DAY 1 TUESDAY ARRIVE SHANNON – LIMERICK – ADARE – CORK
Welcome to the gorgeous Emerald Island! Upon arriving at Dublin’s Shannon Airport, meet your Irish guide outside the arrival hall and begin your visit in this magical land. A short drive away, stop in Limerick, made famous by Frank McCourt’s memoir (and movie) Angela’s Ashes, as well as by the amusing five-line rhyming poems known as “limericks.” (A famous example: There once was a man from Nantucket/ Who kept all his cash in a bucket/ But his daughter, named Nan/ Ran away with a man/ And as for the bucket, Nantucket.) Limerick is also the site of King John’s Castle as well as a tiny Jewish cemetery housing only twelve headstones. Next, enjoy a scenic drive to Adare, one of Ireland’s most picturesque villages. Here, you will roam among quaint houses clad in straw-thatched roofs and enjoy a light Lunch. Afterwards, continue to Cork, Ireland’s second-largest city. Be introduced to this city and its surprising Jewish heritage (including Gerald Goldberg, appointed Lord Mayor in 1977) by a “Jewish Bard.” Check-in at the hotel. Imperial Hotel.
DAY 2 WEDNESDAY CORK – COBH – CORK
This morning, visit one of Europe’s oldest markets, a popular stop for visiting English royalty. Continue to nearby Cobh, a town on an island in the Cork Harbor. It is known as the Titanic’s last port of call in 1912, as well as an embarkation point during Ireland’s mass emigrations. The town’s history is packed with many stories of Irish culture, suffering, hopes, and diaspora (as Jews, we can relate to all of the above). Proceed on a short ferry ride to Spike Island, which served as a prison island (like Alcatraz). This was a dreaded holding area for thieves waiting to be shipped off to the island of Tasmania, off the coast of Australia. In the late afternoon, return to Cork and the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Imperial Hotel.
DAY 3 THURSDAY CORK – DUBLIN
Travel to Dublin this morning. At noon, enjoy Lunch at the restaurant of the Jewish Community of Dublin (run by the local Chabad). In the afternoon, tour Jewish Dublin. Although we are relatively few in number here (as is true around the world), Dublin boasts a rich Jewish legacy. As in Cork, Dublin had a Jewish Lord Mayor, Robert Briscoe. It is also fascinating that James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, set in this city, recounts a day in the life of a Jewish man called Leopold Bloom (that day is celebrated by Joyce fans annually as “Bloomsday”). Visit the formerly Jewish area of Portobello, now boasting an Irish Jewish Museum. You will also see the site of the Adelaide Road Synagogue, home to the Dublin Hebrew Congregation. (Did you ever think you’d enjoy a kosher meal and see a shul, a Jewish Museum, and a JCC — all in one Irish city?) Check-in at the hotel in the late afternoon. The Alex Hotel.
DAY 4 FRIDAY DUBLIN
This morning, enjoy a day filled with contrasts. First, visit the illustrious Trinity College, home to the famed Book of Kells. This Irish cultural treasure is a beautifully illuminated 9th Century manuscript of the Gospels. Its brilliantly-colored illustrations feature swirling motifs, Celtic knots, animals and mythical beasts. Continue to historic Dublin and see the famous statue of Molly Malone, commemorating the legendary young girl, a fishmonger, who died tragically young – and whose ghost still wanders the streets, singing “cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh.” You will also see the popular Temple Bar (alive with rousing Irish music) and Ha’Penny Bridge, stretching over the River Liffey. Later, visit the medieval Christchurch area of Dublin and visit the Dublinia Museum, showcasing Ireland’s Viking heritage. In the afternoon, return to the hotel. Enjoy Dinner this evening. The Alex Hotel.
DAY 5 SATURDAY DUBLIN
Choose to spend the day at leisure or join a morning tour to the Greater Dublin area. See the neighborhoods of Dunlaoghaire and Dalkey , where various high enders live. Continue to Killiney (also very affluent, and home to celebrities like Bono and Enya). Enjoy the vistas from Killiney Hill, stretching to the Irish Sea and the highlands of Wales. Next, drive through Enniskerry to Powerscourt Estate and Gardens for a visit to the highest waterfall in Ireland (400 feet of rushing white torrents). Return to the city and enjoy time exploring Dublin on your own. The Alex Hotel.
DAY 6 SUNDAY DUBLIN – BELFAST
Depart Dublin and drive to Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Belfast is home to a long tradition of ship building. Here, at its Harland & Wolff Shipyard, the ill-fated Titanic was designed, built, and launched. Visit the unique Belfast Museum and its Titanic Experience. This unmissable exhibit features a scale model of the ship and nine interactive galleries which explore every detail of the legendary voyage, bringing the past to life. This is truly a favorite for all ages. In the late afternoon, check-in at the hotel. Fitzwilliam Hotel.
DAY 7 MONDAY BELFAST
Begin a fascinating day filled with historical insights. First, learn about the plight of Northern Ireland. Travel with a traditional “Black Cab Guide” as he shares insights into the political conflicts with England, many dealing with the age-old battle between Protestants and Catholics. The drive will vividly convey the history of life during what was known as “the Troubles.” You will see evidence of this past as you see Falls Road, the Belfast Peace Walls (once erected to quell the conflict), and potent, omnipresent political murals. You will need a brain like King Solomon to contemplate solving these issues between the Loyalists and the Republicans (not only the Jews have “tzores”). Next, meet with members of the Jewish Community and Synagogue and enjoy a light Lunch in the company of its members. Afterwards, spend afternoon exploring Belfast on your own. Fitzwilliam Hotel.
DAY 8 TUESDAY BELFAST – HOME FLIGHTS
Transfer to Shannon Airport and check-in for your flights back to the USA.