Pictures from Ireland

Exploring our Celtic Spirituality

A Pilgrimage to Ireland

Led by:

The Rev. John Runkle, RA
St. Mary’s Sewanee The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development

May 27 – June 5, 2015

Trip map

DAY 1: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - Depart the Nashville Airport for our flight to Atlanta, GA where we change planes and connect to our trans-Atlantic flight into Dublin, Ireland. M

DAY 2: Thursday, May 28, 2015 - We arrive at the Dublin Airport and explore Ireland’s capital, Dublin, we visit the National Museum, housing a rich collection of Irish antiquities from the prehistoric times to the end of the medieval period.  We continue to 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 Guinness Brewery where we will have time for lunch.  After lunch we 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 attend Evensong at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  We enjoy a “welcome to Ireland” dinner. Overnight Jury’s Inn Christchurch, Dublin. D

DAY 3: Friday, May 29, 2015 - This morning we drive north 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.  We see 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 visit the stone age passage graves at Newgrange, older than the pyramids of Eqypt and among the most impressive ancient sites anywhere in the world.  We visit Monasterboice to see Muiredach’s High Cross and Mellifont Abbey, founded in 1142 and the first Cistercian Abbey in Ireland.  We return to Dublin early this afternoon and will have some free time to relax before dinner at out 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 Jury’s Inn Christchurch, Dublin. BD

DAY 4: Saturday, May 30, 2015 - This morning we will drive through the tree lined O’Connell Street, old Georgian Squares and through Phoenix Park en-route to 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.  We will have time for some personal reflection before departing for Limerick.  Dinner and overnight Strand Hotel, Limerick. BD

DAY 5: Sunday, May 31, 2015 - This morning we travel to Ireland’s Atlantic shores.  We attend morning service at St. James’ Church, Dingle before we 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 visit 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 return to the Strand Hotel, Limerick for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 6: Monday, June 1, 2015 - Our journey continues today 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.  We travel 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 Aran Island Hotel, Aran Islands. BD

DAY 7: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - After breakfast we will meet our local guide, Pádraigín, who will show us her 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 return to the Aran Island Hotel, Aran Islands for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - This morning we travel back to the mainland and drive through beautiful Connemara to Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys.  A 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 Meyrick Hotel, Galway. BD

DAY 9: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - This morning we 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 Party followed by Traditional Music & Dancing.  We will overnight in the Maldron Hotel, Dublin Airport. BD

DAY 10: Friday, June 5, 2015 - An early morning departure for the Dublin Airport for our flight on Delta Airlines to Atlanta, GA where we change planes and connect to our Delta Airlines flight back into Nashville, TN. BM

Price:  $3,749.00*.  Price is based on minimum of 20 Pilgrims, double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Nashville, TN Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement:  $569.00

* 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 $535.00 per pilgrim and are subject to change until the tickets are issued.

* 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 $1.30 to the Euro.

Roommate needed. If a roommate cannot be found, I understand that I will be charged for the single supplement.

Terms and Conditions:
◊ Names as on passport.  If name is incorrect & tickets reissued, $50 fee plus change fees from airline.
◊ $100 deviation fee plus any additional airfare, hotel, tour or admission charges.

Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries provides the following basic travel insurance for you at no additional cost:
◊ Accident and Sickness Medical Expense     $ 50,000
◊ Common Carrier A D & D                               $ 25,000
◊ Trip Delay, Missed Connection                        $1,000
◊ Medical Evacuation/Repatriation                 $ 250,000
◊ Baggage/Baggage Delay                           $1,500/$250
◊ Emergency Assistance

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

$300.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport.

Final Payment due by February 25, 2015.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until February 24, 2015:  $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ February 25 – April 9, 2015:  $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ April 10, 2015 or later:  NO REFUND

It is recommended that you purchase additional coverage. Go to our website and click on Travelex Insurance to read the coverages and rules regarding existing conditions or call 800-228-9792 Location # 09-1983.

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.