Thursday, March 1, 2012
LEGACY OF ST. PATRICK - DUBLIN, IRELAND
Enjoy the “Emerald Isle’s” scenic vistas and fascinating history. Begin in Dublin with a welcome dinner and orientation tour featuring visits to St. Patrick's Cathedral and Oscar Wilde's Trinity College. Travel through dairy-farm country in the heartland to Knock, where the Virgin Mary appeared to the townsfolk in 1879 and where pilgrims today come from around the world. Visit Knock Shrine, the Church of the Apparition, the basilica, and the Folk Museum—and maybe join the evening rosary processions. Stop to visit the Croagh Patrick Visitor Centre in Murrisk and the massive Benedictine Kylemore Abbey, then spend two overnights in Galway. From here, enjoy an excursion to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, including a tour of the island and a visit to clifftop Dun Aengus, one of Europe’s most dramatic prehistoric stone forts. Travel across the limestone plateau known as The Burren and visit The Burren Centre at Kilfenora on your way to Killarney for your 2-night stay. Join the famed “Ring of Kerry” for a panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip and take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through the national park. Pass into County Cork and stop in Blarney, renowned for its castle and magical Kissing Stone, before arriving in Waterford for a guided tour of the newly opened Waterford Crystal Experience. Next, stop at Avoca, Ireland’s oldest handweaving mill, and then at Glendalough, the early Christian monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Return to Dublin for an overnight and the end of your wonderful Irish vacation.