Pictures from Ireland

A Pilgrimage to Ireland

Led by:

Lyn Holt
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Youth
Charlotte, NC

June 14 – 22, 2011

Exploring Celtic spirituality, our early Christian and Anglican heritage, and the history, art and culture of those saints who came before us.

Trip map

DAY 1, Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - We meet at St. Peter’s at 3:30 PM for Holy Eucharist with Father Pittman and our families and then depart for the airport, check-in and prepare for our 6:20 PM US Airways non-stop, trans-Atlantic flight arriving at 6:50 AM. Dinner is served aboard the aircraft.  We’ll try to get some sleep on the plane as we have an exciting and interesting first day in Ireland! M

DAY 2: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - Our pilgrimage to Ireland begins:  After thanking God for safe arrival, we clear immigration, collect our bags, meet our driver/guide and depart for Galway to the coastal village of An Spidéal.  We travel across the middle of Ireland, to the western coast, giving us the opportunity to see Irish landscapes, villages, maybe a little napping and a little journaling, and then stopping en route for an early lunch.  We visit Cnoc Suain, a renovated hill village with traditional thatched cottages.  As Irish/Gaelic speakers, musicians, natural scientists and owners of this historic hill village, Dearbhaill Standun and Charlie Troy will provide us with a complete and authentic cultural experience.  We will learn some fascinating aspects of Irish culture, heritage, habitat, traditional music, song and story.  We have an opportunity to learn traditional Irish Ceili Dance.  We hear the traditional Irish/Gaelic language in poetry and song with Gaelic speakers.  We will be introduced to the natural history and archaeology of the Connemara landscape, learn about the traditional customs and practices of a Connemara Gaeltacht farm, including a Irish Soda bread making demonstration and make a lovely Irish souvenir, a St. Brigid’s cross.  We say good-bye to our new Irish friends and continue to our first Irish “home”, the Park Lodge Cottages, Spiddal, County Galway.  After dinner we’ll share our reflections on the beginnings of our pilgrimage together, do a bit of journaling, worship and visit with each other.  Dinner and overnight Park Lodge Cottages. LD

DAY 3: Thursday, June 16, 2011 - This morning we rise early and take a ferry to Inis Mór, one of the mystical and largest of the Aran Islands.  We are met by Padraigin Clancy, a fascinating woman who has led retreats throughout Ireland, appearing frequently on Irish national radio and television.  We will rent bicycles (weather permitting) and visit Dun Aengus, an 8th century B.C. fort. We will reflect on the pre-Christian tradition as well as the monastic heritage of the Aran Islands.  After lunch, we continue to the site of the famed Seven Churches, the Viking Mound, St. Kieran’s and the Seal Sanctuary.  This evening we return to the mainland to Park Lodge Cottages for dinner and overnight.  After dinner we worship, journal and have discussion time and pack. BLD

DAY 4: Friday, June 17, 2011 - Our journey continues to Clonmacnoise an early Christian site founded by Saint Kieran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon.  The 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.  The original high crosses and grave slabs are on display in the Visitor Centre.  We continue to our accommodations for the next three nights stopping along the way to purchase groceries.  Dinner and overnight Sli an Chroi, St. Patrick’s, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow. BLD

DAY 5: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - An early morning visit to Glendalough, a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul.  We start the day with a 4 mile pilgrim’s walk before the other tourist groups arrive.  Our guide will be Fr. Michael Rodgers, a Catholic priest, who leads us on our visit to the Heritage Centre and Museum where we see a video entitled “Ireland of the Monasteries”.  We visit St. Kevin’s Church, Kevin’s Cross, the Cathedral, The Round Tower and St. Mary’s Church.  We return to the retreat house and the rest of the afternoon we will be free to explore our surroundings in small groups, reflect, journal or rest.  Dinner and overnight Sli an Chroi, St. Patrick’s, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow. BLD

DAY 6: Sunday, June 19, 2011 - After breakfast we meet our guide for the day, Fr. Seamus Whitney from Sli an Chroi.  We see the Rathgall Stone Circle one of the few Late Bronze Age settlements discovered and excavated in the country.  We continue on to see a 12th century Abbey, and Tobinstown Dolmen.  We return to Sli an Chroi for a nature walk on the grounds led by Fr. Whitney.  Dinner and overnight Sli an Chroi, St. Patrick’s, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow. BLD

DAY 7: Monday, June 20, 2011 - Today we travel to Kildare where we have an opportunity to see some of the beautiful Irish countryside and have some journaling time while on the bus.  We visit the Brigidine Sisters, founded in 1807 by Daniel Delany, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.  The sisters live in Solas Bhríde, a small Christian centre which has as its focus St. Brigid and Celtic Spirituality.  We participate in a pilgrimage developed by the sisters, “Walking in the footsteps of Brigid.”  The pilgrimage leads us to historical sites associated with Brigid including a visit to St. Brigid’s Cathedral which commemorates the saint who founded a religious community here in 490.  Here, monks and nuns lived under the same roof and a perpetual fire, a pagan ritual, was kept burning here until the 16th century.  Our journey continues to the outskirts of Dublin to the Emmaus Retreat House, Dublin for dinner, journaling, rest, worship and overnight. BLD

DAY 8: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - Today we spend the day in the capital of Ireland, 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 visit the National Museum, housing a rich collection of Irish antiquities from the prehistoric times to the end of the medieval period.  The afternoon we visit the Art Museum to view The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio and other Renaissance art followed by shopping and further exploration of the wonderful city of Dublin.  We enjoy a traditional Fish and Chips dinner then return to Emmaus Retreat House for our final evening worship together, journaling, packing and overnight. BLD

DAY 9: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - After breakfast we gather for our final prayers in Ireland and depart for the Dublin Airport where we board our non-stop US Airways flight for our return to the Charlotte Airport.  Upon arrival in Charlotte, we gather for a final prayer together, thanking God for our safe return and an amazing pilgrimage.  We meet our families after clearing customs and go home to share our observations, memories and how we grew in our faith.  Over the summer, reflect on this, Your Pilgrimage: our journey together, the magical country of Ireland and how you have grown spiritually, emotionally and in love for one another.  One last journaling request: write down your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on your experiences so that when we prepare our presentation to the parish in the fall, you will be able to express your gratitude and feelings about this wonderful gift (e-mail Lyn your best photos for our class’s framed pictorial journal for the Pilgrimage Wall)! . BM

Price: $2,839.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Charlotte NC Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement:  $89.00

* * Excludes airline taxes and surcharges that will be added to your final payment invoice.  Estimated taxes as of November 17, 2010 $285.94 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 $1.35352 to the Euro. **

During this itinerary, you will shop and plan for your meals while in the Glendalough area.  You will be preparing your own breakfast, packed lunches and dinners while in the Glendalough area.

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

Final Payment due by March 15, 2011.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ November 18, 2010 – March 15, 2011 - $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ March 16, 2011 – April 29, 2011 - $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After April 30, 2011:  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.