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The Prodigals 2007 New Year's Eve Trip! [Mar. 14th, 2007|05:11 pm]
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From the Prodigals mailing list:

THE PRODIGALS IRISH NEW YEAR'S EVE 2007-2008!
[Please note, CELTIC TOURS is our new booking agency for this year!
Please contact Marc Kavanagh or Kathy Gordon at: 800-833-4373 or 518-862-0042]

Day 01, Wednesday, December 26: "UP, UP & AWAY!": USA-IRELAND
.
Depart JFK or Chicago for overnight flight to Ireland. Dinner and in-flight movie; but you are encouraged to skip all that, and sleep as much as possible so as to hit the ground running, and best exploit your very first day in IRELAND!

Day 02, Thursday, December 27: "DUBLIN'S FAIR CITY!": DUBLIN
.
Morning arrival at Dublin Airport where we are met by our professional Irish Driver/Guide. Out on the road! First things first: we have our first sizzling Irish breakfast, washed down with our first creamy pint of Guiinness on Irish soil! Then it's on to DUBLIN, the humming capital of Ireland, a city that has been growing by leaps and bounds every year, but still retains a unique Georgian heart and charm. We have a panoramic overview of the city to help us get our bearings, before looking closer at a couple of extraordinary historical sites. Full guided tour of Dublin Castle, a seat of power since a Viking fortress in 930, with the present building dating from 1204; then it's on to Kilmainham Jail, scene of some of the pivotal moments of the movement for Irish independence since the 1700's. From there it's on to our hotel in the heart of Temple Bar, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dublin and now the epicenter of its restaurants, pubs, and general nightlife. It's 5 minutes walk to Trinity College, to Leinster House, national museums, to pretty much most places you'll want to go. And for the first time in years, we are spending TWO FULL DAYS in the city...time for folks to have fun, and get into trouble, to shop, to pint, to their hearts' content. (More nocturnal plans in the offing, details still evolving!) PLEASE NOTE: meal plan option available, and warmly recommended! Details available from Celtic Tours.

Day 03, Friday, December 28: "ROUND TOWERS & PINTS!" DUBLIN - GLENDALOUGH.

After a full warming Irish breakfast, we head into the wilds of the Wicklow Mountains, across bogs and moors and soldiers' roads, to Glendalough, an extraordinary monastic settlement of St. Kevin from the 6th century. It is a haunting place, with the ancient monastery tucked between two dark lakes and surrounded by mountains, beautiful and wild, but with a feeling of mystery hallowed by time that will raise goosebumps. FYI, the weather can as well - layers of clothes to anticipate all of weather's vagaries is the secret of happiness! No mystery as to why pubs thrived in Ireland's soft climate... And on that topic! the final instructive stop today will be the Guinness Brewery, where after we learn the secret of the black magic pint, we'll have a chance to nurse away the hangovers with a hair of the dog, and some remarkable views of Dublin. Then a relaxed day, to wander through the Georgian squares, shop in vibrant Grafton Street, maybe take in the mighty Panto or a play at the justifiably renowned Gate or Abbey Theater. Overnight again at the Temple Bar Hotel.

Day 04, Saturday, December 29: "HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTH IS!" - CAVAN.
A leisurely start, then drive on to County Cavan, where Gregory still has his childhood farm. Cavan is popularly dubbed Lakeland, a fisherman's paradise of pristine lakes and drumlins, rolling hills left by the receding Ice Age. We'll stop for a toast at Gregory's farm, featuring a magic potion that cannot be put into print, and a follow-up pint visit to the wattled-ceiling 1800's hostelry in the neighboring town, the Seven Horse Shoes. Shopping stop at Cavan Crystal for those who wish, and then head to the superb 4-star Radisson SAS Hotel, housed in Lord Farnham's palatial mansion, part of a 400 year-old estate. Stroll through the grounds, rent horses or enjoy superlative cuisine featuring local ingredients. The coach will pick us up for an 8.30pm return to Belturbet, 10 minutes away; it is Gregory's hometown, where we stopped earlier in the day. There will be a monster seisiun (informal traditional music jam) at the Harbour, a pub owned by the family who used to baby-sit him when he was a child. The visit to Belturbet has been a highlight of the band's previous trips, a genuine family homecoming in a town of 2,000 neighbors (and 23 pubs!) Truly, "arrive a stranger, leave a friend." The coach will return to the Harbour Pub at 1am to bring us back the hotel.

Day 05, Sunday, December 30
: "INTO THE WEST": GALWAY.
A relaxed start to nurse the hangover! Full Ulster breakfast, and then coach departs directly to Galway, the wonderful "City of the Tribes", our destination today. There is a reason that we are heading there directly; this is an extraordinary place, and truly merits a leisurely and lovely full day exploring the nooks and crannies of a vivacious and delightful 13th-century West of Ireland city and port. Galway has unique cultural mix, ranging from native Irish fleeing the English, to sailors from the Spanish Armada, wrecked off the coast. Ramble along the cobbled streets, enjoying superlative seafood, perhaps making a visit to the Church of St. Nicholas where Columbus is said to have prayed before his voyage to the New World, and certainly having a pint at the wonderful pub O'Neachtain's.

Day 06, Monday, December 31: "CENTURIES IN A DAY!" ARAN ISLANDS - LIMERICK.
After breakfast, we go to the Aran Islands, the first time ever on a Prodigals tour. This is truly one of the most incredible places you will ever visit, anywhere. Three rocks in the middle of the wild Atlantic, the Aran Islands have been preserved in a kind of living time capsule. It feels like nothing else in Ireland today, and on arrival you step back into a world that has long disappeared from anywhere else on the island. Men still earn their living battling the waves and fishing, donkeys still are a principal form of transportation and farming help, The only caveat here is, we are dependent on the same waves that make Inis Mor (literally, "the big island") the magical place it is; if (and only if) the weather makes it impossible to cross, we will then go to Plan B, which is to tour around the other wonder of the Western World, which is Connemara. Wild mountains, crystal lakes, soaring skyscapes...poetic in a way that the most jaded traveler will be stunned by. Then it's on to Limerick City, of Angela's Ashes fame. Because of its location on the River Shannon, Limerick has always been recognized as a strategic stronghold; this is reflected in the massive King John's Castle, built in the 13th century as an instrument of royal authority and a military fortress. Located across from King John's Castle, over the medieval Thomond Bridge, is the Treaty Stone, where the treaty was signed ending the Siege of Limerick in 1691. Time to shower and shave before superb 3-course New Year's Eve Dinner and the PRODIGALS NEW YEAR'S EVE GIG, at the foremost live venue in the West of Ireland. Pure lovely madness to welcome 2008!

Day 07, Tuesday, January 1: "BACK HOME, FULL OF STOUT & STORIES": LIMERICK-SHANNON-USA.
Leisurely departure for nearby Shannon Airport and our flight home - latest flights available! For those flying to Boston or NY, there is an option of visiting Bunratty; for all travelers, plenty of time before boarding our flight for last minute duty-free shopping and that last magic pint on Irish soil...Brilliant!!!!!

Booking and all details, please contact Marc Kavanagh or Kathy Gordon at Celtic Tours /Group Dept. at: 800-833-4373 or 518-862-0042

I already have sent off an email asking about the pricing for this trip. Awaiting reply. I'll update this post when I receive it.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fancythat515
2007-03-15 01:30 am (UTC)
Humm... Yeah... Jumps off clif.
Hoping that I can be redeemed this weekend. What do you think is the likelihood of that?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mpeace
2007-03-15 01:33 am (UTC)
Well, I don't think you can make it worse... Kidding!!

You'll be fine. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)