Pictures from Ireland

Exploring our Celtic Spirituality

A Pilgrimage to Ireland

Led by:

The Rev. Jim Nixon
St. Catherine's Episcopal Church
Marietta, GA

March 3 – 12, 2015

Trip map

DAY 1: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - Depart the United States for our trans-Atlantic flight to Dublin, Ireland. M

DAY 2: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - We arrive at the Dublin Airport and drive through Phoenix Park into the city.  We drive by the tree lined O’Connell Street and the old Georgian Squares before we visit the National Museum of Ireland to see its impressive Celtic artifacts.  We will visit the Guinness Brewery and have time for lunch before we check into our hotel where we can have a brief rest or have some free time for shopping.  We will attend Evensong at St. Patrick’s Cathedral before having a “welcome to Ireland” dinner.  Overnight in 4* Trinity Capital Hotel, City Centre. D

DAY 3: Thursday, March 5, 2015 - This morning we will take the short drive north of Dublin to visit the stone age passage graves at Newgrange which are older than the pyramids of Egypt and among the most impressive ancient sites anywhere in the world.  We drive through the Boyne Valley and see the historic hills that symbolize the primordial conflict between the lords of this world and the lordship of Christ:  The Hill of Tara, center of the high-king of Ireland and the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick, in the 5th century, lit the Paschal fire as a challenge to the pagan High King of Ireland.  We will visit Monasterboice to see Muiredach’s High Cross and Mellifont Abbey, founded in 1142 and the first Cistercian Abbey in Ireland.  When we return to Dublin we will visit 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 magnesia limestone walls.  Their wooden caskets, however, have cracked open revealing the preserved bodies, complete with skin and strands of hair.  We will be free to spend a little free time in the city centre before we have dinner in our hotel.  After dinner we will 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 in 4* Trinity Capital Hotel, City Centre. BD

DAY 4: Friday, March 6, 2015 - This morning we will explore 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.  After lunch we will depart for 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 watch 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.  Tonight we will have dinner and overnight in 3* Glendalough Hotel BD

DAY 5: Saturday, March 7, 2015 - This morning we will depart for Ireland’s Atlantic shores where we will follow in the footsteps of St. James and St. Brendan.  We will 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.  We will have our dinner and overnight in the 4* Hotel Tralee. BD

DAY 6: Sunday, March 8, 2015 - This morning we depart Tralee and 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.  Then on through The Burren in North County Clare.  There are no bogs and very few pastures, Instead there are huge pavements of limestone.  The Burren is also famous for its plant life.  We will stop at Kilmacduagh, an old monastic settlement before we continue along Galway Bay to board the ferry to the Aran Islands where we will have our dinner and overnight in Kilmurvey Lodge, Aran Islands. BD

DAY 7: Monday, March 9, 2015 - After breakfast we will meet our local guide Cyril who will show you his island, an Island where “history meets myth and myth meets magic”.  Our first stop on our tour will be a visit to 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 will renew our Baptismal Vows at St. Ciaran’s Church, a hauntingly beautiful site where there is a Holy Well dedicated to St. Ciarán, known locally as the Salmon of Knowledge Well.  We will have a second night in Kilmurvey Lodge, Aran Islands. BD

DAY 8: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - This morning we travel back to the mainland and drive through beautiful Connemara to Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys.  The community of nuns have resided here since 1920 and have a long history stretching back almost three hundred and forty years.  We will visit the Abbey, the Gothic Church, the Victorian Walled Gardens, the Craft Shop, Pottery studio, as well as the Lake and Woodlands.  We will return to Galway by Killary Fjord, the Village of Leenane and through the Maam Valley, the most picturesque countryside of North Connemara.  After dinner in our hotel we will be free to enjoy an array of Galway’s pubs that will have traditional music and ‘craic (gaelic for fun).  Overnight in the 4* Meyrick Hotel, Galway. BD

DAY 9: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - This morning we will depart for Dublin stopping to 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 also stop at Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery for a tour.  This evening we will have our “farewell to Ireland dinner” in the Irish House Part followed by Traditional Music & Dancing.  We will overnight in the Trinity Capital Hotel, Dublin. BD

DAY 10: Thursday, March 12, 2015 - We will depart from Dublin for our return flight to the USA arriving back to Atlanta, Georgia this afternoon. BM

Price:  $3,849.00*.  Price is based on 15 - 19 Pilgrims, double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Atlanta, GA Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement:  $519.00

* Excludes airline taxes and fuel surcharges that will be added to your final payment invoice and tips for the driver and guide that are payable upon completion of services.  Estimated taxes and fuel surcharges are $513.00 on May 15, 2014.

* 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 by January 1, 2015.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 1, 2015:  $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ January 2, 2015 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.