I am in Ireland enjoying a range of activities- from meeting people for our September tour and workshop, absorbing the mountains and green fields, to doing some eco-printing with Nicola Brown who will be our workshop leader. Nicola just brought back a fantastic new pot for boiling the bundles from France, and we fired it up for the first time! On our tour we will be immersed in Irish culture, while exploring eco-printing with native vegetation and learning from Nicola’s wealth of experience. We will also visit a local woolen mill, with gorgeous handwoven items, as well as a unique sheep farm, with stops at the studios of local artists. Beautiful Kilgraney House will be our home away from home, with delicious locally sourced food and luxury surroundings. Read all the details here: fiber-art-and-ecoprinting-tour-2017
Posts Tagged With: small group tours
Ireland Through its People, our Authentic Way of Travel
While the beauty, mystery and power of the Irish landscape is compelling, learning about a country through its people completes the perfect trip. On our tours we try to make sure that you will have time to absorb the places we visit- the mountains, glens, seascapes, winding trails and green vistas.
It is also our goal for you to meet, work with and enjoy conversation with Irish people. Om so many of our tours, this has been the one resounding thing that people have said was a highlight! Beautiful places remain in our memory, as well as the human connection between cultures. On our June trip, you will also have the opportunity, if you choose, to engage with artists in Ireland and work together in creative space. No experience is necessary, and you will be guaranteed an authentic and life changing experience! See all of the tour details on this site (www.authentictravelandtours.com) under Ireland tours: Our Wooly Adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way. Please feel free to call with any questions!
Straw Boys, and Why Take a Small Group Tour?
Having led small group tours for nearly 18 years, I think it is important to point out the value of traveling this way. When I first began traveling in Mexico, then Europe, what was so powerful was meeting local people, engaging in conversation (though my Spanish left a lot to be desired!), and feeling as if I had a glimpse into that person’s life, art and family. As my research and travel increased in Ireland, I sought out local guides who showed me places I never would have known about, and heard stories, folklore and mythology that brought those places so alive.
On a trip to Oaxaca in Mexico, we were staying in a small village and heard music, big brass instruments, coming down the road. Soon we realized this was a funeral procession, and we were invited to join it and proceed to the cemetery. Under a full moon rising from behind the mountains, a magical evening unfolded as we listened to the band, heard the priest incant blessings, and took sips of the local drink, “mescal”, that was passed to all. We were treated as honored guests and it made an indelible impression upon every one of us.
Another example, on one of our cultural tours to Ireland, my friend and one of our guides, Joe McGowan, organized an evening with the “Straw Boys”. Dating back for decades, the tradition of the Straw boys is rich. Basically a group would create costumes disguising themselves, just of straw, and go from door to door asking for “refreshment”, or raising mischief one way or another. This evolved into a group today, near Sligo, who still reenact the tradition which now includes women. We were so fortunate to be invited to a costume creating session, learning how to weave the straw into skirts and headpieces. After a light supper, I thought the evening would end, but no! The room was swept up, chairs and tables pushed back, a fiddle or two came out, and soon there was singing, dancing and great fun!
Often with our tours, these special events and encounters happen because we are a small group, we are approachable and a common bond of humanity is there. Having shared so many special times in cultural travel , it is my hope to share such things with our clients.
Real people, real adventures, and real experiences make our tours unique! Please join us if this is the kind of travel experience you are looking for!