2002 An Irish Bridge Holiday + Northern Ireland Extension

Join bridge director and high-spirited tour guide, Fred Theurkauf, on August 11th, 2002 as we journey on a first-class, comprehensive, 17-day sightseeing and bridge-playing tour through the land of leprechauns and lucky charms. Our tour begins in the metropolitan city of Dublin and takes the coastal route around the Emerald Isle to Waterford, Kilkenny, Killarney, Limerick, and Galway (where we’ll lodge at the world-famous Ashford Castle), before our final destination by the sea, Rossnowlagh in County Donegal. The wonderful scenery of an island layered with hundreds of shades of green combined with the hospitality of charming local bridge players will both surprise and delight you. Join us as we tour the country affectionately referred to as the “the ancient birthplace of good times.” And don't forget our optional 3-day foray into Northern Ireland. With the area becoming more peaceful every day, we couldn't have picked a better time to go.

Dates: August 11 to 28, 2002 - 18 days
Cost: From $4,858.00 (includes r/t international air on Aer Lingus)

Tour Schedule
Day 1 Depart USA
  Depart from our gateway cities bound for Dublin, Ireland.
Day 2 Arrive Dublin

Dublin's Trinity College
Upon arrival on the Emerald Isle, you’ll have time to explore Dublin prior to hotel check-in. This evening, join your host, Fred Theurkauf, for cocktails and our Welcome Dinner.
Hotel: Alexander Hotel
Meal(s): , Dinner
Day 3 Dublin
  Start this morning off with a panoramic tour of Dublin’s Georgian squares, buildings, monuments and parks. We’ll tour Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I, St. Patrick’s Anglican Cathedral, and the famous Guinness Brewery.
Hotel: Alexander Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

 Tonight we’ll be the invited guests of the Dublin Bridge Club for dinner and duplicate.
Day 4 Dublin

Jury's Cabaret Dancers
Set out today for the National Museum. Next, prepare for a guided tour of the historic Kilmainham Jail, England's incarceration site for infamous would-be Irish rebels. Enjoy an evening of dinner and lively local entertainment at Jury’s Cabaret.
Hotel: Alexander Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 Dublin-Kilkenny
  This morning we depart for the medieval city of Kilkenny, famed for its narrow winding streets and charming medieval flair. We’ll be treated to stops at Kilkenny Castle and Rothe House, two noteworthy examples of Irish architecture and history.
Hotel: Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Kilkenny
  Transfer to Waterford today for a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory. You’ll have time to watch the master glassblowers create magnificent crystal glassware, as well as shop for a few items for yourself.
Hotel: Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

 Tonight we’ll join local club players for dinner and bridge.
Day 7 Kilkenny-Killarney
  Depart for Blarney Castle, where we’ll stop to kiss its famous stone and explore the nearby Blarney Woolen Mills, one of the finest family-owned Irish craft centres in the world. On to Killarney this afternoon.
Hotel: Killarney Great Southern
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 Killarney

Ring of Kerry scenic bridge
Today’s excursion takes us through the spectacular Ring of Kerry, with magnificent views of mountains, peat bogs, charming Irish country villages, and the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean.
Hotel: Killarney Great Southern
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

 It will be our distinct honor this evening to join the Killarney players for dinner and duplicate.
Day 9 Killarney-Limerick
  Today we’ll tour 19th century Muckross House and its beautiful flower gardens. On to Limerick via the picturesque village of Adare. Bunratty Castle will treat us to an evening of medieval Irish feasting and entertainment.
Hotel: Castletroy Park Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 Limerick
  This morning we’ll have a guided tour of the Hunt Museum, a veritable treasure trove of Celtic and medieval artifacts. Next, we’ll enjoy visits to St. Mary’s Cathedral and King John’s Castle.
Hotel: Castletroy Park Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

 Tonight we’ll join the local Limerick Bridge Club members for a social evening of dinner & duplicate.
Day 11 Limerick-Galway

