Gardens of the Emerald Isle and…
the World Flower Show!
With the Georgian Gardener Walter Reeves
June 16 – 27, 2014
“May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent!”
Across thousands of years and thousands of miles, the myths and magic of Ireland beckon us… We hear the invitation to visit in her music, her dance, her stories and her smiles.
Join Walter Reeves along with a group of happy garden lovers as we delve deep into the enchanting and mysterious Gaelic culture. The journey begins in Dublin, where you’ll visit Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College and attend the celebrated World Flower Show, known as “the Olympics of flower arranging.”
Then, take in the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher and the delightful Dingle Peninsula. No trip to Ireland would be complete without pub crawls, traditional music and historical walking tours with colorful local characters. Throw in our signature leisurely pace and time for independent discovery and you have the ideal recipe for a fantastic adventure. The Irish await you… “Cead Mile Failte”—a hundred thousand welcomes!
TRIP AT A GLANCE
Overnight Trans-Atlantic Flight
3 Nights Dublin, Ireland’s Capital
2 Nights Kilkenny, Land of Castles and Monasteries
3 Nights Killarney, Gateway to Dingle
2 Nights Galway & the Cliffs of Moher
The World Flower Show, Dublin * Powerscourt Gardens * National Stud Farms Estate and Japanese Gardens * Muckross House and Gardens * Visits to Ireland’s most beautiful gardens and parks * Historical Dublin: Trinity College, The Book of Kells & St. Patrick’s Cathedral * The Spectacular Rock of Cashel * The Wild Wicklow Mountains * The gorgeous Dingle Peninsula * Ancient Monastic site of Glendalough * Medieval Kilkenny * Boat cruise to the Cliffs of Moher * Lively town of Galway * The dramatic landscape of the Burren * Thoor Ballylee—home of W.B. Yeats * A wonderful group of like-minded fun travelers
- With the Georgia Gardener, Walter Reeves
- An expert Earthbound Expeditions guide
- 10 nights 4 star accommodations in charming, centrally located hotels
- All breakfasts, six traditional lunches and five multi-course dinners
- Roundtrip air from Atlanta, OR (optional)
- Airport transfers for those on the group flight
- Historic tours with interesting local experts
- Tickets to the World Flower Show
- Multiple visits to both private and public gardens
- Transportation throughout on an air -conditioned motor coach
- A musical evening
- Entrance fees to all museums & sights listed in itinerary
- Gratuities for guides and drivers
- Small group of fun, garden-loving traveling companions
12 Days/11 Nights (when including Int’l air)
$3,875PP Dbl. Occupancy (Land price with 24 to 28 guests)
$735 Single Supplement
*Group Flight departs Monday, June 16, 2014
Tour begins: Tuesday, June 17, upon arrival at Dublin airport
Tour culminates: Friday, June 27, at Shannon Int’l Airport at 9:00am
Based on $1=.77 Euro
Group Air Option on Delta Airlines
$1,635.00 Per Person
Price includes all taxes, fuel and airport transfers. Less expensive flights may be available at www.kayak.com
Mon., 16 June 2014
Lv. Atlanta 6:40 PM
Ar. Dublin 7:30 AM +1
Fri., 27 June 2014
DL 223 DL 843
Lv. Shannon 10:45 AM Lv. JFK 3:45PM
Ar. JFK 12:50 PM Ar. Atlanta 6:26 PM
THREE GREAT WAYS TO SAVE $275
1) Travel Alumni save $100-
2) Pay by check and save an additional $100-
3) Refer a friend $75-
“May your home be filled with laughter, may your pockets be filled with gold And may you have all the happiness your Irish heart can hold.”
YOUR IRISH GARDEN ADVENTURE BEGINS…
Meal key: B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
DAY 1 - Monday, June 16: Depart Atlanta for Dublin, Ireland
Join us on the group air flight from Atlanta or purchase your air ticket to meet up with the group in Dublin. Note: Less expensive air tickets might be available online. We suggest looking at www.kayak.com
DAY 2 – Tuesday, June 17: Welcome to Dublin!
Arrive in Dublin and transfer to your centrally located hotel. Freshen up before we meet to stretch our legs and have a walking orientation of this remarkable 1000-year-old city.
Tonight enjoy a “Welcome to Ireland!” feast with your host Walter Reeves. Sleep in Dublin (D)
DAY 3 – Wednesday, June 18: Explore the Heart of Dublin
A great city for walking, we’ll stroll through Dublin’s statue-lined O’Connell Street, view elegant Georgian squares and marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We’ll visit Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College, see the ancient Book of Kells. Enjoy a hearty pub lunch before setting out to discover the Dublin Writer’s Museum. Your afternoon is free to explore the lively streets and cafes of Dublin at your own leisurely pace before heading out for an evening of music (TBA). Sleep in Dublin (B, L)
DAY 4 – Thursday, June 19: The 11th World Flower Show ‘A Floral Odyssey’
After breakfast we’ll set out for the World Flower Show. Tickets and morning transfer included.
About The Show: This event will showcase floral arrangements designed by over 600 floral artists from all of the 31 member countries. Expect to be inspired and delighted by the spectacular use of a diversity of plant materials from around the globe. The show will also feature flower arranging demonstrations, lectures, garden visits and an exciting social program.
Gather up this evening for dinner and a sharing of stories. Sleep in Dublin (B, D)
DAY 5 – Friday, June 20: South to Historic Kilkenny via Powerscourt Gardens & the National Stud Farm
After a hearty Irish breakfast we depart Dublin to the magnificent 18th century estate at Powerscourt and its gardens which are thought to be among the finest in Europe (you may recognize the setting for Barry Lyndon, Excalibur and Henry V).
After lunch we make our way to the Japanese Gardens located on the grounds of the National Stud, this peaceful enclave is based on the traditional designs of Japanese gardens. A Japanese specialist planned the structure and its symbolism, and most of the plants and stones were imported from Japan.
We then make our way to the place many consider to be the loveliest large town in Ireland: Kilkenny, on the River Nore. Towering over the town is the 12th century stronghold of the Butler family, Kilkenny Castle. Enjoy a walking tour of the medieval town center and dinner. Sleep in Kilkenny (B, D)
DAY 6 – Saturday, June 21: An Exciting Outing to the Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
After breakfast, board the coach for an exciting day in the County Tipperary. There we’ll visit several historical sites including the Rock of Cashel. Legend associates the Rock of Cashel with St. Patrick, but the name comes from Caiseal, meaning “stone fort,” and the hill was originally the residence of the kings of Munster. Excavations have revealed some evidence of burials and church buildings from the 9th or 10th century, but it was in the early 12th century that the Rock began to be developed into a major Christian center. The frescoes in Cormac’s Chapel, which are the oldest Romanesque wall paintings in Ireland, were covered with whitewash at the Reformation (16th century) and remained hidden until the 1980s! Enjoy a country lunch before returning to Kilkenny. Sleep in Kilkenny (B, L)
DAY 7 – Sunday, June 22: Kilkenny to Dingle via Kinsale
Leave lovely Kilkenny for the beautiful riverside town of Waterford, the home of the world-renowned Waterford Crystal Factory, established in 1783. Visitors always enjoy seeing the artisans at work and to admire the finished products. Then on to view Cork’s 17th century Charles’ Fort, the best-preserved “star fort” in Europe, before driving on to Killarney, where we settle in for the next two nights.
About Killarney: For centuries the Killarney Valley has been recognized far and wide as Ireland’s most beautiful destination – being aptly titled as “Heaven’s Reflex”. It inspired Poet Laureate Alfred Austin to write – “If mountain, wood and water harmoniously blent, constitute the most perfect and adequate loveliness that nature presents, it surely must be owned, that it has, all the world over, no superior”. Prepare to be amazed by the incredible beauty, rich history, fascinating legends and wonderful culture of this special place. Sleep in Killarney (B, D)
DAY 8 – Monday, June 23: The Spectacular Dingle Peninsula
After breakfast, board the coach for the beautiful Dingle Peninsula. We’ll have lunch in the charming town of Dingle and visit the greatest concentration of ancient sites in all of County Kerry, if not all of Ireland.
Our travels will take us past the sites for the films Ryan’s Daughter and Far and Away on the way to the magnificent Blasket Center, an impressive heritage center where the ancient language and culture are celebrated. We continue our journey to the 1200-year-old Gallurus Oratory, an early Christian stone church with a uniquely cobbled stone roof that is watertight to this day! Along the way, taking a step back in history, we see a few of the ancient Beehive Huts. Sleep in Killarney (B, L)
DAY 9 – Tuesday, June 24: Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens
South and west of the town of Killarney in County Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 3,400 feet. Nestled at the foot of these mountains are the world famous lakes of Killarney. Here, where the mountains sweep down to the lake shores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, lies the 26,000 acres, Killarney National Park. The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty.
Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), part of a world network of natural areas which have conservation, research, education and training as major objectives. Killarney National Park was the first national park established in Ireland, created when Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish state in 1932
The focal point of the National Park for visitors is Muckross House and Gardens. During the 1850s, the former owners (the Herberts) undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861. Later, the Bourn Vincent family continued this gardening tradition. They purchased the estate from Lord and Lady Ardilaun early in the twentieth century. It was at this time that the Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and the Stream Garden were developed.
The house, which is presented as a late 19th century mansion featuring all the necessary furnishings and artifacts of the period, is a major visitor attraction. Sleep in Killarney (B, L)
DAY 10 – Wednesday, June 25: Killarney to Galway via 13th Century Castle of Bunratty
We depart this morning for Galway, via County Limerick. Our first stop will be the 13th century Bunratty Castle, then maybe time for a pint at Durty Nelly’s pub, built in 1620. We then make our way through the verdant Irish countryside, catching glimpses of castles and forts along the way to the home of W. B. Yeats at Thoor Ballylee. The 14th century Norman tower was where he penned The Tower and The Winding Stair. We re-board the coach and continue on our journey to Galway. Check into our centrally located hotel and enjoy drinks and dinner with friends. Sleep in Galway (B, D)
DAY 11 – Thursday, June 26: The Awe Inspiring Cliffs of Moher
Visit two of Ireland’s greatest geologic wonders: The Cliffs of Moher and The Burren. The 600 ft. high Cliffs of Moher are spectacular, especially when viewed from the water. Weather permitting we’ll board a large boat and cruise the Atlantic for a breathtaking view of the cliffs.
After a tasty lunch we are off to the Burren, a most unique and extraordinary karst (formed from limestone) landscape, one of the largest in Europe. Everywhere are traces of megalithic tombs, ringforts, holy wells and stone rows. We also make a visit to the little seaside village of Doolin and the high crosses of Kilnefora before retuning to Galway. Sleep in Galway (B, L)
DAY 12 – Friday, June 27: Return home via Shannon Airport
Upon arriving at Shannon airport, we board our flight! Return home with a lifetime of happy memories.
Itinerary details subject to change
PLANNED GARDEN VISITS
Powerscourt Gardens (County Wicklow): This grandiose Irish garden is set amid the natural splendor of the Wicklow Hills just outside of Dublin. The sprawling, manicured gardens and the wild beauty of the Powerscourt waterfall make this a great day’s outing, and a respite from the noise and congestion of the city. http://www.powerscourt.ie/gardens.
Japanese Gardens (County Kildare): On the grounds of the National Stud, this peaceful enclave is based on the traditional designs of Japanese gardens. A Japanese specialist planned the structure and its symbolism, and most of the plants and stones were imported from Japan. http://irishnationalstud.ie/
Muckross House and Gardens: During the 1850s, the Herberts undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861. Later, the Bourn Vincent family continued this gardening tradition. They purchased the estate from Lord and Lady Ardilaun early in the twentieth century. It was at this time that the Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and the Stream Garden were developed. http://www.muckross-house.ie/house-garden.html
MEET YOUR HOST, WALTER REEVES…
Garden expert, writer, radio and television host Walter Reeves grew up on a small Georgia farm in Fayette County, where his family raised chickens and cows. Walter and his four younger siblings were all expected to tend a large garden for family sustenance. After eighteen years of farm life, he swore that if delivered from tending animals and plants, he would never garden again. Yet, for a guy who longed to see the family farm recede in the rearview mirror as he headed to college, Walter admits that the unrelenting lure of gardening was stronger than he ever anticipated!
Oddly enough, Walter is now the most respected garden guru in the Southeast and the author or co-author of nine books on gardening. For 19 years, Reeves has hosted “The Lawn and Garden Show with Walter Reeves” Saturday mornings on Atlanta’s WSB radio, which is one of the most listened-to radio shows in Atlanta among all 30 competing stations each Saturday morning. He also writes a weekly column for the Thursday Atlanta Journal-Constitution and distributes a bi-weekly e-mail garden newsletter.
Walter hosted “Your Southern Garden” on Georgia Public Television for 10 years and can also be seen in repeats of the DIY Network’s “Garden Sense“.
Walter is a strong supporter of the 4-H and Cooperative Extension organization in Georgia. He was a 4-H camp counselor, a 4-H adult leader and is a Master 4-H’er. He claims that the skill that he learned in fifth grade to do a five-minute 4-H talk is the basis of his entire career.
He has been for many years a member of the board of directors of Southface, the Atlanta-based sustainability organization.
Besides being the authority on gardening in the South, Walter is also the father of Grey, the world’s best 22-year old son.
Click here View Photos from All Classical’s 2011 tour to Ireland
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