Thursday, September 1, 2011

About Glendalough

Glendalough is the most spectacular and perhaps the best known Glen(a narrow valley) and attraction in County Wicklow. The valley of the two lakes lies a kilometere west of Laragh. In the 6th century St. Kevin founded a monastery and from this grew a monastic city, which became famous as a centre of learning throughout Europe. The spectacular Round Tower in the Monastic City stands an impressive 34m high and 16m in circumferences. There is also a visitor centre in Glendalough to help those discover more about this impressive and historic place. The area surrounding Glendalough is a paradise for walkers as along this part of the Wicklow Way there is plenty of accommodation and 'craic' nearby and the scenery is very impressive.
Here are some impressions, and several weblinks:

Incantato Impressions from Ireland

A first itinerary: See Belfast, Waterford, Killarney, Dublin and more

The itinerary below is still work-in-progress, but gives you a first overview of the many exciting places the St. John's Choir will be traveling to and performing at. Please do check back frequently for updates.
Day 1, Thursday, July 5, 2012 Overnight flight to Europe
Day 2, Friday July 6 Arrive Dublin Airport - Transfer to Belfast After meeting your Incantato Tour Manager and Driver at Dublin airport, your group continues north to Belfast - the heart of Northern Ireland. Taste some traditional food at the welcome dinner.
Day 3, Saturday, July 7, 2012 Belfast sightseeing - First Concert Today will be almost like traveling back in time as you learn more about Belfast's rich and turbulent history. You will see Titanic Quarter, Queens University, The Botanic Gardens as well as the famous Wall Murals in the Falls and Shankill areas. A first performance may take place at the Ulster Folk Park or a Belfast church.
Day 4, Sunday, July 8, 2012 Via Monasterboice to Waterford Bid farewell to Northern Ireland as you travel to Waterford. En-route stop at the ruins of Monasterboice (Irish: Mainistir Bhuithe). These ruins are of an early Christian settlement founded in the late 5th century and are an important centre of religion and learning. The site is most famous for its 10th century high crosses regarded as the finest in the whole of Ireland. It features biblical carvings of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Day 5, Monday, July 9, 2012 Waterford City in-depth - Concert and Reception Embark on a walking tour of Ireland's oldest city Waterford which is also St. John's sister city on the Emerald Isle. Sing a concert with a local choir in of many beautiful venues hopefully followed by a special reception.
Day 6, Tuesday July 10, 2012
Scenic route to Killarney

Experience the magnificent countryside and stunning grounds of Blarney Castle as you make your way further south to Killarney.

Day 7, Wednesday, July 11, 2012
"Ring of Kerry" - Pub Concert

Encircling the Iveragh Peninsula, the "Ring of Kerry" is a must do excursion you are embarking on today. The captivating mountain and coastal scenery is dotted with slate-roofed fishing villages. Upon return to Killarney, prepare for a fun music pub concert and dinner.

Day 8, Thursday, July 12, 2012
Adare - Glenstal Abbey - Dublin

Next stops en-route to Dublin are the historic village of Adare and Glenstal Abbey where you will the monks sing Gregorian Chant.

Day 9, Friday, July 13, 2012
Dublin sightseeing - Lunchtime Concert

Your full-day tour of Ireland’s capital city includes Dublin’s famous Georgian Square’s, St. Stephens’s Green, as well as Trinity College and the Book of Kells Exhibition. In between, the St. John's Choir visits St. Patrick’s Cathedral and present a lunchtime concert.

Day 10, Saturday, July 14, 2012
Glendalough visit and Concert

Dublin farewell The Monastic Settlement of Glendalough County Wicklow is just a short drive away, but so worth seeing. Possible joint concert at The Brockagh Centre before you return to Dublin for leisure time to shop, visit museums etc prior to a fun farewell dinner.

Day 11, Sunday, July 15, 2012
Return flight homeMorning transfer to Dublin airport for your return flights home to Newfoundland.

Travel Insurance

IncantatoTours strongly recommends getting travel insurance for your upcoming journey.
Not only are you covered medically should anything happen when traveling, but with TravelGuard's policies, you also protect your investment should you have to cancel or interrupt the trip. Last but not least, there is also coverage for delayed and lost luggage, etc.
Here is a direct line to purchase travel insurance online, and you can do so with your credit cards and also select the option that is best for you:

In the meantime, have a look at the most comprehensive coverage option The Protect Assist Gold below.

