Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Occidental's Final Day in Ireland

Today was the Glee Club's last day to enjoy the beautiful weather and people here in Dublin, as they fly out tomorrow. They enjoyed a day of leisure and sightseeing before tonight's farewell dinner, that was held at the Church Restaurant.

During their free time today, some of the students decided to take a tour of the Guinness Factory, and enjoyed a pint in the 360 degree panoramic bar. Ironically, Arthur Guinness, the founder of Guinness brewery, was married in the former St. Mary's Church of Ireland, now known as the aforementioned Church Restaurant!

We are very happy that the group has had an exciting and successful tour of Ireland, and that they were able to share their love of music with the people of this beautiful country. Upon reflection of the tour, the director, Desiree LaVertu, said that "The tour was A+; the venues and the country totally exceeded all of my expectations!"

Slán (Farewell), Occidental!

Occidental Glee Club sings at St. Patrick's in Dublin

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pictures of Occidental's Finale Performance in St. Patrick's Cathedral

Here are a couple of pictures of the Occidental Glee Club during their wonderful finale performance at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Congratulations Occidental and Desiree!

Welcome to Dublin!

At the end of their Incantato Performance Tour 2010, the travelers of the Occidental College Glee Club are visiting Dublin! Let's have a closer look at the Irish capital:

Dublin is the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is officially known in Irish as Baile Átha Cliath or Áth Cliath; the English name comes from the Irish Dubh Linn meaning "black pool". It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's primary city following the Norman invasion. Today, it has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city. Dublin is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the island of Ireland as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administrative function, economy and industry.
The writings of the Greek astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy provide perhaps the earliest reference to human habitation in the area now known as Dublin. In around A.D. 140 he referred to a settlement he called Eblana Civitas. The settlement 'Dubh Linn' dates perhaps as far back as the first century BC and later a monastery was built there, though the town was established in about 841 by the Norse.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finale Highlight Concert: The Occidental College Glee Club performs at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin today (May 25) at 1 PM

To finalize this amazing tour, Occidental College Glee Club under the direction of Desiree LaVertu will be participating in a lunch time recital at the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, the largest church in Ireland, today, May 25, at 1 pm.

Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. A church was built on this site in 1191 and in 1991 they celebrated 800 years of worship. The present building dates from 1220 and during the years it had been extended again and again.
The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland (Anglican). The basis of the present building was built between 1191 and 1270, though little now remains of the earliest work beyond the Baptistry. Much of the work was overseen by Henry of London, a friend of the King of England and signatory of the Magna Carta, who was also involved in the construction of Dublin's city walls and Dublin Castle. The tower (Minot's Tower) and west nave were rebuilt between 1362 and 1370, following a fire. In 1560, one of Dublin's first public clocks was erected in "St. Patrick's Steeple".
Throughout its long history the cathedral has contributed much to Irish life, and one key aspect of this relates to the writer and satirist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, who was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Swift took a great interest in the building, its services and music and in what would now be called social welfare, funding an almshouse for poor women and Saint Patrick's Hospital.
The Choir School, which had been founded in 1432, supplied many of its members to take part in the very first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1742. It continues and although originally all-male, now also admits girls; a Cathedral Girls' Choir was founded in 2000 and sings once or twice a week. The Organ of St. Patrick's Cathedral is one of the largest in Ireland with over 4,000 pipes. Parts of it date from a Renatus Harris instrument of 1695. It was restored in the 1890s and in 1963.

Great success for the Occidental College Glee Club at St. Augustine’s Church in Cork

The Occidental College Glee Club inspired their audience today at St. Augustine’s Church in Cork. Every seat in the church was taken, over 200 people attended the concert! Now it's time for the final destination of the Incantato Ireland Performance Tour: Dublin! The travelers of the Occidental College Glee Club will go there tomorrow morning. We wish them a save trip!

