Adventure - Art - Culture - Juniors Abroad at George Fox

Iceland/Ireland/England

Faculty: Pete Rusaw
Meeting Time: W - 6:30 - 9:00 PM

We will begin the adventure by traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland, where for three days we will enjoy a unique variety of architecture, and landscape, visiting a dynamic castle, sampling the local wares and then venturing outside of town. After that we will board a train for a stunning journey across the English countryside into the heart of London. For the next five days, we will experience the history and culture of the area with a variety of planned, as well as optional excursions and day trips outside of town. We will visit museums, theatres, sporting arenas, and landmarks, classic universities as well as natural and archaeological wonders (Stonehenge, Bath & England’s southern coast).

A short flight to Belfast will immerse us in a rich historical and political context to explore, as we connect with locals to better understand a life story that is likely foreign to us. After two nights, we will travel south to Dublin, sampling historical castles and ruins along Ireland’s East Coast. After two nights in Dublin, we will move to Limerick- a lovely city with delightful particularities and a central location for day trips to the Cliffs of Moher, The Ring of Kerry and possibly the famed Blarney Castle. We will complete our Ireland stay back in Dublin for an evening and a nice dinner together.

We will conclude our trip by taking in the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland. We will relax in the blue lagoon, an outdoor geothermal spa near Reykjavik and, over the course of the next three days, will get a stunning impression of Iceland on the Golden Circle day tour, as well as a southern coast tour, which will showcase a number of Iceland’s main attractions and natural wonders—geysers, waterfalls, lava fields, volcanic craters, and Icelandic horses. Finally, we will spend a day taking in the sights and sounds of Reykjavik, before returning home to Portland.

 Preliminary Itinerary:

Day 1- Depart PDX, Travel to Edinburgh

Day 2: Exploring Edinburgh. Visit the city’s iconic Edinburgh castle, climb an extinct volcano, see Scotland’s crown jewels, travel underground to explore some of the city’s medieval past, view world-class art, walk the royal mile and take in the Camera Obscura World of Illusions.

Day 3: Free day in Edinburgh. Optional day trips to Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness and Glasgow.

Day 4: Hop on a train and travel through the beautiful English countryside on the way to London.

Day 5: A day in London. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of this world famous city. Visit places such as the Imperial war museum, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s cathedral, the British Museum of Natural History, Hyde Park, the Tower of London and so much more. Complete the perfect day with an evening show (Broadway or The Globe).

Day 6: Group day trip to Bath and Stonehenge. Your first stop is Stonehenge: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of England’s
most famous landmarks. Next, continue onward to the city of Bath, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its Roman heritage, natural hot springs, and Georgian—era architecture. Check out the main attractions on the grand façade of Bath Abbey, the grandiose Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and more.

Day 7: Free day in London. Optional day trips to: Oxford, Cotswolds, Windsor Castle, Cambridge, etc. 

Day 8- Group Day trip to Portsmouth, Isle of Wight. Visit the Spinnaker tower and the National Museum of the Royal Navy: a spectacular collection of ships and activities, including the HMS Victory, the Mary Rose, and a tour of Portsmouth Harbor. Later, take a ferry ride to the Isle of Wight, with a stunning coastline, gorgeous countryside, vibrant events and award winning attractions on one beautiful picturesque island.

Day 9: Tour of Northern Ireland. After a short morning flight from London to Belfast, hop on a private coach and head toward the Giant’s Causeway, where you’ll marvel at rock formations produced by an ancient volcanic fissure. Then it’s off to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, where we will take in stunning views over Ireland from above the water. Continue on to the Dark Hedges, planted over 270 years ago- the location has been used in numerous films and television shows.

Day 10: Enjoy the sights and sounds of Belfast. Includes the Titanic and Ulster Museums, St. George’s Market, Botanical Gardens, historic city hall, St. Anne’s Cathedral and various sites connected with the young life of C. S. Lewis. 

Day 11: Head out on a Castles and Celtic History tour on a private coach en route to Dublin. Highlights include the UNESCO-listed ruins of Newgrange; Trim Castle, Europe’s largest Norman castle; the Hill of Tara, seat of the Celtic Kings; and Monasterboice Monastic Site. Stop for lunch near Slane Castle, where U2 recorded their album 'The Unforgettable Fire.'

Day 12: Dublin city tour: from its founding by Vikings in 988 AD to today. Visits sights such as Trinity College (must see Library), The National Museum of Archaeology, site of the ancient Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, the National Gallery of Ireland and more.

Day 13: Travel to Limerick, visit King John’s Castle.

Day 14: Group trip to the Cliffs of Moher. Reaching 702 feet, on a clear day, the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, The Twelve Pins the Mau Turk mountains, the Dingle Peninsula and the Blasket islands are all in view from the Cliffs of Moher.

Day 15: Free day in Limerick. Visit the Terra Nova Fairy Garden, the Ballyhoura woods, Dolan’s music pub, and a variety of museums and art galleries. Optional Day trip to Cork & Blarney Castle

Day 16: Day trip to the Ring of Kerry. The Ring, lassoed by a winding coastal road through a mountainous, lake-splattered region, is undeniably scenic. Visitors since Victorian times have been drawn to this evocative chunk of the Emerald Isle, where mysterious ancient ring forts stand sentinel on mossy hillsides.

Day 17: Take a bus back to Dublin where we will relax and enjoy a nice dinner together as a group.

Day 18: Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. After a morning flight from Dublin to Reykjavik, we will relax in Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon en route to our hotel. Home to one of 25 wonders of the world, Blue Lagoon Iceland is a place where the powers of geothermal seawater create transformational spa journeys.

Day 19: Golden Circle Tour. The Golden Circle bus tour takes you on a day trip to see the world-famous Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss, the queen of Icelandic waterfalls, as well as Thingvellir National Park.

Day 20: Group tour of Reykjavik.  Visit Hallgrimskirkja church, the famed Nordic House, the University of Iceland, and many other sites. Enjoy live entertainment as we experience the sounds and musical tastes of this northern culture.

Day 21: Iceland South Coast day trip. The South Coast of Iceland has many natural wonders and quaint villages to explore. During this tour we will travel through lava fields, past mountains and glaciers to the southernmost part of Iceland. We will visit the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, the Solheimajokull glacier and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara with its rich birdlife, magnificent basalt column cliffs and stunning sea stacks.

Day 22: Fly Home to Portland!