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Ireland, Scotland & England

July 13-25, 2016

Cead mile failte! A hundred-thousand welcomes! Some guests in our group arrived a day earlier. After checking into our hotel in Limerick, we enjoyed free time to relax from the Transatlantic flight. The next day, we explored the city that is located at the river Shannon. After a shore walk along the river, we crossed the bridge and arrived at the King John's Castle. An inside visit of the castle provided interesting information of the area's and Ireland's history. Afterwards, we walked to St. Mary's Cathedral dating back to the 12th century.

In the evening, we met our fellow travelers who just arrived, our tour director and our bus driver. We enjoyed a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. And it was a perfect occasion to celebrate a birthday of a guest in our group.

King John's Castle

King John's Castle in Limerick, Ireland


Happy Birthday!

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Cliffs of Moher

Knappogue Castle

We started the day with a drive to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, rising 668 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Since the weather was nice we could savor the magnificent panorama of the Clare coast. Then, we visited Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy cafe and bar culture. Later, we enjoyed a special treat: at Rathbaun Farm we were served Traditional Tea in the 150-year old farmhouse. And we watched the farmer shearing a sheep and maneuver a flock with the help of a sheep dog. We continued to our hotel in Killarney.

Some guests in our group signed up for a unique night out: a medieval banquet at Knappogue Castle. The castle is a tower house that was built in 1467 and later expanded. The name of the castle means "castle of the place abounding in little hills". The restored building is open for guided tours.

We headed south and stopped at quaint Adare with its pretty thatched cottages. At Killorglin, we started the drive on the famous Ring of Kerry for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island's southwestern tip. It is an area of sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and the breathtaking panorama of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Overnight we stayed in the popular resort of Killarney.

Rathbaun Farm

Feeding lambs at Rathbaun Farm

Group photo

Group photo in Westerville, a favorite holiday spot of Charlie Chaplin and his family

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

On the way to Dublin, we stopped in Blarney, renowned for its castle and magical Kissing Stone, and at the Rock of Cashel, where St. Patrick preached in the 5th century.

In the morning we saw parts of the "Fair City" including the statue-lined O'Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Oscar Wilde's Trinity College. The afternoon was busy with a trip to the Deaf Village where we had a wonderful time. After a very friendly welcome, we were guided through the campus. We learned about the history of the Village and all the services that are provided for the deaf community. In the evening, some of us joined a dinner outing at the Guinness Storehouse.
Visit at the Deaf Village

Visit at the Deaf Village in Dublin



After crossing the Boyne River we stopped in Lisburn on the way to the awe-inspiring Giant's Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, and the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Then, a scenic coastal drive followed via Garron Point to Belfast, where we spent the night.
First thing in the morning, we visited the fascinating Titanic Exhibition and learned all about the building of the largest passenger steam ship, its maiden voyage, and the tragic night of April 14, 1912. Next, we embarked the ferry and crossed the North Channel to Cairnryan on Scotland's southwest coast, and continued through the scenic Scottish border country to Edinburgh. In the evening, many in our group enjoyed a Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis.


Arriving at the Scottish evening in Edinburgh

We started the morning with a city sightseeing tour. Our local tour guide introduced us to the 200-year-old "New Town" and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists who lived there. In the "Old Town, we drove up the narrow Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle to admire Scotland's Crown Jewels. The afternoon was free to enjoy the Scottish capital. Later in the afternoon, a unique experience was offered: Some of us joined a tour to board the former Royal Yacht Britannia followed by a dinner at a local restaurant.

Edinburgh Castle

View to Edinburgh Castle

We started the day with a drive to Alnwick Castle. We visited the castle with a guided tour and were impressed by the opulent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Then, there was some time left to explore the beautiful gardens where the fountains and waterfalls are a breathtaking feature. In York, England's most complete medieval city, our Tour Director guided us through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. After time on our own for more sightseeing and shopping we drove to the hotel.

Alnwick Castle

Group Picture in front of Alnwick Castle

The first stop was Stratford-upon-Avon to have a group picture taken in front of Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Then we went into town and visited Shakespeare's birthplace and took some time to wander around the historic market town. In the afternoon, we continued to the elegant Georgian Bath. In the evening, we joined an excursion to the picturesque, 13th-century village of Castle Combe followed by dinner at a village pub.

Group Picture

Group Picture in front of Anne Hathaway's Cottage



There was time in the morning to explore the amazing excavations of the Roman Baths and walk where Romans walked 2,000 years ago. Then, we tried to figure out the intriguing riddle of Stonehenge, the most famous monument of prehistoric Europe. Afterwards, we continued to London, our final destination.
We started the day with a sightseeing tour with a local guide and saw all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall's mounted horse guards and the Prime Minister's Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard. We had free time in the afternoon for independent activities. Some of us joined an excursion to Windsor Castle. Later, a dinner followed by a relaxed nighttime cruise on the Thames River allowed us to view some of the capital's most beautiful illuminated sights. It was an incredible finale of our tour.

Mounted Horse Guards

Mounted Horse Guards

Fundraising Poster

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