Below are the basic details for attending the "Nurturing Hope" summer school. However, individuals may want to either arrive early or extend their time in Ireland after the program ends. If so, please inform the travel coordinator, Andrew Hill, and then ~ enjoy!
The conference begins on the afternoon of Friday, 15 July 2022.
As of 21 February 2022, flights from San Antonio (SAT)to Belfast (BFS) for the dates of the program are running from $1,300 to $1,500, assuming a departure on Thursday, 14 July 2022 and a return of Saturday, 23 July 2022.
We can travel as a group, and be met at the airport by a small bus that will take us to the Corrymeela Centre.
We will arrive by bus to the Corrymeela Centre on the afternoon of Friday, 15 July 2022, and your rooms will be ready and waiting.
We will spend 8 nights at the Corrymeela Ballycastle Centre. Your meals are included in the $550 ( £400 ) cost for the week. You may want to budget for additional food and beverage expenses in the nearby town center of Ballycastle, where there are wonderful restaurants and friend Irish pubs.
There is a small chapel at the heart of the campus, and there are daily services in the morning and evening. A full list of amenities are listed on the website, but please remember, this is not a hotel. It is a living, breathing ecumenical community that we will join for a few days of learning, fellowship, contemplation, prayer and enjoyment. At the end of meals, there will be a request for volunteers to help wash the dishes, which is not so much a chore as an opportunity to participate in a small act of service to your fellow travelers. I have always considered it an honor to be part of this long tradition of service.
The program ends on Friday, 22 February 2022, and we will leave the Corrymeela Centre for the airport by bus that morning.
As mentioned, individuals may want to either arrive early or extend their time in Ireland after the program ends. If so, please enjoy the freedom of roaming the Irish countryside, but also please inform the travel coordinator, Andrew Hill.
If you would like recommendations about what else to see while you are in the neighborhood, I recommend the following resources.
Part I - Making Your Own Plans
As for travel blogs for flights and accommodations, there are a million, and you may have one you already like, but I use:
For traveling around the country, much of that depends on your financial resources and your comfort level about being on your own. Some folks like to wander about in a rental car with no set plans, others want an itinerary and professional guide to show them all the little spots off the beaten path and give them an education about the history of the country.
If you are at all adventurous, I recommend renting a car. You can get the hang of driving on the "other" side of the road, and it gives you the most flexibility. However, there is a well connected series of trains, buses, ferries, and taxis that can get you almost anywhere on the Island, so please explore if you can.
Part II - The North
The Official tourism website for Northern Ireland is brilliant: https://discovernorthernireland.com/
"We're here to help you start planning your next giant adventure to Northern Ireland. From cosy hotels, homely lodges and world-class visitor attractions, through to our award winning food and drink scene, we have all bases covered for a short break in Northern Ireland. And with our 'We're Good to Go' scheme you can explore Northern Ireland with confidence. Always follow current COVID-19 travel advice and guidelines before planning and while visiting. Visit nidirect.gov.uk. Check ahead with providers before visiting and book in advance where applicable."
Part III - The South / Dublin
There are some good, general websites, such as these:
Every guidebook (and the links above about Ireland) will tell you some of the “Don’t Miss” attractions in Dublin, such as the Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin (worth it!). Many will depend on what you like:
If you have any special kind of love (hobby, interest, etc.) let me know, and I can give you a specific recommendations.
Plus, do consider some “day trips” out of/back to the city while you are there, as many great treasures are within an easy reach outside of Dublin. It all depends on what you two like to do, but for me, I enjoy the history of the people and the natural beauty of the land, so that is why I'll end with the same recommendation with which I started: