Ireland Photo Tour: Special St. Patrick’s Day Tour

Tour Intro

Sign up early, 2017 tour sold out!!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland with Ron Rosenstock. Ron is an honorary citizen of Westport. You will be invited, with Ron by the town council of Westport, County Mayo, to a pre-parade party. Everyone in the parade is dressed to be photographed, and you’ll have ample opportunity to do so while enjoying the festivities. After the parade there are music sessions in the many pubs of this National Tidy Town award winner.

Your itinerary is set in the unspoiled villages, rugged ancient abbeys, broad peat lowlands, and the dramatic coastline of Western Ireland. The soft pastel shades of the mountains and clouds appeal to the artist and photographer. These natural landscapes, along with the people render this Isle a place of inspirational beauty. We will visit places you could never locate on your own — tiny villages, hidden beaches, castles, and ancient abbeys.

Join accomplished photographer and guide Ron Rosenstock through Western Ireland. Ron started leading photo tours in 1967. In those years he has led more than 200 tours to many destinations worldwide. Ron retired from Clark University after teaching photography there for thirty years. His published books include his exquisite black and white photographs: The Light of Ireland, Chiostro (Cloister), and Hymn to the Earth. Ron’s work has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions, both in the U.S. and abroad, and his photographs are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., The Polaroid Collection in Cambridge, Mass., and the International Center of Photography in New York City. Ron’s striking, one-of-a-kind photographs can be seen at www.ronrosenstock.com.

Western Ireland affords us a unique opportunity in that there are so many wonderful hidden places to explore. Even if you have traveled to this area in the past, your guides will seek out new places to visit and photograph. There are spectacular monastic and megalithic ruins to seek out in your daily adventures. 

Tour Highlights

• 10 days with accomplished photographer and tour leader Ron Rosenstock.
• Celebrate at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Westport, County Mayo.
• Tour limited to 12 passengers.
New accommodations: hotel and spa walking distance to center of Westport with lively traditional Irish music sessions each evening.
• Experience Western Ireland while spending the majority of your evenings in one accommodation.
EVERYONE NOW HAS ensuite accommodations.
• Relaxed & flexible itinerary to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.

Tour Itinerary

March 11: U.S. – Shannon

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Castle Bourke Ireland

Your journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from the U.S. to Shannon Airport, Ireland.

March 12: Shannon – Westport

Photo By: Karen Oakes

Photo Location: Westport County Mayo

You will be met at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport and driven north to Westport, on the shores of Clew Bay. After lunch relax, and get settled in to your accommodations for the week. Depending on the weather conditions there may be an opportunity for the group to photograph the sunset over Clew Bay. Overnight Westport Coast Hotel (D)

March 13-19: Western Ireland

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Cloon River, Ireland

Each day you will visit some of these typical areas from your home base. There is no possible way to visit all of them, so your tour leader and guide will plan each day considering the interests of the group. The evenings can be spent over photographic discussions in the hotel, or walk to town and enjoy the sights and sounds of the many Irish pubs in Westport. They abound with traditional Irish music every evening of the week.

Visit Ballintubber Abbey, or Baile Tobair Padraig, in Irish. It is one of the oldest Abbeys in Ireland dating back to the twelfth century, named for the natural spring nearby, where St. Patrick baptized his first Irish converts. After working for a few hours in and around the Abbey you can photograph the ruins of Moore Hall, a Georgian mansion destroyed during the war of independence. Later in the afternoon, photograph Castle Bourke, on the shores of Lough Carra.

Westport and the Village of Newport, both capture the flavor of true Irish towns with their tree-lined canals and colorful shops. After a stop in Westport, drive to Murrisk Abbey, at the foot of Ireland's Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. Later in the day you will be at the ocean on the west coast of Mayo at a remote rocky shore called Barnabawn Point. Your last stop of the day will be at Tully House, a private residence at the end of a quarter mile tree-lined avenue. There is an old mill along the Bunowen River, a short walk from the house.

