Best Tour ever!! – “IN THE WORLD”
This was my second Rick Steves tour, and the second time I have been to Ireland. My last trip to Ireland was 18 years ago, and my oh my, there have been many changes, especially in Dublin. My earlier trip was a self-tour, and while I enjoyed the countryside did my research on the many places we visited; it didn’t hold a candle to the information/education provided by our RS guide, Pascal Fitzpatrick.
Pascal is the quintessential Irish storyteller. We were enlightened throughout the tour with factual stories and Irish folklores. The bus was driven by Dennis, the most relaxed man I have ever met. He became even more relaxed when faced with hairpin turns, or a rocky wall on one side of the road and a drop-off cliff on the other. Oh, and perhaps a camper or two would be coming toward us, on a single road. Yes, he was the calmest guy on the bus.
Pascal kept us on “Irish timish” schedule, and reminded me of the Border collie we saw herding sheep. The difference was that Pascal was nice about it. The tour group was absolutely the “best in the world”; we were introduced to great Irish music, excellent food, and breath taking views. I would say at the top of the list would be the visit to the School of Falconry at the Ashford Castle. We all had the unique experience of having a hawk land on our appropriately protected arm, and eat rodent parts out of our appropriately protected hand. When the hawk finished eating out of my hand, we exchanged eye contact, as if to say, “ Is that all?” Fabulous experience – my grandchildren were duly impressed with that action.
The Giant causeway was just one of many absolutely beautiful scenes. We also had a lesson in the unique ecosystem of the Burren. The local guides were a wealth of information on the local areas, from the Dingle peninsula, Aran Islands, Burren, Belfast, and more. I couldn’t be more pleased with the tour, our guide, driver, and fellow travelers. My question to Rick is “what’s next for Ireland?” My response is, tour of Irish villages, similar to what is offered in England, Villages of Southern England