The OLLI travel group had a “smashing” first international trip to Ireland. 18 students traveled for 13 days and explored the entire country. The trip was a bus coach tour of Southern and Northern Ireland and included stops at all of the major hotspots of the country.
The beauty of Ireland is breathtaking. The green rolling hills and the kindness of the people were the most memorable parts of the trip. We explored small villages and had the opportunity to dine in castles and explore Hillsborough Castle, the official residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland. Visiting Trinity College and the Book of Kells were experiences that no one on the trip will forget.
We enjoyed Rathburn Farms where we saw the sheep and learned how to bake scones. Some of the special highlights of the trip included visiting Giant’s Causeway, Kylemore Abbey, Belfast, Dublin, and Killarney. While I cannot chose a personal favorite location, I loved every day of the trip. I did appreciate the splendor of the pastures on the coastline with the towering cliffs falling to the ocean below while being surrounded by the mountains above. I will never forget these images. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience this with the other OLLI travelers.
While a few of our group members had traveled to Ireland in the past, Northern Ireland was a new experience for most. Hearing firsthand about the conflict that the country has endured was educational, but also historically significant. It was interesting to be there at a time when the elections were only days away.
The trip was a perfect mix of entertainment and instruction with something for everyone. Some of our travelers loved the visit to Guinness, while others loved Waterford Crystal. Above all, everyone enjoyed being together.
I hope you will consider joining us for our next OLLI travel group adventure. We are currently planning a trip to Italy for May 2020. If you’d rather stay closer to home, we also offer day trips, overnight trips related to our courses, and domestic travel. The OLLI travel program is perfect for students who want to travel with a group, or do not have a traveling companion. It is also a great option for those who want to enjoy sightseeing without having to personally plan the details of the trip.
I really enjoyed the many sites that we were able to see in Ireland. I would not have been able to plan as many activities in one day as we had the opportunity to experience through our OLLI group travel. If you are interested in helping to plan our next domestic or international trip, or would like to be added to our travel email list for notifications of upcoming trips, please notify me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m looking forward to seeing you on our next OLLI adventure!
Pat Walker, OLLI Program Manager