Another day spend the morning photographing in and around the town of Cong. Photo locations include Ashford Castle, Cong Abbey, the forest and river, as well as the town itself. After lunch you will have the opportunity to photograph an area of rolling hill, sheep, and a myriad of stonewall, on a hillside flowing down to Lough Corrib. The picturesque village of Cong was the setting for John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s film The Quiet Man. The King of Connacht founded the abbey ruins in the twelfth century. In 1198 the last High King of Ireland died in the abbey.

Driving north today, your first stop will be along the ocean on the Atlantic drive in Mulranny. After lunch on Achill Island, continue photographing along the ocean, and wind up at the deserted famine village at Keel. Achill Island, wrought by wind and water, is an arrangement of rock, cloud, and cliffs falling off to the sea.

Another day, visit one of the few remaining round towers in Ireland, Turlough, standing amid a field of ancient carved gravestones. If there is a rainy day, the new Museum of Country Life, one of Ireland’s National Museums, is well worth the stop. Later in the afternoon photograph the glacial erratic boulders at Lough Cullin.

Photograph in the morning along the shores of Doo Lough, visiting two locations.  After lunch in the town of Louisburgh, spend the afternoon photographing in the Sheeffrey Hills, a place where you must be careful not to disturb the leprechauns who inhabit the forest.

Burrishoole Abbey is a great place to start one of your days. Nearby is Carrigahowley Castle, one of the many strongholds of Grace O’Malley, the adventurous sixteenth century Pirate Queen. Later in the afternoon visit Letterkeen Forest. (B each day, D three evenings)
 

March 20: Westport – Ennis

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Burishoole Abbey, Ireland

Leave Westport early this morning, driving south to County Clare, where you spend the evening not far from Shannon Airport. Photograph in County Galway near the town of Gort. There lies a 16th century Norman castle with a small cottage attached. The Irish Literary Revival began near this castle - in Coole Park, an estate owned by Lady Gregory where she hosted the likes of George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats and J. M. Synge. It was a haven - a place of retreat for William Butler Yeats.

Finish the tour with one of Ron’s favorite places Quinn Abbey, followed by dinner on your own at the Abbey Pub. Overnight Shannon Springs Hotel (B)
 

March 21: Shannon – U.S.

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Yeats Desk, Thor Ballylee, Ireland

After breakfast this morning, there will be a group transfer for early afternoon flights home. Should your flight depart at a different time, the hotel can call you a taxi, as the airport is just 5-10 minutes away. (B)

Photo Leader

Ron Rosenstock
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Ron Rosenstock

Ron started leading photo tours in 1967. In those years he has led hundreds of tours to many destinations worldwide. Ron has retired from Clark University after teaching photography there for thirty years. He has published three books of his exquisite black and white photographs: The Light of Ireland, Hymn to the Earth, Chiostro (Cloister),and his new color book Journeys. Ron’s work has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions, both in the U.S. and abroad, and his photographs are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., The Polaroid Collection in Cambridge, Mass., and the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Ron is happy to share his vision and insights to all who travel with him. Although he now only photographs with a digital camera, his philosophy of teaching hasn't changed since the early large format film days. He firmly believes that the photograph comes from within, not from without. Meaning you can't buy creativity, however, you have to learn to recognize that creative spirit within. Ron teaches exercises that will help that creative spirit come to the surface. These may consist of: 1) Entry ways to seeing, 2) photographing in the NOW, 3) practical aspects of printing, exhibiting and getting your work out there. During the photo tour he will teach and use a digital projector several evenings. Most people who travel with Ron have a basic understanding of how the camera works, and others who know everything about the camera. He doesn't focus on technical knowledge, rather places the emphasis on a more zen approach. Ron believes it isn't necessary to know all the latest digital technique, but it is necessary to know yourself.

Please feel free to view Ron's website and e-mail regarding any questions.

