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.
Newsletters Photos Map