The Occidental College Glee Club sings at St. Augustine’s Church, Cork, today (May 24) at 8 PM

St. Augustine’s Church in Cork is today's venue for the Occidental College Glee Club at 8 pm. The Augustinians, the Order of St. Augustine, owe their origins to Saint Augustine (354-430 AD), from Hippo in Algeria, who inspired men and women to live in religious communities.
By the 13th century many different Augustinian communities existed and in 1256 Pope Alexander IV created the Grand Union of all existing Augustinian Congregations to form what we know today as the Order of St. Augustine.
The Order of St. Augustine came to Cork some time between 1270 and 1300. As the Augustinian historian, Fr. Thomas C. Butler OSA writes: "If we take 1272 as a date of petition for approval to open a foundation in Cork, it would have taken some years for the planning and building so we can safely assume that the latter took place between 1275 and 1285.
The Priory was dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, but was recorded on ancient maps as St. Austin's 1545 and St. Augustine's 1610. Later still it became known as the "Red Abbey" because of the red sandstone used in the church. The Towers were added after the middle of the 14th century.
The Red Abbey was raided in 1630, but the friars, forewarned, had fled. This was a short lived closure and the friars were back again, until 1644 when all priests and friars were expelled from the city, and the Red Abbey was taken over by the protestant Dean of Cork, Richard Boyle.Lady Fanshawe leased the Red Abbey, but had to leave when Cromwell came in 1649, and stabled his horses in the building.
Returns on the State of Popery for 1766 give "a friary - Augustinian - in Fishamble Lane. It was located where a side entrance leads into the Franciscan church. Formerly Mill St, the site of the church is shown on De Rocque's map of 1759.
In 1776 the friars were living in an old tottering house, with an old tottering chapel nearby. They started to look for a suitable site and ran into difficulty with the bishop of Cork. The friary in Fishamble Lane was in the parish of St. Finbar's, and the new site was in SS Peter and Paul's.In 1778 the Augustinians chose a site on Brunswick St, at the time within the South Parish. Again the Bishop objected, but the Augustinians decided to go ahead with a chapel and dwelling in Brunswick St. now known as St. Augustine's Lane. The community was suspended by the Bishop. The case was taken to Rome.
A decision was given in favour of the friars, with a command to the bishop to bless and open the church when completed. The first stone was laid on November 27th 1780. The Bishop complied with the mandate from the Holy See, and he blessed the new church on June 4th 1781, and he restored the Prior and community to the jurisdiction of the diocese.
The church was extended in 1872 and the Priory built on Washington St, known then as Great George St. The present church structure was built in 1942 and furthered extended in 1972. The Priory was rebuilt in 1982.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Occidental College Glee Club performs at the Danny Mann Pub in Killarney on May 22 at 7 PM

Today, Saturday, May 22, at 7 pm the Danny Mann Pub in Killarney will turn into a performance venue for the travelers of the Occidental College Glee Club under the direction of Desiree LaVertu. Incantato Tours proudly presents this very special and traditional venue:
The Danny Mann is a hotel pub that is renowned as one of the best centers for Irish music, singing and dancing in all of Killarney. Here you will find locals and visitors alike joining with the band to sing together. The Danny Mann Pub has brought traditional Irish music and good times to Killarney for over 70 years.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Occidental College Glee Club sings at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland - today, May 21 at 8 PM

St. Mary’s Church of Ireland is the Occidental College Glee Club venue today, Friday, May 21 at 8 pm:

St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney is a Roman Catholic cathedral in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland. The diocese of Kerry, or Ardfert and Ahadoe as it is sometimes called, was ruled by vicars apostolic from the mid-16th century until the early 18th century, with the exception of a brief few years in the 1640s. The 18th century Bishops of Kerry resided at Dingle, Kilcummin, Tuogh, Listowel and Tralee, from 1720 until 1775. In the latter years Bishop Francis Moylan (1775-87) established the see at Killarney.
Before the construction of Killarney cathedral there was a small chapel in Chapel Lane, of which the font survives in the baptistery of the present cathedral. The idea of building a cathedral was started by Fr. Joseph O'Sullivan, curate of Dingle, who roused the enthusiasm of Bishop Cornelius Egan (1824-1856) and the 2nd Earl of Kenmare (1788-1853), a local Catholic landowner.

Sightseeing Highlight today, Friday, May 21: The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of the Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland. The Cliffs are currently one of the 28 finalists for The New-7-Wonders of Nature. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs have one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in order to impress female visitors. From atop that watchtower, one can view the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, the Maum Turk Mountains and the Twelve Pins to the north in Connemara, and Loop Head to the south.

Standing Ovation for the Occidental College Glee Club in Galway

The Occidental Glee Club travelers are having a blast in Ireland. The concert at the Franciscan Abbey was a hit last night and the singers received a standing ovation! Some hours before, there was another big crowd as well at the Gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey for their performance. After the concert last night, the group decided to take on the city of Galway with the locals and, from what we understand, had a smashing good time!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Occidental College Glee Club will meet some new friends tonight, May 20

Tonight, May 20, the Occidental College Glee Club will meet some new friends! At the Incantato Galway concert venue, the Franciscan Abbey, they are going to perform together with the Galway Gospel Choir and the Choriaaros from Norway.

Here is what the Choriaaros tell about themselves:
"Aaros is a small village in the kommune of Røyken. Røyken lies about 40 kilometres west of Oslo. Choriaaros means choir in Aaros – which is what we are! We are a mixed choir with about 35 members. Our ages range from 27 years old to 70 years old – two thirds women and one third men! Of course we all love singing together but we also have a lot of fun together. Most of our members have been in the choir for many years, some since the choir started in 1993. We practise every Tuesday from 18.50 to 21.30 at the local school. In addition to our weekly practises we have two seminars every year where we invite a song pedagogue to instruct us.
We have a wide repertoire and enjoy singing a variety of songs, from musicals and pop to classical and folk music. Our choir enjoys working towards a goal, be it a Christmas concert or a bigger venture like a musical. Choriaaros has performed two musicals in the nearby town of Drammen – Les Miserable’s in 1999 and Fiddler on the Roof in 2004. We have also had exciting ventures such as a New Years concert with a local symphony orchestra and another choir, and a carol concert with a local brass band. Most of our concerts are performed locally and we often use the local churches or the village hall as venues. The annual Christmas concert in the old wooden church in Aaros has become a tradition. In 2008 our choirmaster of many years left us. In his place came Ragnar Elverhoey, a former member of the choir. Ragnar’s laid back attitude, sense of humour and enthusiasm has given the choir a new lease of life. At the moment we are rehearsing for a Gershwin concert that is planned for October 2010. Needless to say the syncopated rhythms and the fast Americans lyrics are a challenge, but with Ragnar at the helm we are going to give it a go!"
For more information, visit their website (IN NORWEGIAN).

The Galway Gospel Choir is composed of at least 60 vocalists of varying occupation and background from in and around Galway, Ireland. The choir was formed in 2001 and has slowly grown to be recognized in Ireland. Click here to go to their website.

Exchange concert tonight, May 20, at the Franciscan Abbey in Galway

The travellers of the Occidental College Glee Club are getting ready for their exchange concert in Galyway tonight at 7.30 pm:
The Franciscan Abbey was founded in 1296. In 1483 a school of advanced theology was instituted there. About 40 years later, Maurice O Fihely, archbishop of Tuam, was buried in the church. 1657 the friary was destroyed and the church was made into a court house (the present court house stands on the same site). In 1660 a church was erected on the present site. The only novitiate of which they have definite information was opened here in 1774. The church was rebuilt in 1781 and around 1836 the present chuch was opened; present friary was built or rebuilt in 1820, and renovated recently. The organ of the Abbey, Galway, is placed in the gallery at the back of the church, and is divided between two cases to avoid obscuring a large stained-glass window in the centre. The swell and pedal divisions are located in the left case (as seen from the church, facing the back) and the great in the right. The console is beside the left case, and faces sideways across the rather narrow gallery. The instrument has a pleasant, sweet sound with good definition and a fast, ready response from the action. The picture is from the official website of the Irish Franciscans.

