Treasures of Ireland | ©thepalladiantraveler.com
The narrative has now come full circle as the “band of merry media” — 18 travel writers and photographers invited by Insight Vacations on its Treasures of Ireland journey — gather for the very last time in colorful Dublin, the starting and ending point of our incredible week on the Emerald Isle.

Greeted warmly with “Céad míle fáilte (One-hundred-thousand welcomes)” by a smiling Sinéad, the head of public relations for Discover Ireland, our host for the evening, we enter the 18th century townhouse and take our places around several tables at one of the city’s finer restaurants in swanky Dublin 2: FortyOne.

With dishes expertly prepared by one of the city’s young, rising stars in the kitchen, Graham Neville, Food and Wine Magazine‘s 2014 “Chef of the Year” for both Dublin and all of Ireland, we’re in epicurean heaven. Feel free to have a virtual taste.

In between bites and sips, Sinéad thanks us for experiencing some of the treasures of her country and hopes that we’ll report back to our respective readerships and encourage them to come and visit the Emerald Isle, too, and soon. Mission accomplished.

InsightIreland3 (91 of 284)

Traveling on Insight’s euro, I was invited to experience what paying guests get for their money, and it’s quite a lot.

Five-star luxury hotels, fine dining, fast-track entry into museums and iconic sights, knowledgeable local guides, arrival and departure transfers, all local transportation, baggage handling, surprising “signature” moments and “flourishes” when you least expect them, and, most importantly, Big Mike, our unforgettable tour director/storyteller who kept us on schedule and entertained with his humorous, jaw-dropping tall tales.

From the historic Book of Kells at Trinity College to the sport of hurling in Kilkenny; from the Rock of Cashel to hospitable Killarney, the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way; from around the majestic Ring of Kerry to the extremes of the Dingle Peninsula and its poetic, namesake bay; from the heights of the windswept Cliffs of Moher down to the limestone landscape of the Burren; and, from the regal elegance of Ashford Castle to a perfect pour of the “black stuff” in Dublin 8.

What a week! What a journey! What treasures!

Treasures of Ireland | ©thepalladiantraveler.comOff the motor coach and past our expert pilot, Eugene, aka The Quiet Man, the “band of merry media” gathers in the DoubleTree by Hilton lobby bar for one final round and a farewell toast to each other until, hopefully, we meet again.

Swirling a Jameson on the rocks, I glance around at my fellow travel scribes and raise my glass in their honor. Then, in true Irish goodbye fashion, I quickly head for the exit and quietly slip away.

Treasures of Ireland | ©thepalladiantraveler.comFor detailed information on Insight Vacations’ 110+ premium and luxury-escorted itineraries around Europe, including the craic-filled Treasures of Ireland itinerary, just click HERE, or call toll-free (888) 680-1241, or contact your travel agent.

If, by chance, you missed any of my dispatches filed from the Emerald Isle, you can read them all by simply clicking HERE.

Until next time, slán (goodbye)!

©The Palladian Traveler

Borsalino w/ props SMALL | ©Tom Palladio Images

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Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 49 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches along the cobblestone via TravelingBoy.com.

6 comments

  1. Sad to see you’ve come to the end of your wonderful tour of the Emerald Isle. Hope you’ll return soon. As usual, beautifully crafted wording and photos. Orna

  2. Your photos and narrative are always inviting, but the food shots should NOT be viewed prior to lunch! Now I have to figure out what to eat and I know it won’t be like that! Where will we go next?

    Happy Easter!

    janet

  3. I loved all of your Ireland entries. I’m a writer and have an idea for a novel partially set in Dublin with Irish history and connections weaved throughout the story. I visited Ireland in the summer of 2014, and will be returning to write hopefully this summer, provided I am able to afford the trip. Thank you very much for continuing to inspire me and for fueling my ideas.

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