 

Why do you LOVE nature photography?   by Ron Rosenstock

Let me use some of the same words, Nature photography is LOVE!  Since the very beginning of our species starting to walk upright, we have been recreating nature in various art forms, from cave paintings to digital photography. Technology has changed, but what is most important, hasn’t. The worlds greatest artists have received their inspiration from nature. We are as much a part of nature as nature is a part of us.  For those of us that take the time to smell the flowers, it’s so much more.  Poets but their feelings into words, painters paint and we photograph.  Each image we make is showing us on a deeper level, who we really are. “Listen, my heart, to the whispering of the world.  That is how it makes love to you”  Tagore.

Icebergs remind of Buddhist sand mandalas. Fleeting moments of incredible inspiration.  As our planet warms, there are more and more tremendous icebergs floating by the coast of Greenland, and on to warmer waters only to become part of the ocean once again.

In my humble opinion this was a well run trip that delivered just what it promised.  The pacing worked perfectly for me.  I liked stopping at lots of different locales.  We seldom stayed anywhere that was too short or too long for me.  Can’t think of anything that would have improved the trip for me. I give the trip and Ron Rosenstock a 10 out of 10.
 

E. Clark

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $300 if 5-7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

In my humble opinion this was a well run trip that delivered just what it promised.  The pacing worked perfectly for me.  I liked stopping at lots of different locales.  We seldom stayed anywhere that was too short or too long for me.  Can’t think of anything that would have improved the trip for me. I give the trip and Ron Rosenstock a 10 out of 10.
 

E. Clark

The tour leader, Ron Rosenstock, set the tone immediately with his calm, confident, caring cordial and altogether welcoming engagement with each participant. I loved the freedom to explore what I wanted to photograph insead of being told how to shoot. That said, when I asked for some feedback it was candid and helpful and made a lot of difference to how I approached what I shot thereafter..... and the thereafter shots were a great deal better!!!

I doubt there are truly adequate words for expressing how wonderful the experience was with you, Cathy and the entire group. Way, way, way beyond all expectations. You have undoubtedly heard all kinds of deserving accolades but hopefully you’ll never tire of them. As a tour guide you are like an angel sent to educate and care for us and keep spirits alert and happy and as a photographer - well - genuine and incredibly inspiring. Love, love, love the fact that you are so attune to human nature and the findings of the food and bathrooms! It’s genius, really.

In short, thanks so much for your encouragement and kindness and I look forward to the next tour with you.

Best,
Mary
 

M. McKiel

Thanks for everything in your adopted home of Ireland. I love the country, the people and the shooting opportunities. Got some great images. Look forward to another trip with you.

J. Diamond

Ron was a gracious host and wonderful tour leader.  He made sure every one of us was comfortable and that we had the best opportunities for photographing.  His itinerary was diverse, interesting and fun.  I loved his stories!  Jacque was amazing about the details.  The food was delicious.  The tour days were exciting and interesting.

K.Gagne

Your talk on photography and the spirituality of photography was a great revelation for me as I have always felt this way about it myself. Your talk was the affirmation I had been searching for. It was great beyond words to be participating with a group of Artists who were as passionate as I about photography and image making.

M. McLaughlin

Additional Notes

Ron Rosenstock’s core teaching is based on a saying of the twelfth century theologian and philosopher, Mister Eckhart, "Art is not just for special people, but everyone is a special kind of an artist."  Ron's teaching is designed to bring out the inner creative spirit within all of us. His teaching reflects the techniques of his teachers, Ansel Adams and Minor White. Learning not just to look, but to see, and then to know how to get a finished print, whether you are concentrating on infrared, black and white, or color.  Ron uses a digital projector to demonstrate how he finishes his images with Aperture and Nik Software. He also shares photographic exercises that are an aid in "seeing photographically." Those participants that bring a laptop have the opportunity share their images with the group for comments. Ron’s tours will help you to make more meaningful photographs, whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations


Your home away from home, is a lovely hotel on the Quay (harbor) of Westport, County Mayo. It is walking distance to the quaint town center, with it’s many shops and pubs of Westport. There is a pool and optional spa facilities available.

Food & Drink

You will enjoy traditional Irish breakfasts and dinners during your stay. Lunch will be at various restaurants and pubs, or we can stop in town and have a picnic lunch wrapped for our daily excursions in the field. 

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