The New York-based group, American Friends of James Joyce(AFJJ), has announced its first ever James Joyce Literary Tour to Ireland this fall in conjunction with IRISH LINKS Tours and Travel. The 10-day bicoastal Odyssey around the world of Joyce’s literary imagination will take U.S. visitors to the cities and towns featured in his works– Dublin, Galway and Ennis – traveling by luxury coaches, and staying in five-star hotels including a castle.
And echoing Joyce’s near-obsession with food and drink, the tour comes complete with an epicurean twist – 5 banquets in some of Ireland’s top restaurants. One dish not likely to appear on the menu, however, is Leopold Bloom’s favorite – “grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.”
The Joycean tour is the brainchild of AFJJ founder, Stanley Goldstein, and New York-based attorney, James O’Malley, who hails originally from Limerick City – the literary home of famous Irish American authors, the McCourt brothers.
Announcing the tour, O’Malley, said “We’re very excited to be able to offer American devotees of James Joyce this opportunity to walk in the imaginary footsteps of an Irish giant of 20th century world literature.” Goldstein added: “For ten days in October, come see Ireland through the unique eyes of James Joyce, see his literature and his world take life and breathe in front of your own eyes”.
Stanley, James and other members of the AFJJ will guide tour participants in their peregrinations through Dublin, the city Joyce immortalized most in his writings, and the west coast towns of Galway and Ennis, which also figure prominently in his works. Travel will be by luxury coach throughout.
Guests will spend the first six nights in the lavishly renovated five-star Shelbourne Hotel, located on Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin, which is referenced numerous times in Joyce’s work. Traveling west, the coach parties will also spend three nights in Dromoland Castle Hotel, one of the world’s great castle hotels.
Guests will retrace Leopold Bloom’s fictional footsteps around Dublin on June 16, 1904 walking the streets he walked, hearing the sounds he heard and feeling the vibrancy of this unique city. They will also visit Howth to listen for echoes of that famous line from Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, “…and yes I said yes I will Yes.”; they will visit the Martello Tower in Sandycove, where Buck Mulligan mocked religious ritual; they will visit Sandymount Strand, where Stephen Dedalus felt he was walking into eternity; and they will visit Glasnevin Cemetery, the scene of the “Hades” episode.
From Dublin, guests will head west to also explore Galway, the home of Gretta Conroy in “The Dead,” and the birthplace of Joyce’s wife, Nora Barnacle. And they will make a stop at the Queen’s Hotel in Ennis (south of Galway) where Bloom’s father committed suicide, a recurrent theme in Ulysses.
During this Joycean exploration, guests will meet members of the Joyce family and enjoy five banquets at some of Ireland’s top restaurants – including the Michelin-starred “Chapter One” in the basement of the Writers’ Museum in Dublin’s Parnell Square. Added bonuses will include day-trips to the megalithic tombs of Newgrange (north of Dublin) which is older than the pyramids, and to the stunning Cliffs of Moher (west of Ennis) which are the highest sea cliffs in Europe.
The American Friends of James Joyce group has chosen the Connecticut-based IRISH LINKS Tours & Travel Inc. as tour operator for its first James Joyce Literary Tour to Ireland. Generally priced from $4,495 per person sharing ($1350 single supplement), tour packages are customized to guests’ individual needs. Those interested in participating in the Joyce tour can contact IRISH LINKS by telephone at (203) 363-0970, or by email at [email protected].
This tour will run from October 31, 2010 through November 10, 2010
A second Joycean tour of Ireland is being planned around Bloomsday, June 16, 2011.