As they say in Ireland, “Dia dhuit!” (Hello!)
A travel agent friend and I leave the USA on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, and arrive in Dublin on Wednesday morning. We opted to arrive a day before the official tour start date to give us extra time for sightseeing in Dublin, not to mention a head start on adjusting to the 8-hour time difference. Our tour is with a highly rated company that I would like to experience first-hand in order to better make recommendations to clients looking for escorted, group travel.
From the brochure: Breathtaking, lush landscapes combined with vibrant cities and historic attractions—all of this and more await you on this Irish Explorer tour, including Northern Ireland. Starting and ending in Dublin, explore Ireland in depth and hear exciting stories of its rich history, legends, and myths. See the 668-foot Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s west coast, offering breathtaking views of rugged cliffs dropping into the ocean. Join the Ring of Kerry, a 100-mile drive with sparkling seascapes and mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses. In Northern Ireland, visit awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, basalt columns formed millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions. On the amazingly green Dingle Peninsula—perched on Ireland’s westernmost tip and dominated by the range of mountains—enjoy one of Europe’s most dramatic drives passing seaside villages, ancient monuments, and views of the Blasket Islands.
You’ll also visit some of its vibrant cities—including Dublin, Belfast, and Galway—and charming towns, including Killarney. Stop in Adare, founded in medieval times and known today as one of Ireland’s friendliest and prettiest villages. In Waterford, enjoy a guided tour of the House of Waterford Crystal, where you’ll see the highly-skilled artisans at work in the production of this famous crystal. You’ll also see artisans at work on your visit to Ireland’s oldest handweaving mill at Avoca. In Northern Ireland, visit Derry, one of Ireland’s best-preserved fortified cities, and Downpatrick, burial place of Ireland’s Patron Saint.
But first, it’s time to get serious about packing!