Protect Assist (Gold)    -    
Comprehensive Travel Protection for the World Traveler
  • Trip Cancellation 
  • JUST ADDED! - Trip Cancellation due to employment loss or layoff
    if employed with the same employer 1 year or longer 
  • Trip Interruption and Travel Delay  
  • Emergency Medical and Emergency Medical Transportation  
  • Baggage and Travel Document Protection 
  • Baggage Delay and Lost Baggage Tracking 
  • NEW - Cancel For Any Reason option now available 
  • NEW - Cancel For Work Reasons option now available 
  • NEW - Children age 17 and under covered at no additional cost  
  • IMPROVED -Trip Cancellation limit increased to $100,000 (from $15,000), 
  • IMPROVED -  Trip Interruption coverage increased to 150% of Trip Cost 
  • IMPROVED  - Travel Delay required hours reduced to 5 hours (from 12)

ProtectAssist special features:
  • Best coverage for Weather Related Cancellations  
  • Pre-existing Condition Exclusion Waiver* 
  • Default/Bankruptcy Protection*   
  • $50,000 Flight Accident Insurance*  
  • 24-Hour "LiveTravel" Travel Agency 
  • Emergency Cash Transfers 
  • Identity Theft Restoration

* These additional benefits apply If you are purchasing within 15 days of making your initial trip deposit or payment, however, coverage may still be purchased at any time up to 24 hours prior to departure.
Increase your coverage with these valuable additions to your Protect Assist Plan:
Cancel For Any Reason – 50%
reimbursement of nonrefundable expenses if you cancel your trip for any reason, up to 48 hours prior to your departure. Only available when this plan is purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment.
Cancel For Work Reasons –
Offers additional work-related reasons for cancellation or interruption. Also includes our exclusive “Business Assistant” services if you have work obligations during your travels. Only available when this plan is purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment.Umbrella Package –  Medical Expense limits are doubled and coverage is upgraded to primary. Emergency  Medical Transportation limits are doubled and benefits upgraded to take  you home or to the hospital of your choice. $25,000 Accidental Death Dismemberment coverage will be added.

Car Rental Collision Coverage – $35,000 in primary coverage. Covers cost of repairs for covered collision damage to a rental car for which the car rental contract holds you responsible. Subject to $250 deductible.

Optional coverages cannot be purchased separately.  Must be purchased with base     ProtectAssist plan.

Comprehensive non-insurance travel services* automatically included with plan!With the ProtectAssist plan, every customer also has access to these valuable travel services when they travel: Arrangements for last-minute flight changes· Hotel  finder and reservations·Rental  car reservations- Emergency  medical  assistance·BagTrak® -- lost baggage tracking·Pre-trip  health and safety advisories· Live  e-mail and phone messaging to family    and friends·Cash  transfers· Airport   transportation·Golf  course reservations· Event  ticketing·Floral  services· Identity Theft restoration Business Assistant* (available when   Optional Cancel for Work Reasons coverage is purchased)

*Non-Insurance services are provided  AIG Travel Assist.

Citizenship: All Nationalities
Residency: United States
New York, Oregon, and Washington residence please call to purchase
Some rider options are not available and other restrictions may apply

Ages: All Ages
Max Trip Length: 365 Days

Sightseeing-Highlight: Blarney Castle near Cork

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney,  near Cork and the River Martin. The building  originally dates from before AD 1200, when a wooden structure was built  on the site. Around 1210 A.D. this was replaced by a stone  fortification.  It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy -  then King of Munster. The castle was besieged during the Irish Confederate Wars and was seized in 1646 by Parliamentarian  forces under Lord Broghill. However after  the restoration the  castle was restored to Donough MacCarty,  who was made 1st Earl of Clancarty. During the Williamite War in Ireland in the  1690s, the then 4th Earl of Clancarty was  captured and his lands (including Blarney Castle) were confiscated by  the Williamites. The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times before being  purchased by Sir James St. John Jefferyes. Members of the Jefferyes family would later build a mansion near the  keep. This house was destroyed by fire however, and in 1874 a  replacement baronial mansion - known as Blarney House - was built  overlooking the nearby lake.
The castle is now a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and  battlements. At the top of the castle lies the Stone of Eloquence,  better known as the Blarney Stone. Tourists visiting Blarney Castle may hang  upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give  the gift of eloquence. There are many legends as to the origin  of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia  Fáil - a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned. Surrounding the castle are extensive gardens.  There are paths touring the grounds with signs pointing out the various  attractions such as several natural rock formations which have been  given fanciful names, such as Druid's Circle, Witch's Cave  and the Wishing Steps. Blarney House, also open to the public,  is a Scottish  baronial-style mansion that was built on the grounds in 1874. (The pictures are from the official website of Blarney Castle)