Fáilte go hÉirinn – Welcome to Ireland and most welcomed you will be as your guided Ireland vacation takes you to Ireland’s treasured locations and treats you to a stimulating and wonderfully encompassing visit. Every day will bring a new and interesting adventure on this Interlude but I have chosen to focus on Day 4 – just because. Visiting the 6th Century Monastery Glendalough – Glendalough means glen or valley of two lakes – is both naturally and spiritually remarkable. The site was carved out in an Ice Age thousands of years ago, with mountain streams and alluvial deposits conspiring to create the Upper and Lower lakes. It is truly spectacular. The monastic site founded by St Kevin in the 6th century is pitched at its heart, helping to make it one of the most visited places in Ireland.
“If you’re looking for the epitome of rugged and romantic Ireland, you won’t do much better than Glendalough,” says Lonely Planet.
Then it’s on to Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city founded by the Vikings in 914 with its own fascinating history. While here you will be visiting one of the city’s most historic treasures. The Medieval Museum houses 13th century Choristers Hall in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle and is the only museum of its kind in Ireland. While in this prominent new building the story of Waterford through the middle Ages will be revealed to you and I guarantee you will be amazed as you go underneath the new building back through time and into centuries old vaults.
On display in the vaults are the magnificent Cloth of Gold vestments which remain the only complete pre-reformation set to survive in Europe. There are also some internationally important treasures housed here, including the only complete set of medieval High Mass Vestments to survive in Northern Europe as well as the Waterford Charter Roll which was viewed by Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Ireland. An insight to the glories of the past, a preserved and protected important piece of history.
While English remains the primary language on the island of Ireland, in true Irish fashion they have put the grammatical styling of Irish into their English language. Sit in a corner and hear Irish spoken by the locals in most pubs. Or tune your radio to Raidió na Gaeltachta anywhere in the country and hear traditional tunes and songs. You can also switch on TG4, the Irish language television station, in your hotel room, and watch programs with English subtitles. You can even check out one of the online sites like Bitesize Irish before you go, just to give yourself a flavor of what to expect. It will be fun and a totally new experience.
Please read the complete itinerary for this fantastic and well-designed Interlude and make your reservations soon. Sláinte “cheers” or “good health” and Dia duit “God be with you”!
Eadie, Interlude Blog Team
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