Trip Region: Europe
Partners Trek? Yes
Airfare Estimate: $900
Structure: • Lodging: • Nightlife: 5 • Activity: 6
Join us for a journey to the Emerald Isle where we’ll enjoy some scenic landscapes, remarkable historical sites, and of course a few good pubs along the way. It will be a week of good beer, bad jokes, and even worse attempts at Irish dance. We also hear the Pope will be there at the same time, so we’ll see what kind of Irish blessings might be in store!
Day 1 — Saturday, Aug 18
Pat yourselves on the back, Orientation and Impact Challenge are over, and MTrek begins! Meet your up with your fellow Ireland trekkers in Ann Arbor and hop on a flight to Dublin for a week of beer, bad jokes, and even worse attempts at Irish dance. We also hear the Pope is going to be there the same time as us, so we’ll see what kind of Irish blessings might be in store!
Day 2 — Sunday, Aug 19
Welcome to Dublin, the proud capital of the Republic of Ireland! Those that arrive early can spend the afternoon exploring the cobbled streets of the city, dropping into a pub for a pint of Guinness and a yarn, or napping off the jet lag. Dublin has much to offer, so make sure to maximize your time here. Welcome Meeting at hotel starts at 6pm local time. We’ll head to dinner and see what kind of trouble we can get into later!
Day 3 — Monday, Aug 20
In Ireland, pubs open at 10 a.m., so we’ll embrace the “it’s never too early to drink” mantra by spending the morning touring the famous Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and discovering the story behind its worldwide success. At the end of the tour we’ll share a pint of the most famous beer of Ireland while taking in scenes of the city from the brewery’s rooftop bar. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own. We may do some hiking or take in other famous sites around the city.
Day 4 — Tuesday, Aug 21
We’ll travel by train to Killarney, and spend the afternoon sharing a few pints at a local pub. Pubs are the heartbeat of Ireland, whether you're interested in guzzling beer or simply getting to know more about Irish culture. The Irish take their beer seriously, so this is a great chance to taste a variety of rich 'real ales'. Get to know classic pub fare such as Irish stew, chowders and fish and chips, while also sampling less familiar dishes such as coddle, boxty and champ.
Day 5 — Wednesday, Aug 22
We will wake up to a wonderful Irish breakfast (full disclosure, we don’t know what’s on the menu yet, but it will be in Ireland and therefore technically Irish.) This will provide the fuel we will need for what will be a whirlwind tour through the gorgeous landscape known as the Ring of Kerry. We will hop in a motor coach and ride through some beautiful rolling hills and quaint Irish villages stopping at several points along the way. One of our stops will be at the Ross Castle where we will get to compare and contrast the quality of the accommodations to our own Ross Castle back in AA. As we make our way back to Killarney, we will continue to take the scenic route and stop at various vistas and overlooks in pursuit of someday being Instagram famous.. By late afternoon we will have arrived back in Killarney, just in-time to enjoy some music and a pint or two and at a local pub.
Day 6 — Thursday, Aug 23
After a busy day of sightseeing, we will take a breather and give ourselves all a free day to explore Killarney or the Killarney National Park, and take in all that it has to offer. This is your day to follow the Irish spirit wherever it might take you. Go on a hike or head back to your favorite pub, camp out, and try to get to know some locals.
Day 7 — Friday, Aug 24
We’ll say a fond farewell to Killarney and make our way north to the coastal town of Galway. On the way we will stop at the village of Adare, which according to Wikipedia is “renowned as one of Ireland’s prettiest towns”. I guess we’ll get to see for ourselves. Then we’ll stop at the Cliffs of Moher and get a glimpse of some awesome, sweeping views of the Western Irish coastline. If you are especially daring, you can walk the edge of the cliffs and try to get a peak at puffins nesting along the cliff face (though they may be slightly out of season). We will eventually make our way to Galway where we’ll start by orienting ourselves around a few of the historic site like the famous Galway Cathedral.
Day 8 — Saturday, Aug 25
Rise and shine! We have a fun day-trip planned to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay, where we’ll have perhaps our most authentic Irish experience. The island has been crafted by centuries of blowing winds and smashing waves and is one few remaining places where the Irish Gaelic language is still spoken on a daily basis. After arriving at the island, we will travel by bike (weather permitting) to explore the ruins of ancient churches and remains of Bronze and Iron Age fortresses. We’ll complete the day by heading back to Galway for dinner and to take in the true spirit of Ireland by finding a live performance in one of Galway’s famous pubs.
Day 9 — Sunday, Aug 26
Journey by train back to Dublin where we’ll enjoy a relaxed afternoon in the city, enjoying our last few pints of Guinness in Temple Bar, checking out the shops on Grafton Street or exploring Trinity College. We’ll finish the day with a farewell dinner - but not to worry, it will be one of many dinners with newfound friends at Ross.
Day 10 — Monday, Aug 27
Unfortunately the last day of our Irish excursion. Enjoy the last few hours in Dublin before packing up and heading back to Ann Arbor for Saturdays at the Bus, football games in the Big House, and enjoying time with new friends and classmates!