Inkslingers in Ireland – Summer 2018 Itinerary

July 28th to August 5th, 2018

July 28th (Saturday)

INKSLINGERS in IRELAND 2018 officially kicks off at the beautiful Cambden Court Hotel in Central Dublin at 6:00 p.m. We will all gather for a delicious welcome meal (provided by hotel) and get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.
After dinner we will gather in the writing room for a short meet and greet where Sue Reynolds will share the names of the Irish authors and poets we will be enjoying throughout the week, and lead the group in our first writing session of the trip.
At 9:30 you are free to retire for the night or explore Dublin as you wish.

July 29th (Sunday)

Every morning in Ireland, participants are welcome to join the gentle morning yoga class, led by the compassionate and joyous Kate Marshall Flaherty. Every day she will inform the yoga practice with inspiration from the Irish authors and poets we’ll be reading and learning about all week long. (a different writer each day)
The yoga is followed by a complimentary hearty Irish breakfast. At 9:00 a.m. everyone gathers for the group writing workshops which finish at 11:30.
Today we will be travelling together to visit the beautiful library at Trinity College and view the incredible Book of Kells. Along the way we will stop at one of Dublin’s wonderful eateries for lunch. Next we will visit the new Seamus Heaney exhibition that opens in the summer of 2018 at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green.
For those who wish to explore other options during the afternoon, there are many museums and interesting sites within walking distance of where we will be located.
Later in the afternoon we will gather together for the world famous Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. Enjoy a sip of Irish beer in the watering holes of Ireland’s great writers and hear actors performing these writer’s best known pieces.
The facilitators will select a favourite Dublin eatery this evening, but you are welcome to seek out any place that fancies you, or explore the beautiful city before and after dining. Dinner is at your own expense.

We return to the Cambden Court Hotel for our second night in Dublin.

July 30th (Monday)

Enjoy morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and writing workshop until 11:30.
Today we board the Royal Irish Tours coach and head south into the Wicklow Mountain area, (with a stop for lunch along the way) to visit Glendalough, home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and developed into a ‘Monastic City’ and university that flourished until the Vikings finally found this idyllic location in its beautiful hidden valley. It covers an extensive area. The walk up the old road to Lake Glendalough is particularly invigorating and inspiring.
Afterwards we will visit Avoca Mills, Ireland’s oldest weaving mill, only a few minutes away, and then our amiable driver/guide will deliver us back to the Cambden Court Hotel in Dublin.
This is our last evening in Dublin. You can choose a wish-list location for dinner and head off for a memorable evening with your fellow travelers, or stay close to the hotel and enjoy local dishes and a few singalongs in one of the many Dublin pubs. (The Irish LOVE to have a good time, so singing along with skilled musicians and singers is welcomed and so much fun.)

July 31st (Tuesday)

After enjoying morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and the writing workshop until 11:30, we pack our bags and board the coach for a trip across central Ireland towards the beautiful west coast. We will enjoy lunch at a lovely spot selected by our coach driver, arriving in late afternoon at the Woodstock Hotel in the gorgeous town of Ennis, where we will be staying for the next three nights.
PLEASE NOTE: We will be stopping by a famous and/or beautiful spot at some point on this drive. Royal Irish Tours has made suggestions, which we are considering and will finalize very soon. It is included in the price of the adventure.)
This evening, dinner is provided for us by the Woodstock Hotel.

August 1st (Wednesday)

Today we visit INIS MÓR, the largest of the ARAN ISLANDS. We will enjoy our morning yoga and complimentary Irish breakfast, but writing today will not be offered in the morning, but will be offered back at the hotel after dinner. We must depart early this morning for the 10:00 a.m. ferry at Doolin. On the boatride, we will not only see these unique, historical islands, but we’ll also be able to view the famous Cliffs of Moher from the ocean side, a rare perspective for most travelers.
Once we arrive at Inis Mór, most people choose bicycles as their mode of transport. Rentals are readily available, at your own expense, at the pier when we disembark the ferry. If you’re wondering how much bicycling you’d have to do, Inis Mór has an area of 31 square kilometers (or 12 square miles) and has a population of about 840 people.
The island is famous for its strong Irish culture, its loyalty to the Irish language, and a wealth of Pre-Christian and Christian ancient sites including Dún Aengus, described as “the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe” by George Petrie.
Following our return to land, we will return to the Woodstock Hotel where we may enjoy dinner there, or in Ennis, at participant’s expense. The writing workshop will be offered after dinner tonight, so it would be preferable if we all stayed together at dinnertime. The writing portion will end around 9:30.

August 2nd (Thursday)

Enjoy morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and writing until 11:30. After that, you’re free to do whatever you like. Write in your room or walk about the town. Write anywhere you want, actually, the Irish love writers! Ennis is a lovely town with many shops and historic buildings.
Since we have the services of our knowledgeable driver and the Royal Irish Tours coach, we are planning an afternoon drive over to historic Galway, and taking a tour of the local countryside in the process. It is not that far away, and the shopping is said to be fabulous. The town is one of the most beautiful in Ireland.
Tonight we spend our last night at the Woodstock Hotel in Ennis. Dinner is at participant’s expense.

August 3rd (Friday)

Enjoy morning yoga, a complimentary hearty breakfast and writing until 11:30, and then we pack our bags again and board the Royal Irish Tours’ coach to drive northeast of Dublin.
We’ll stop for lunch along the way, and then visit the incredible Clonmacnoise early monastic site, south of Athlone, and another beautiful location to be announced shortly.
In the late afternoon we will arrive at The Malahide Hotel, a sumptuous, spacious jewel on the Irish east coast. We will be spending our final two nights here.
Dinner will be at participant’s expense.

SPECIAL NOTE: We selected Malahide because it’s a beautiful hotel, offers fabulous food, and is surrounded by the sand dunes of the East coast. But we also chose it because it is ideally located for those who just can’t get enough of Dublin! The train station is a short walk from the hotel, and regular, reliable service is easily available both this evening and tomorrow when we visit the Boyne valley for the day.

August 4th (Saturday)

Following our last full morning of yoga, complimentary hearty breakfast and writing until 11:30, we will board the R.I.T. coach to spend the day visiting a selection of outstanding megalithic tombs, important monastic sites and castles in the historic Boyne valley. (With a stop along the way for lunch, of course!)
Today we will explore a number of Boyne valley sites, the most prominent being the early Christian settlement at Monasterboice, the Old Mellifont Abbey, and the Hill of Tara, the historic centre of ancient Irish kings and queens. They say you can see all of Ireland from there!
Tonight is our last dinner together and we always plan something special.
Tonight we celebrate the trip with a rowdy and emotional farewell dinner provided by the hotel. Everyone is invited to read a short piece written on the trip. Reading is not mandatory, of course, but it will be hard to resist the nudge-nudge of your attentive fellow travelers who hope to hear everyone’s voice one more time.

August 5th (Sunday)

All good things come to an end, and this morning will be that time.
Depending on the outbound flight schedules, yoga and/or writing may be offered this morning, but on past international excursions we’ve noticed that most participants will need to head off to the airport around 9:00 a.m. to catch early afternoon flights back to North America.
We will arrange for group taxis, to greatly reduce the cost, to drive everyone safely to the airport.


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In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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