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Category Archives for "Ireland Tours"

Horn Head – County Donegal

Ireland Tour Pics Spiral snail at Horn Head

Reaching Horn Head is about an hour from Letterkenny and can be reached on the N56 heading to Dunfanaghy. Go through Main street following the signs to Horn Head and after crossing the bridge, look for a gravel road and head left. The car park is shortly up the gravel road and appears to hold at least a dozen vehicles although we were the only ones there. From the car park, you pick up the Tramore loop.

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Ériu’s Purpose Circle

Ireland Tour Pics Grianan of Aileach

In Ireland, we have no need to construct a purpose circle of stones within which to remain for our quest. Our island, entirely within Eriu's eye gives us a permanent ring to stay within as we construct our journey, exploring endless paths limited only by our own intent.

Staying within the rings of Ériu’s eye, we can construct our journey focusing on endless paths and purpose limited only by our own intent.

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Banba’s Crown at Malin Head

Ireland Tour Pics Ireland's Northernmost point

At the northernmost point of Ireland is Malin Head, where according to the proprietors of Farren’s Bar, Ireland’s northernmost pub, the sun shines most of the time. This was certainly true when I arrived from Horn Head where the morning had been wet with a misty rain.Malin Head is a remarkable place to visit and do a little light hiking. The views are spectacular and the cliffs as grand as any in Ireland. Even better, for those of us seeking to connect with the ancient and mythic past, Malin Head is known by another name: Banba’s Crown.

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Lough Gur

Ireland Tour PicsBolin island

Of the many gifts of an Irish summer, we most enjoy daylight coming shortly after 5 AM and lasting until nearly 11 in the evening. Before catching an early afternoon flight out of Shannon, (SNN), why not visit Lough Gur which is only about a 30 minute drive from the airport? Of course, there is much to see and experience here so one can make a day trip out of it as well with more time on hand.

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Whiskey Worth Every Penny

Ireland Tour Pics Bushmills

Whiskey drinkers the world over can argue over their whiskey, but reality is where the rubber meets the road and without doubt, the Irish make the best whiskey found anywhere in the world.  

American bourbons, while good, are single distilled. Scotch whiskeys, although better, are only double distilled.  Irish whiskeys on the other hand, are triple distilled and the the smoothest tasting whiskey on this earth which is why we call them liquid gold.

The Antrim coast of Northern Ireland is not to be missed as some of the most beautiful seascapes in the world are found there.Places like the Giant’s Causeway, while full of natural beauty are seeped with mythic tales of Finn McCool..  Any trip to the Antrim coast deserves an hour or two in the town of Bushmills to tour the distillery which has been in continuous operation on that very site since 1608.  Ok, for the hard core political crowd, this is Protestant whiskey, but what the heck? The white in the tri-colour represents unity so let's drink some of this fine stuff!

During summer, there can be crowds so it is best to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon.  When we arrived, even though in the busy month of July, we were able to join the next tour which started 10 minutes later at 3:30 in the afternoon.  It is not possible to make reservations unless the group is 15 or larger and in such cases, contact the distillery in advance to make the booking.

Because of the alcohol vapors, no photography is allowed.  The tour takes you through a working distellery and is an amazing experience of sight as well as aromas.  The guides are top notch and the groups are kept small.  Do be advised that there are some areas which can be quite warm, although the tour only remains in the warm areas for a few short moments.

Of course, the best is saved for last where guests who are of age can enjoy a single sample of their choice.  We had the 12 year distillery reserve which can only be purchased onsite. Then, we indulged in the 21 year for an additional ten quid which is nothing short of liquid gold.  Any bottle can be purchased and we left with a bottle of the 12 year reserve, which the distillery will personalize on the label, as well as a bottle of the 21 year whiskey that set us back 125 quid.

Bottles can be shipped anywhere in the UK or Ireland but that is it, so if returning to the USA or elsewhere, you will need to take them back in your checked luggage.  Fortunately, the staff are quite adept at wrapping your precious purchases in bubble wrap to survive the abuse of the airlines.  We had our luggage badly mangled on the return trip which included crushing as well as a significant puncture, and both our bottles made it home safely.  Kudos to the Bushmills staff for a job well done and we lifted a toast to ye upon our arrival home and discovery that our precious cargo was still unharmed!

Spend an hour or two at Bushmills and discover for yourself why Irish whiskeys are considered liquid gold.


The Hill of Uisneach

Horse Temple at Uisneach

Mythic memory can be reawakened, and at the core of any Visionquest lies mythic memory. By awaking our mythic memory and exercising those abilities, we can connect the now to deeper time and cosmic memories of the ancestors. This mythical concept has been found to exist in many cultures ranging from the Far East, to the native peoples of North America, the Mayans, etc. Such a complex concept cannot be mere coincidence and speaks to something deeper in our psyche and soul, and in fact transcends time itself and connects us to the ages.

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