Ireland Alumni Trip - Itinerary*
July 16-July 27, 2014
*Please note that this is a tentative itinerary that is subject to adjustment as planning is solidified.
All transportation will be by private charter bus and is included in the trip price, as is admission to all museums and other sites on the group itinerary and two meals per day (breakfast and either lunch or dinner).
Departures to Dublin (with arrival on the morning of July 17). Participants may fly into Shannon Airport, but will need to take a bus or car hire to Dublin (Shannon is about 2 ½ hours away from Dublin).
July 17 (Dublin)
Trans-Atlantic flights will arrive at Dublin Airport in the morning. The course instructors will meet participants at the airport and coordinate transportation to Ariel House in Dublin as people arrive. Participants will have lunch on their own at cafes in the area of the hotel and the entire group will meet in the hotel lobby at 12:30pm.
Rob Doggett will lead us on a literary walking tour of Dublin. This tour will cover a number of key sites associated with Irish writers such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and William Butler Yeats. Highlights will include Trinity College, Merrion Square, St. Stephens Green, the National Library of Ireland, and Davy Byrnes pub.
With free time in the afternoon, participants may explore a variety of nearby attractions, including Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the National Gallery, Christ Church and St. Patrick's Cathedrals and shopping on Grafton Street.
We will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30 for dinner at a restaurant near Ariel House.
July 18 (Dublin)
10:00-11:30: Historical Bus/Walking Tour
A historical tour through the city center led by Joe Cope will cover historical sites associated with the 1916 Easter Rising. We will concentrate on O'Connell Street, exploring some of the key sites associated with the rising, including the General Post Office, and the memorials to Irish independence movements at the Garden of Remembrance.
We will have a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol, a Victorian era prison which housed many of the men who fought for Irish independence in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was also the site of the execution of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.
After our tour, class participants will be dropped off for lunch at Temple Bar (an area known for good pubs and restaurants, including Dublin's oldest pub, the Brazen Head). After lunch, participants may explore the city center on their own. Joe Cope and Rob Doggett will accompany interested participants on optional trips to the crypts and mummies at St. Michan's Church (please note that the St. Michan's tour will require a descent into underground crypts which may be difficult for some participants), the Chester Beatty Library, and the Guinness Brewery.
At 6:00 we will be transported to nearby Dun Laoghaire for a fine dinner followed by a traditional Irish music and dancing session at the Cultúrlann na hÉireann in Monkstown.
July 19 (Derry)
We will depart the hotel by private bus and travel to the Boyne Valley. Along the way, Joe Cope will provide commentary on the history of the 16th and 17th century English conquest and plantations, as well as the 17th century risings. We will stop for a picnic lunch at the site of the 1690 Battle of the Boyne, with free time for exploring the battlefield and museum.
We will continue on to county Antrim on the northern coast of Ireland, with time to discuss Irish folklore and the Gaelic Revival. A visit to the stunning volcanic columns and cliffs of Giant's Causeway will be the centerpiece of today's activities before we continue on to Derry and check in at the Tower Hotel. Participants will have time for dinner on their own and shopping in the city center of Derry.
July 20 (Derry)
Joe Cope will lead a walking tour of the 17th century city walls of Derry. We will then proceed into the Bogside neighborhood to view and discuss the murals and monuments associated with the late 20th century struggle for Catholic civil rights in Northern Ireland and will visit the Museum of Free Derry near the site of the 1972 Bloody Sunday attack.
Over lunch in the city center, Rob Doggett will lead a workshop on the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Participants will then have a free afternoon to explore Derry's museums, shopping at the Derry Craft Village, and tours of the outlying areas of the city.
We will meet for a group dinner.
July 21 (Sligo)
Our private bus will transport us to Glenveagh National Park, where we will tour Glenveagh Gardens (with a Geneseo connection - the gardens were created by Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie, daughter of Geneseo's Civil War hero, General James S. Wadsworth). After a light lunch, we will continue on to Sligo with lodgings at the Sligo Park Hotel. In the early afternoon, Rob Doggett will lead a walking tour of sites in Sligo associated with William Butler Yeats, and participants will have free time for exploration and dinner at one of the many historic pubs and restaurants in the town.
July 22 (Sligo)
Participants will have several options for independent activities, including a group golfing package at Standhill Golf Club, the spa treatments at Voya Seaweed Baths, hiking at Knocknarea Mountain, or shopping in Sligo.
We will meet in the early evening for a historic and literary pub crawl in the village of Sligo.
July 23 (Sligo)
We will have a full day with local expert and poet Martin Enright, who will lead us on a tour of county Sligo, including the neolithic sites at Carrowmore.
We will meet for a private catered banquet in Sligo.
July 24 (Connemara)
Our tour bus will transport us to the famous and scenic site of Kylemore Abbey, where we will have a tour and lunch. We will then proceed to Maol Reidh Hotel in the quaint Connemara village of Tullycross.
The group will be treated to a private meal at Renvyle House, an award-winning traditional Irish restaurant.
July 25 (Connemara)
We will be joined by Connemara poet Joan McBreen, who will lead us on a day tour of Connemara, including a picnic lunch at Connemara National Park, dramatic coastal scenery, and sites of 19th century Famine villages. We will return to Tullycross in the late afternoon, with free time available before participants arrange dinner dinner.
July 26 (Galway)
We will depart for Galway in the morning, and check in at Jurys Inn Galway. In the late morning and afternoon, participants will have free time for sightseeing in Galway. We will arrive in time for participants to take the ferry to the Aran Islands for an afternoon on Inis Mór.
We will meet for a final closing banquet in Galway to wrap up the trip.
July 27 (Galway)
Our bus will depart from Galway for Dublin Airport in time for early afternoon flights. Participants flying out of Shannon Airport will need to arrange their own transportation from Galway.
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