Kylemore Abbey visit
Details: Galway city walk
Meet and greet the bayside city likened to San Francisco on a friendly foot tour led by your Tour Director. Discover a traditional Gaelic culture turned trendy with college students, artists and writers in the midst of a buzzing Bohemian culture of 50,000 people. The journey begins at the Spanish Arch (actually a pair of stone arches speckled with greenery) constructed to guard the quays where Spanish merchants docked their boats. Stroll along residential Quay Street into bustling High Street, a micro shopping mecca lined with all kinds of shops, coffeehouses and outside eateries. Venture outside the buzz and discover a one-of-a-kind pyramid-shaped spire atop Ireland’s second largest medieval parish house, St. Nicholas Church. Meander through Eyre Square’s Kennedy Memorial Park, a green oasis where locals gather to lounge, socialize and attend musical performances. Bordering the lush grounds, find the 17th-century Brown Doorway, a real entryway transported in 1900 from its original location at the Brown Mansion. Another highlight is the original set of cannons from the Crimean War, and the bubbling fountain adorned with a steel sculpture of a traditional broad-masted ship (hooker).
Details: Connemara excursion
Venture outside city limits in search of Ireland’s mystical nature. Visit the surreal town of Connemara where ancient Irish is softly spoken. Sense her haunting nature as you survey the jagged coastline of rocky beaches, twisting roads, rippled bogs and windswept heather. Next stop, Kylemore Abbey. Tucked inside a hidden valley along the lush banks of Lough Corrib Lake, it’s like a vision from a fairytale dream. Outside you’ll discover the look, feel and scent of a real Victorian garden. Inside, you’ll find a larger-than-life residence run by an order of Benedictine nuns, and one of the most prestigious international schools in Europe. The infamous prose Yeats wrote while gazing at the river says it all, “peace comes dropping slow”.