Pittsburgh Catholic Ireland
Monday, July 10 - DAY 1-Depart USA – Today we depart on our overnight flight to Dublin. Dinner and breakfast aloft. Tuesday, July 11 - Saint Benedict, Abbot - DAY 2 – DUBLIN - On arrival at Dublin Airport meet your Irish driver and guide and transfer to Dublin city centre. Enjoy a panoramic city tour. Dublin offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office, Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe. The sophisticated South Side boasts vast Georgian squares, Trinity College, where the famous book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library, Dublin Castle and two Anglican Cathedrals. Visit St Patricks Cathedral. Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. Visit Trinity College. Thomas Burgh built the Old Library building in the 18th century. Today it houses one of Ireland’s most illustrious books, the 9th century “Book of Kells”. Celebrate Mass in a church in Dublin. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Dublin. Wednesday, July 12 - DAY 3 – DUBLIN/ TIPPERARY – Today we celebrate Mass in Dublin. Then depart Dublin and journey to Tipperary. En-route journey through the Wicklow Mountains. County Wicklow is known as “the Garden of Ireland” it is home to Powerscourt, Mount Usher and Russborough, to name a few of its many houses and gardens. We visit Glendalough Monastic Site and Visitor Centre. The English name Glendalough originated from the Irish “Gleann Dá Locha”, which translates as "The valley of the two lakes". It was here that St. Kevin, son of the king of Leinster, founded a monastery in the 6th century. A cathedral, round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses survive albeit as ruins. Then visit Baltinglass Abbey. The Abbey was founded in 1148 by Dermot McMurrogh. Dermot McMurrogh brought Cistercian monks from Mellifont. It was established for the Cistercians which was called “The Valley of Salvation”. In 1228 the records show that there were 36 monks and 50 lay brothers living in the abbey. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Tipperary. Thursday, July 13 - DAY 4 – TIPPERARY/ COUNTY CORK/TRALEE - This morning we visit the Rock of Cashel. Possibly the most photographed site in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel towers over the town of Cashel from its perch on a 200-foot high outcrop of limestone. Once the seat of the Kings of Munster. St. Patrick visited the rock in 450 AD, while Brian Boru was crowned the first high King of Ireland here in the tenth century. Then journey through County Cork to Blarney Castle, where you have the option to kiss the Stone and receive the gift of eloquence! We celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Kerry area. Friday, July 14 - Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin Memorial - DAY 5 – DINGLE PENINSULA - Today following Mass at a local parish church, we tour the Dingle Peninsula. Some of the finest coastal scenery to be seen in Ireland can be found in West Kerry, on the Dingle Peninsula, the most northern of the Kerry Peninsulas. This peninsula is famous for its Celtic, pre-Christian monuments and Christian churches. It is also a ‘Gaeltacht' (Irish speaking) area, where the Irish language and traditional ways of life are preserved. Visit the Gallarus Oratory. Gallarus Oratory is the most impressive early Christian monument on the Dingle peninsula. It has withstood the passage of time for over 1200 years. Built in the shape of an upturned boat, the oratory formed part of a larger monastic site and was used as a place of prayer and reflection. Then visit Kilmalkedar Church. Kilmalkedar is a spectacular early Christian and medieval ecclesiastical site found about 8 km from Dingle, in County Kerry. Among the ruins on the site, visitors will enjoy examining the fine 12th-century Hiberno-Romanesque church and several fascinating artifacts, such as an alphabet stone, holed Ogham stone, sundial and large stone cross. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Kerry. Saturday, July 15 - Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church - DAY 6 – KERRY/CLIFFS OF MOHER/ GALWAY - This morning we depart Kerry and journey to Galway. We stop for a private Mass at St. John’s Cathedral in Limerick after which we enjoy a stop and visit the Holy Well of St. Brigid. Next, we visit the Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren region, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. We visit O’Brien’s Tower, north of the Cliffs, then the Atlantic Edge, its exciting new interpretive center. Continue through the Burren. This national park is visually similar to a moonscape, yet shelters a mixture of flora and archaeological sites which have attracted visitors for centuries. Centuries of weathering has produced a terrain of fissured limestone pavements, disappearing lakes, terraced mountains, and underground cave systems. Dinner and overnight, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Galway. Sunday, July 16 - DAY 7 - GALWAY/CRUISE/ CLONMACNOISE/GALWAY - This morning we enjoy a Lough Corrib Cruise. The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city, along the famous Steamers Line, which is the lake’s traditional trade route. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto the lake providing visitors with a guided commentary on the historic monuments and natural amenities on this waterway that leads to the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland. This afternoon we visit Clonmacnoise. Clonmacnoise is a wonderful early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. In a stunning setting, the site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of early Christian grave slabs in Western Europe. Celebrate Mass at a local church. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Galway. Monday, July 17 - DAY 8 - GALWAY/KNOCK - This morning we depart Galway and journey to Knock. Visit Knock Shrine and Museum. The story of Knock shrine began on Thursday evening of the 21st August, 1879, when the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of the church at Knock in County Mayo. Today, Knock ranks among the world’s major Marian shrines. Celebrate Mass at Knock. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Knock area. Tuesday, July 18 - Saint Camillus de Lellis, Priest - DAY 9 – KNOCK/BELFAST – This morning we depart Knock and journey to Belfast. En-route celebrate Mass at St Patrick’s RC Cathedral, an imposing site, perched on the hilltop in Armagh and dominating its skyline. The cathedral was designed and built in Neo Gothic style from pale limestone, with large twin spires dominating the approach up flight after flight of steps. We then visit St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral. The story of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral begins in the year 445 when, according to tradition, St Patrick built a church on the hill from which the City derives its name ‘Ard Mhacha – The Height of Mhacha’. Some of the highlights of the tour will include the Cathedral silverware, the Crypt containing the remains of three Primates and notable Armagh families, and some interesting stone carvings which date from the pre-Christian period. On arrival in Belfast enjoy a panoramic city tour The tour will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clock tower (Irelands answer to the Tower of Pisa) and the Opera House, which is one of Belfast’s great landmarks. Your tour will pass by the City Hall, the Opera house, The Crown Bar (dates from 1885), Queens University and the Botanic Gardens. A visit to the Shankill and Falls road will be of interest as it will give the visitor an indication of how life was in Belfast during the troubles. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Belfast or area. Wednesday, July 19 - DAY 10 – Belfast & North Antrim Coast - This morning we celebrate Mass at St Malachy’s Church or similar. Then visit the Titanic Belfast Museum which recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction. The self-guided journey begins on entering the building's giant atrium, where the visitor is surrounded by the four ‘ship’s hull’ shaped wings which house the Titanic Experience. As you journey through the nine large galleries of the interactive exhibition, you will uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900's, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. Then journey to the North Antrim Coast and visit the Giant’s Causeway. According to legend Finn McCool created the Giants Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner! The new Visitor centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Belfast or area. Thursday, July 20 - Saint Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr - DAY 11 – This morning following Mass at a local parish church, we depart Belfast and journey to Dublin. We enjoy a short stop at Downpatrick Cathedral overlooking Downpatrick, stands close to what is believed to be the mortal remains of Patrick, the Patron saint of Ireland. Then enjoy a photo stop at Inch Abbey. Continue to Dublin and visit the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History. Collins Barracks in Dublin city centre has been completely renovated and restored to become the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History, charting Ireland's economic, social, political and military progress through the ages. Artifacts on display range from silver, ceramic and glassware pieces to weaponry, furniture, examples of folk life and costume. The balance of the day at leisure. This evening we enjoy dinner and entertainment at The Merry Ploughboy or similar. The Merry Ploughboys live in concert is widely regarded as the best traditional music show in Dublin. Overnight, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Dublin or area. Friday, July 21 - Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church - DAY 12- DUBLIN/OKC - Transfer to Dublin Airport for your journey home.
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