Planning for Ireland
While my European trip is at least 9 months off, and I have other (shorter) trips in the works, I have a significant focus on developing an itinerary for my time next September. Besides my solo exploration seeking cathedrals (active, former and ruins) in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, I will also spend a week as part of a Go Ahead Tours group tour called The Wild Atlantic Way, where I shouldn't see a cathedral, just explore nature with other, mainly solo, travelers.
I plan on arriving in Belfast via a bus/ferry from Glasgow, heading directly to Derry (aka Londonderry) for a couple of nights. From there, through Antrim and Belfast, I will be based in Armagh for 2 nights, and then head to Belfast to use as a base until the tour starts. The tour concludes near Galway, so I'll begin my obsessive pursuit of Irish cathedrals from there.
Using several sources, I've come up with a list of almost 80 locations that would qualify for inclusion in a future volume of Cathedrals to the Glory of God. Pushing that data into EasyMapMaker, I have a visual view of these targets (above). [Note: the process didn't locate two sites: Fermoy north of Cork and Ardfert northwest of Tralee.] If your curious, here's the link to my mapping effort:
As I explained in an earlier post, I develop my itinerary on a spreadsheet. This particular trip starts in mid August with a visit to Ireland, followed by a return to Scotland. I booked passage out of Southampton in mid October for my return to the States, which should allow me to visit the Isle of Man and several English cathedrals that I missed in 2019. Once the transatlantic cruise ends in greater New York City, I have options: northern New Jersey cathedrals, as well as the several that I've missed in southern New York, before returning to Florida.
Of course, I welcome any thoughts and suggestions - your travel experiences and aspirations may play well into my trip. I will soon be posting more plan details for my next trip in late January 2022, but that itinerary is less than 2 weeks, involves Puerto Rico and a week long cruise out of San Juan.
For those of you who have followed my medical issues over the summer, I am healing well and yesterday the doctor took me off the vacuum therapy equipment as my incision is healing better and more quickly than anticipated. It's so nice to not have tubes to watch for as I move about. My right arm is slowly getting stronger post elbow repair surgery, and I am recovering the small motor skills in my hand.