The Ashford Castle
We depart by motor coach today for County Mayo, traveling through the lunar landscape of the Burren region of County Clare. En route we’ll stop to admire the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, 215 metres above the ocean, and the Ailwee Caves, carved by water millions of years ago.
Hotel: Ashford Castle
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 Galway
  Today you’re invited to enjoy the countryside made famous by the “Quiet Man” and the “Purple Taxi.” The region known as Connemara, is our destination today. You’ll enjoy a landscape full of contrasts, granite mountains populated only by sheep, hundreds of lakes, sandy beaches, and heather covered hills with rustic thatch-roofed cottages.
Hotel: Ashford Castle
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 Galway

Cliffs of the Aran Islands
Today we ferry to the beautiful Aran Islands. We’ll tour the Irishmore's local fishing villages, and admire ruins of societies almost forgotten but for the charming and humorous Irish folklore that keeps them alive.
Hotel: Ashford Castle
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14 Galway-Tubbercurry
  This morning you’ll enjoy a walking tour of Galway, the musical city of Ireland. Be sure to keep your ear tuned for the sounds of music coming out of the local pubs. This afternoon, we'll head north for our overnight stay on working farms with Irish locals in Tubbercurry.
Hotel: Country Homestays
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15 Sligo-Rossnowlagh
  We again motor north today bound for County Donegal. En route we’ll stop at Drumcliff, site of William Butler Yeats’ tomb, as well as the village of Knock, a pilgrimage site since the Virgin Mary’s appearance in 1879. You'll enjoy the beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean from our hotel tonight in Rossnowlagh.
Hotel: Sand House Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16 Rossnowlagh

Sand House Hotel on Donegal Bay
Today we’ll explore County Donegal, including the Donegal Tweed Factory, and the famous fishing village of Killybegs. Join Fred Theurkauf tonight for cocktails and a Farewell Dinner at the Imperial Hotel. Remember, anything goes!
Hotel: Sand House Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 17 Rossnowlagh-Dublin
  Today we motor coach back to Dublin for our final night on the subcontinent.
Hotel: Grand Malahide Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast
Day 18 Dublin-USA
  Depart the beautiful Emerald Isle for the United States.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Your 18-Day Package Includes

 Round-trip air transportation via Aer Lingus (from New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles gateways).

 First class carefully selected 4-star and 5-star accommodations throughout.

 Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach transportation.

 16 full Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (1), and 14 Dinners (D).

 Airport transfers, porterage and hotel service charges.

 Relaxing 3-night stay at Ashford Castle in Galway.

 Four evenings of dinner and bridge with local Irish players in Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney, and Limerick, as well as one session with our own group.

 ACBL masterpoints in all games.

Giant's Causeway
3-Day Extension to Northern Ireland

Dates: August 28 to 30, 2002
Cost: $587.00

Northern Ireland is one of Europe's most exhilarating travel destinations, a stunningly beautiful land filled with poetry, myth, and history. This bit o' country, spanning only the size of Connecticut, is home to 12th century castles, dozens of small towns nestled in glens, fishing villages dotting the coastline, and a capital city full of vibrant, sculpture-adorned Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Come explore the historic town of Derry, the freak geological formations at Giants' Causeway, and the metropolitan city of Belfast. We'll fill our cups together at Bushmill's Whiskey Distillery, proudly serving its own brew since 1608, and enjoy lovely bridge hospitality with the local Northern Irish.

Your 3-Day Extension Package Includes

 2 nights at Belfast's Europa Hotel

 1 night at the Grand Malahide Hotel in Dublin

 Guided tours of Londonderry, Giant's Causeway, Newgrange and Belfast

 Visit to Bushmill's Distillery, the oldest whiskey distillery in the world

 Three full Irish breakfasts, two full dinners

 An exciting evening of bridge hospitality with the Northern Irish

Click here for a full-color brochure.