Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the dates of the trip? ANSWER: Currently I’m looking at departing on September 18th and returning on the 28th because these dates have the lowest airfare. The trip will be sometime in mid to late September. I am waiting to hear from interested participants to see when they would like to go.
- How do I RSVP for this trip? ANSWER: You contact Linda Rzoska at firstname.lastname@example.org
- When is the last day to RSVP? ANSWER: That is somewhat flexible, but you should contact Linda Rzoska by Friday, May 20th if you are at all interested.
- Do I need a visa to travel to Ireland? ANSWER: No, you do not need a visa but you will need a current passport. To get paperwork to apply for a passport at a participating U.S. Post Office. Eight weeks is the suggested time to allow for you passport to be processed.
- My (husband, wife, friend, daughter, etc.) is interested in going on this trip, can they come? ANSWER: If there are openings, the answer is yes. ALCHEMY participants have first right of refusal, though. Trip participants must be age 18 or older and must be able to do some walking.
- Will there be any free time to explore Ireland on my own? ANSWER: There will always be additional time each day to wander as well as read, write, draw, paint, etc. For participants who are interested there is a bus service to Galway where connections can be made to travel to other destinations by bus or train. I suggest that adventurous participants plan on staying longer than 10 days to do additional traveling. The owner of Meadowfield B&B can provide a wealth of information about where and how to travel while in Ireland.
- How should I pack for this trip? ANSWER: I expect the temps to be in the 50’s and maybe the 60’s. I recommend that you dress in layers and have a hooded rain jacket with you. You should also have a pair of hiking boots. You can find more information about what to pack by clicking on “Packing List” in the Categories column.
- What is the food like in Ireland? ANSWER: It’s lovely! There are 4 very nice places to eat in Ballyvaughan –all the food is fresh (farm to table). If you like seafood you will be very happy. There is also a deli in the grocery store where you can get pizza and lasagna.
- I’m into Irish music, will I hear any when I’m there? ANSWER: Usually there are local musicians playing in the Ballyvaughan Pubs on the weekends. Also arrangements can be made to visit an Irish Ceili in the nearby town of Kilfenora and even to get dance lessons for those who are interested.
About the Cost of the Trip
- What is the cost for the trip? ANSWER: The price ranges from € 1050 per person to € 1325 per person. The cost range is determined the number participants going. You can find more information about costs by clicking on “Pricing” in the Categories column.
- All of the costs posted are in Euros, how do I find the costs in U.S. Dollars? ANSWER: As of May 15, 2016 the Euro to Dollar exchange rate was € 1 to $ 1.13. It’s important to consider that the rate may be either higher or lower in September.
- When is the payment due? ANSWER: There is a down payment of $250 due by June 15. The balance of the payments will be due when we arrive in Ireland.
- Where can I get Euros? ANSWER: You can contact your bank and they can order Euros for you or you can exchange U.S. Dollars for Euros at the U.S. International Airport from which you are departing or when you arrive at the Shannon Airport in Ireland.
About the International Flight
- How much will the airline tickets cost? ANSWER: The cost of the airline tickets vary and are determined by the day of the week you travel and from which U.S. Airport you depart. The lowest airfare I have recently found is with American Airlines. The lowest airfare I found departing from the Kalamazoo airport is $1295. The lowest airfare I found departing from Chicago is $980.
- The fare of $980 looks good – can transportation be arrange to take the participants to and from the Chicago airport? ANSWER: Yes, and there are several possibilities we can explore such as hiring a driver or having a gracious family member or friend volunteer to drive with the participants dividing the cost of the driver and/or the fuel.
- How long of a flight is it from the U.S. mainland to Shannon Ireland? ANSWER: About 6 hours.
- Do international flights serve food and beverages? ANSWER: Yes, passengers can expect to be served a snack, dinner, breakfast all included with the price of the airline ticket. Soft drinks, beer and wine are also usually complementary.
- How much does it cost to check a suitcase on an international flight? ANSWER: Usually the first bag is free and you are allowed one carry on.
NOTE: Does not include airfare, lunches or dinners
Cost per person with 6 participants: € 1050
Cost per person with 5 participants: € 1125
Cost per person with 4 participants: € 1175
Cost per person with 3 participants: € 1250
Cost per person with 2 participants: € 1325
10 Day Accommodations at Meadowfield Bed & Breakfast
Breakfast is included.
Overnight stay on Inish Mor.
Excursions and Other Travel
Transportation to and from Shannon Airport to Meadowfield B&B
Cliffs of Moher
Burren Display Center and High Crosses
Poulanabrone Portal Tomb
The Flaggy Shore
Holy Well of the Holy Cross
Holy Well of Saint Bridgid
Inish Mor of the Aran Islands
A Celtic Pilgrimage
These photos are from the 2014 student trip I lead to Ireland. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Below is a video clip that will give those interested a sense of the landscape on the west coastal area.
I had an opportunity to go with Linda and teach at an art school in Ballyvaughan some years ago. It was amazing and Linda is an awesome leader and facilitator so if anyone has this in their “maybe” column, I would say move it into your yes column if it’s possible!
And I am with Denise. I too have had the great honor and joy of kicking around Ireland with Linda. It was life changing: the place, the artistic and spiritual connections Linda has made of the years with the culture and people.
Thanks Linda for offering to do this! So generous.