I joined Tom and Janice, along with my classmate Joan on an Ireland in Depth tour offered by GCT. So from May 18 - 31, we rode a bus starting from Dublin (visited the immigrant museum, the Trinity College with the book of Kell, St Patrick's garden, the Guiness Storehouse, the Archaeological museum), then onward through Glendalough, Avoca Handweavers, Kilkenny (saw the hurling demonstration), Waterford (visited the crystal factory, and walked along the waterfront with some Viking exhibits) , Cahir Castle, Cork (listened to a wonderful local guide Mike, and had a home hosted visit by his wife), , Blarney Castle, sheep farm visit, Killarney, missed seeing the gorgeous Cliffs of Moher due to heavy rain, drove by the Burren and finally arrived Galway. We had a nice visit to the Kylemore Abbey while staying in Galway. Tom and Janice had to leave one day earlier to attend a memorial service in Philadelphia. Joan and I stayed two extra nights in Galway after the main tour was completed. I was quite delighted by the quiet beauty of Galway.
I learned quite a bit of the Ireland history and felt very sorry for this nation. They had suffered so much from the invaders, and they took pride in many of their heroes who became famous after immigrated to countries like US, Canada, Australia, etc. The great potato famine
led to the local rich land owners drove people off the island to avoid heavy taxation from England. I felt a sense of melancholy during the tour perhaps partly because of the not so sunny weather.
While I enjoyed the Irish jokes, I cannot help thinking these people seem to have adopted an attitude of how can you take life so seriously anyway?! The music also carries a sad tune.
I collected some pictures I took in the following link: