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Bosnia & Croatia
Treasures of Ireland: Prologue
(Dispatch #1)

Story and photos by Tom Weber

sea gull at an Irish coast

reland, that peaceful, postcard-perfect, emerald-green dot out in the Atlantic, is known for many things the world over, but none finer than her warm and friendly Gaelic greeting to every tourist that arrives: Céad míle fáilte! (A hundred thousand welcomes).

I'm about to begin keeping a running tally on all those six-digit welcomes as I come ashore with the latest "band of merry media," 18 intrepid travel writers and photographers invited by Insight Vacations to sample a portion of its premium-escorted Treasures of Ireland journey.

The seven-day itinerary – via a deluxe motor coach with business-class legroom seating and WiFi – is overflowing with Eire's camera-ready jewels: St. Patrick's Rock of Cashel, Killarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and the Cliffs of Moher, to name but a few.

We'll also be given fast-track entry to see the 9th century Book of Kells and the Long Room at Trinity College's Old Library, be schooled in the sports of hurling and falconry, and learn about the beauty of Guinness as we attempt the perfect pour of our very own pint of Ireland's favorite tipple at the Storehouse.

In between scheduled stops surrounded by majestic scenery, we'll be wined and dined at superlative restaurants – including the George V Dining Room inside landmark Ashford Castle, voted Hotel of the Year 2015 by Virtuoso – and spend restful nights under fine, crisp bed linen.

Join me and the rest of the intrepid "band of merry media" as we board the Insight motor coach and go in search of some of the Treasures of Ireland and, no doubt, find loads of craic (fun) along the way.

Céad míle fáilte!

Related Articles:
Ashford Castle: Regal Elegance Wrapped in Irish Charm; Our Irish Dream Vacation; The Long Good Bye to Ireland; Ireland: Magical, Mystical, Delightful, Enchanting; The Faces of Ireland




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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

* * * *

Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

* * * *

Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: http://www.compagniadeicammini.it/en/. Thanks for stopping by and commenting..

Tom

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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal



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Charlie Chaplin and the Chaplin Museum
Lake Geneva/ Matterhorn Region and Switzerland Tourism recently blew into Los Angeles with the most esteemed guest, Eugene Chaplin. A man of remarkable lineage, he is the fifth child of Oona O'Neill and Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, the grandson of playwright Eugene O'Neill, the brother of Geraldine Chaplin and father of actress/model Kiera Chaplin.

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Lancaster has always been one of those cities that I pass through on the way to some other destination. But last week was different. I finally took the time to explore the place and wow, was I surprised! I discovered a downtown full of charm, culture, cuisine and community spirit. My recent getaway began when a friend and I drove about 60 miles north of Los Angeles toward the Mojave Desert and checked into the Towneplace Suites Lancaster.

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John Clayton's travel blog/review
Chuuk + Wrecks = Scuba Divers' Paradise

WW2 Japanese tank at the bottom of Chuuk Lagoon
As we dropped down to 25,000 feet I saw one of the most extraordinary panoramas I'd ever been lucky enough to witness. The majesty of it all and the stunning vistas that lay below and before me were spectacular. It was as beautiful as spring's first rose, and it made me understand why so many pilots on commercial jetliners love their job; they get to see so many awe-inspiring sights from the cockpit. My view was that of a vast vista of the Pacific.

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aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
In the 1840s, the population of California was only 14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived from all over the world – and they came for one reason: gold. James Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in El Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.

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Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Lake Charles’ Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras

dressed-up for the Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their children’s eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from last year’s Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already fed and are rubbing their stomachs.

go there

Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
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Cedar Hill, Washington DC
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from the president during Black History Month – Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job... – it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC – surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself – would be a good place to start.

Go There

Richard Carroll's travel blog/review
Boulder’s Sunrise

Rosie's Rock at The Boulders

The enormous Sonora Desert, a colossal 120,000 square miles of splendor that spreads like a great tapestry of textures and colors across international boundaries from Arizona into the State of Sonora in northern Mexico is one of North America’s grand, untrammeled natural treasures. The complex, sun-blessed region of bright dry heat, brilliant low-hanging stars, and long, ever-changing shadows that shift with the sun as they drape like endless silhouettes across craggy walls, mountain ridges and hidden canyons, is a vibrant land with tales to tell.

go there

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The Sea of Cortez, Baja California Sur

Photographer Deb Roskamp focuses her camera on La Paz, Baja California Sur. The resort property is CostaBaja, and the boat tours, which include snorkeling at the UNESCO protected site, Isla Espiritu Santo, were conducted by Fun Baja. The photographs are intended to speak for themselves.

go there

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Nikko Temple gate
Last month, I went to Japan for three things... Ok, let me back up a little bit already. The #1 reason I went to Japan was to visit my girlfriend, Yuki, and she will kill me if I don't say that, so there it is. Hi Yuki! Anyway, so after that, reasons number 2, 3, and 4 were the following: I wanted to ride a bullet train, go to a monkey show, and eat a whale steak. That's right. That's right.

go there

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a scene from the documentary 'My Hero Brother'

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Go There


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