gallarus Oratory, Ireland’s best preserved pilgrims’ church dating from about the 8th century.  We will celebrate Eucharist in the ruins of Kilmalkedar Church.  This early Christian and medieval site is spread over a large area of around 10 acres.  The history of this site is associated with St. Brendan but the site is said to have been founded by St. Maolcethair.  At the center of this area is a 12th century Romanesque Church which consists of a nave and chancel.  Amongst the other features here are the Alphabet Stone, a holed Ogham Stone, Sun Dial and more.  Dinner and overnight Lake Hotel Killarney. BD

DAY 10: Saturday, September 15, 2012 - This morning we will visit Muckross House before we depart for Limerick. Built in 1843, the 65 - room Victorian mansion house is one of Irelands leading stately homes.  It stands majestically on the lake shore in the National Park, Killarney.  Today, many of the rooms in this magnificent mansion have been restored to their original Victorian splendor.  We will stop in the lovely village of Adare on our way to Ennis for our overnight stay.  Dinner and overnight Old Ground Hotel, Ennis. BD

DAY 11: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - We will depart from Ennis to Shannon to board our return flight to the USA arriving back to Newark this afternoon. BM

Price: $3,399.00  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Newark, NJ.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement:  $699.00

* Excludes airline taxes and surcharges that will be added to your final payment invoice. Estimated taxes as of October 25, 2011: $300.40 per person.

**The price is not guaranteed and may change due to the fluctuation of the Euro and the US dollar.  We make every effort to avoid any increase and will only do so if the value of the dollar falls against the Euro.  Your pricing was based on the exchange rate of $1.39 to the Euro.**

$200.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport.

Final payment due June 1, 2012.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until May 30, 2012: $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ June 1, 2012 or later:  NO REFUND

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on Aircraft

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.