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Barb, Fred, Colleen and MarkOn July 14, 2004 we joined Barbara's sister Colleen and her husband Mark for a fantastic tour of Ireland. We flew from JFK in New York City to Dublin, Ireland. There we met up with Trafalgar tours for a 10 day bus tour around the island, including stops in Northern Ireland. Our tour guide Valerie was the best - entertaining us with folklore, songs, and history of the Irish people. And everyone on the tour - about 40 people - were so interesting. There were people from London, Australia, New Zealand, Canada (including a lady from the Northwest Territories), Israel and even one couple from Tazmania. One 80 year old lady, travelling alone for the past 3 years, is a psychotherapist who teaches all over the world. She was writing a book about travelling alone and old!

One thing that Trafalgar does on its bus tours that we really liked was its policy of seat rotation. Each day you moved counterclockwise two rows. That way everyone gets to experience the front (and back) seats. But even more important, you sat across from different people every day so you got to know everyone by the end of the tour.

The other great thing about this tour was the way the luggage was taken care of. Except for placing luggage outside the room before breakfast each morning, we never had to handle it. When we arrived at the hotel, we were given our room keys and the luggage was brought up from the bus. Our bus driver Jim not only did a superb job of guiding the bus down the narrow Irish roads, but was responsible for loading and unloading the luggage at every hotel stop. And not a single piece of luggage was ever lost. (However, Barbara did leave her camera at one of the hotels and did not discover it until a few days later. Valerie called the hotel and arranged to have it mailed back to the US for us and sure enough, it was there when we got home.)

This web site contains highlights of our experiences in Ireland. While we didn't publish newsletters during the trip, we have summarized what we saw and did in each city. Pressing the Newsletters button will take you to the list of places we visited and a link to the information about each area. Each newsletter contains thumbnail size pictures from that area. If you click on the picture, you can see a full screen view of it. Or if you just want to browse a gallery of all the photos from the trip, click on the Photo button. The Photo Gallery contains additional pictures to what is in the newsletters.

And the Map button will link you to a map of Ireland which has a plot of our route.

We hope you enjoy reading about our experiences in this fascinating and beautiful country.An Irish Blessing






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