Our days in Ireland will include a mixture of faculty-led activities, including walking tours, visits to historical sites and museums, and discussions of Irish literature, history and culture, as well as plenty of free time for independent exploration and optional activities with the course instructors. Will we spend two days in Dublin, where highlights will include: a literary walking tour of the city center and Trinity College (with connections to Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce); a walking tour of historic O'Connell Street and the many monuments and memorials associated with the 1916 Easter Rising and other key moments in the Irish struggle for independence; a visit to Kilmainham Gaol, where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were executed; and an evening of Irish dance and song at the Irish Cultural Institute. Free time in our schedule will give participants the opportunity to explore on their own Dublin's shopping, pubs and music venues, and popular sites such as the Book of Kells at Trinity College and the Guinness Brewery.
From Dublin, we will travel by private motorcoach through the north and west of Ireland, visiting a number of picturesque and historically-significant sites. We first travel to the beautiful coast of county Antrim in the north, passing through the sites of the 17th century Ulster plantations with stops at historical sites associated with the 1690 Battle of the Boyne and the natural wonder of Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Two days in Derry will immerse us in the history of Northern Ireland's "Troubles" and will include a walking tour of the 17th century city walls and a visit to the famous murals and museums of the Bogside neighborhood where the Catholic civil rights struggle in Northern Ireland began. Although a major site of contestation through the 1980s, Derry today is a major cultural center and one of the most tourist-friendly cities in Ireland.
From Derry we proceed to Sligo by way of Glenveagh National Park and Castle, including a visit to the 19th century formal gardens planted by Geneseo native Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie (daughter of Civil War hero Colonel James S. Wadsworth). Sligo, a major cultural center with many sites associated with William Butler Yeats, will serve as the base for independent exploration of rural Ireland's many recreational opportunities, including golf, hiking, or a relaxing spa day. Finally, we will tour the stunning landscapes of Connemara and Galway, home to one of the largest Gaelic-speaking populations in Ireland. Throughout the trip we will have many opportunities to sample Irish food and drink, enjoy the music and craic at local pubs, and learn about Irish history, literature and culture from the faculty tour guides and Irish poets and folklorists.
For more information, view the itinerary.