Ireland Is Recovering From
Poor Travel Years
is looking ahead to much better years as a travel destination.
In a world with war and other worrisome events, todays travelers
have a real challenge in selecting destinations, and Ireland had been
getting the short end of the shillelagh. But after two very bad years,
North American travel to Ireland got going again in 2003.
The countrys noted attractions include more than 1,000 miles of
marked walking and hiking routes, and more than 400 golf courses in
North and South Ireland. If cycling is your thing, the additional attractions
Dublin is a good starting point, with its museums, art galleries, theaters
and fascinating architecture.
Away from the cities, there are many castles and notable gardens open
for tours. One of the most visited fortresses is the Blarney Castle
in County Cork. It is there that visitors can kiss the famed Blarney
The landscape is a winner, too. An outstanding route is the Ring of
Kerrys 110-mile drive, which provides views of the coast and countryside.
Especially remarkable is the coastline of County Clare.
Visitors also can see the spectacular Cliffs of Mother, which drop dramatically
into the Atlantic. Nearby is the Burren, a landscape where limestone
rock prevails, providing good areas for walking or hiking.
There are other lures for those who are fond of water. Ireland offers
cruises on its lakes, canals and rivers. No cruising experience is necessary,
as charter boat operators provide instruction, and crews will take passengers
on other sailings of the 470 miles of rivers, lakes and locks.
Travel agents can provide much more information and advice, often from
personal experiences in Ireland.
A hands-on program for children is being offered in Yellowstone National
Park this summer for children ages 6 to 11. The program, presented by
Xanterra Parks and Resorts, which operates lodges in the park, gives
kids a chance to learn about Yellowstones wildlife and geographical
features. The park is a natural classroom, full of lumbering animals,
mysterious geothermal features and more. Instructors use storytelling,
games, nature crafts and hikes to teach children about the park. Groups
meet in the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn. Advance reservations are
TRAINS: Switzerland has long been famed for its world-class
train service. The most noted scenic train route is called Golden
Pass. This route connects Switzerlands best-known destinations
of Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken, Montreau and Geneva.
On their journey, travelers can experience outstanding comfort aboard
one of the most luxurious trains ever built. In Interlaken, they can
stop over to add an excursion to one of the many spectacular mountaintops
or simply to enjoy the hospitality of the people who have been receiving
visitors from the United States for many decades.
Package tours are available. Some start at about $600 per person for
three nights or about $800 for six nights. These rates include a breakfast
buffet, first-class train ticket, excursion to Europes highest
railway station, seat reservations on all panoramic trains and a 50
percent reduction on all additional excursions throughout Switzerland.
Hotel accommodations are available at standard, first-class and deluxe
Travel agents should be able to provide more detailed information about
the Golden Pass and accommodations, as well as tour packages like those
offered by Interlaken-based Jungfrau Tours.