Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dan and Brian say THANKS and Safe Home!

Thanks for a great and most memorable trip to the Emerald Isle. Plans are underway to do it all again in 2012. For more information keep an eye out for the Spirit of Ireland Journey next June.

Bunratty Castle Magic!

After 10 days in Southwest Ireland, with our hearts filled with great music, new friends and Celtic memories to last a lifetime, we end up back in Shannon where many people stayed an extra day to tour the Bunratty Castle and Bunratty Theme park... A magical time was had by all.

Surfs up in Dingle!

Eva and Ellin get caught by a wave at Slea Head Beach in Dingle...Not to worry, the Guiness Stout that night warmed up their toes.

A Splendid Day with P.J. Curtis

Every day was an encore with this trip, but having a day with P.J. Curtis, who shared with us his wisdom of Celtic music, Irish history, mythical Celtic lore (and much, much more) was one of the best. Here is P.J. at a church ruin, explaining the artwork above the door of the church, a stone relief of the Celtic Goddess Sheela Na Gee.

The Magic of Ireland

Ireland has many castles, including a Castle Tower in the town of Doolin, know as the traditional music capitol of Ireland, where we spent three days taking in the music and the sights. This photo, taken at sunset, reveals the magic of Eire.... enjoy!

The Cliffs of Moher

What would a trip to Ireland be without a stop at the beautiful Cliffs of Moher? One of the most popular sites in all of Ireland, they have been filmed in a great many movies, from Ryan's Daughter to The Princess Bride. We hit it lucky with the weather...

Dingle is Known for its Traditional Music

One of the highlights of our trip is the exposure to traditional Irish music. Dingle has some of the best traditional music in all of Ireland and we heard a lot of it right in our hotel pub. Tom, our beloved in-country host, is well connected and we are all the more blessed because of it. Pictured here is renowned artist Brendan Begley and his son on guitar...simply amazing

Spiritual Orbs inside the Gallarus Oratory

At the end of our ceremony, Jeremy played an Irish jig and that got some of the people wanting to dance, which they did. Note all the orbs inside the church...

Summer Solstice at the Gallarus Oratory

We plan this trip around the summer solstice and end the day at a 600 year old church on the Dingle Peninsula called the Gallarus Oratory, a stone church made with no mortar. An amazing place for sure (with great acoustics) . Inside acclaimed musician, Jeremy Spencer played fiddle and Dan sang some songs on guitar. It was a magical time for sure..

Our Second Private House Concert in Dingle

We were blessed to have a private house concert with renowned singer Pauline Scanlon, pictured here with Donogh Hennesy from the acclaimed Celtic group Lunasa. Great Concert!!!!!

Off to the Dingle Peninsula!

We had a magical day on the Dingle Peninsula. Pictured here is the famed beach from the movie, Ryan's Daughter.

A passage from John O'Donahue

I did my part in this ceremony, reading a poem from John O'Donahue's book, To Bless the Space Between Us. O'Donahue is renowned for his acclaimed book, Anam Cara, which each person was sent before the start of the trip as a gift for coming on this journey.

A Renewal of Wedding Vows

We do many healing ceremonies on this trip, but perhaps the best ceremony was a renewal of wedding vows by one couple (Alan and Janet) who celebrated their 25 wedding anniversary on the trip. We did this ceremony at the Gougan Berra monastery. Congrats Janet and Alan...

Dan Sebranek, Group Troubadour

We were honored to have with us musical legend, Dan Sebranek, who served as our group troubadour. While Dan sang at our healing ceremonies and a few impromptu concerts, he even sang a few songs on the coach drive from location to location... On occassion, we even sang along. Thanks Dan!

The Best Coach Driver in Ireland

Hands down, Paddy Downes is the best coach driver in all of Ireland. Some, OK, many of the roads are quite narrow (for one car, actually) and many times Paddy had to use his skill to navigate these roads in style. Thanks, Paddy!

A little lecture about the Drombeg Stone Circle

Back once more to the Drombeg Stone Circle to enjoy the ambiance. Here I give a little explanation about the Stone Circle; The Drombeg Stone Circle was made several thousand years ago during hte Neolithic Age. It was originally made to celebrate the winter solstice. Since then it has been used for many reasons and gatherings. Each stone was selected for its vibration and the collective circle has its own vibration. Quite a magical place, for sure. Although not on the edge of the ocean cliffs, you can see the Atlantic Ocean from the circle.

Ger Wolf Plays at our First Private House Concert

We were quite blessed to have renowned folk singer and fiddle player, Ger Wolfe, perform for us our first night. Quite the impressive performer.. Thanks Ger.

First Dinner Celebration in County Cork

Our first dinner celebration in Skibbereen, at the West Cork Hotel. People often ask how the food is in Ireland... Let me tell you, since Ireland joined the EU, many chefs and cooks have come over from other countries and brought their culinary savoir-faire with them. The food is excellent. After our dinner celebration we were treated to our first house concert with Ger Wolfe.

A magical moment at the Stone Circle

A warm round of applause for Niamh (a Celtic name)! She was incredible and made this experience most unforgetable. Thanks!

Fiddle Time at the Drombeg Stone Circle

Picture here is a fiddle player from County Cork (Niamh) who played for us at the Drombeg Stone Circle healing ceremony. A beautiful day with incredible music and great Earthly vibrations. Thanks, Niamh!