Ireland is such a special place and I was fortunate to visit with a wonderful group of friends on an awesome trip with the Wild West Irish Tour. We took the Signature Tour and I was not sure what to expect. I have visited many places in Europe, America and even India and never before went on a tour. However, Ireland is the type of vacation where if you don’t know about the hidden gems and are not interacting with the local residents, you will most definitely miss out. We did not miss out on anything.

We visited the most magnificent and special places, including a fairy glen where I expected Queen Maeve herself to appear out of the wood, magical islands with a full rainbow, ancient castles (we were looking for Jon Snow), we went horseback riding on the beach, we took a seaweed bath, we even went ghost hunting in graveyards and at a haunted house. We visited Slieve League and a folk village in Donegal, bought hand made sweaters and scarves, ate at local restaurants, drank at authentic Irish Pubs where I learned to love Guinness, visited Knocknarea and Carrowmore, Dooney Rock, and even the original Coney Island.

But the true the hidden gems are not hidden at all, the true joy is in the people we met along the way. With our local Wild West Irish Tour leaders, we learned about the real Ireland and her people, the stories, and how the Irish people feel about it all. We were granted a personal house concert with true Irish musicians both internationally and locally known, Cathy Jordan, (of Dervish) Rick Epping and others. What a joy that was! We were welcomed into the home of Kathleen and her husband from Donegal who make the most beautiful scarves, sweaters and such. We even learned about the very real sense of depression some feel in Ireland as we passed by a funeral on the street. And Geraldine, our hostess at the guesthouse where we stayed, went way over and above to help us feel welcomed. Thank you for the adventure of a lifetime, this tour comes highly recommended.

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