Occidental Glee Club starts their Ireland Tour with a concert at the Gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey today, May 20

Today, May 20, the Occidental College Glee Club under the direction of Desiree LaVertu travels to Kylemore Abbey and presents the first formal concert of their Incantato Ireland tour at noon.
Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. Originally called Kylemore Castle, it was built between 1863 and 1868 as a private home for the family of Mitchell Henry, a wealthy politician from Manchester, England who was also MP for Galway County from 1871 to 1885. Architects were James Franklin Fuller and Ussher Roberts. After the death of his wife Margaret in 1875, Mitchell did not spend much time there. He and his wife are both buried in the small mausoleum near the church in the grounds of the abbey. A notable feature of the abbey is the neo-Gothic church, a miniature replica of Norwich Cathedral, made from local green Connemara marble. It was built between 1877 and 1881 and has a beautiful stained glass tracery window depicts the five graces; Fortitude, Faith, Charity, Hope and Chastity, and it is a center of reflection and prayer for many visitors.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Failte to Ireland

The 2010 Occidental Glee Club Tour to Ireland is off to a good start as the group landed safe and sound in Dublin and with only a small delay in Shannon. Director Desiree LaVertu said: All is well! The surely tired bunch is heading to Galway next for check-in and a first orientation tour of the lively university town by Incantato Tourmanager Conor. After their first Irish meal, a special welcome dinner served at the hotel, the singers are invited to a local pub by member of the Galway Gospelchoir. Oxy Student Alison offered to send updates from abroad so look forward to her postings.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wishing you safe travels to Ireland

Dear Members of the 2010 Occidental Glee Club Tour to Ireland and especially everyone on the group flights via Chicago and Dublin to Shannon, we are sure glad that everything is looking good for your journey and wish you safe travels to the emerald isle. Incantato Tour Manager Conor Ellard will be welcoming everyone on Wednesday, May 19 on the Irish West Coast and then bring the group to Galway where a special surprise treat awaits Oxy. More soon : ) Your Incantato Tours Team

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flight update from Air Lingus

Latest Schedule Information

Aer Lingus Flight Schedule Tuesday 18th May

Dear customers,

Based on the information currently available from aviation authorities throughout our network we do not expect volcanic ash related disruption to our schedule for Tuesday 18th May.

We will update customers via this website, via the broadcast media and through SMS messages should this position change.

Travel Insurance - Please make sure you are protected! ASH CLOUD related travel interruptions are covered!!!

It is not too late to get coverage for the upcoming Occidental Glee Club Ireland Tour 2010 and with the current ash cloud situation in Europe, Incantato Tours more than ever strongly recommends getting travel insurance for your journey. Not only are you covered medically should anything happen when traveling or interrupt your journey at any point, but with TravelGuard's policies, you also protect your investment should anything beyond our control (such as a volcano erruption or weather related situation) affect the trip.
Here is a direct line to purchase travel insurance online and can you do so with your credit cards and also select the option that is best for you.

In the meantime, have a look at the most comprehensive coverage option The Protect Assist Gold below.

Protect Assist (Gold) -
Comprehensive Travel Protection for the World Traveler
  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Interruption and Travel Delay
  • Emergency Medical and Emergency Medical Transportation
  • Baggage and Travel Document Protection
  • Baggage Delay and Lost Baggage Tracking
  • NEW - Cancel For Any Reason option now available
  • NEW - Cancel For Work Reasons option now available
  • NEW - Children age 17 and under covered at no additional cost
  • IMPROVED -Trip Cancellation limit increased to $100,000 (from $15,000),
  • IMPROVED - Trip Interruption coverage increased to 150% of Trip Cost
  • IMPROVED - Travel Delay required hours reduced to 5 hours (from 12)

ProtectAssist special features:
  • Best coverage for Weather Related Cancellations
  • Pre-existing Condition Exclusion Waiver*
  • Default/Bankruptcy Protection*
  • $50,000 Flight Accident Insurance*
  • 24-Hour "LiveTravel" Travel Agency
  • Emergency Cash Transfers
  • Identity Theft Restoration

Comprehensive non-insurance travel services* automatically included with plan!With the ProtectAssist plan, every customer also has access to these valuable travel services when they travel:· Arrangements for last-minute flight changes· Hotel finder and reservations· Rental car reservations· Emergency medical assistance· BagTrak® -- lost baggage tracking· Pre-trip health and safety advisories· Live e-mail and phone messaging to family and friends· Cash transfers· Airport transportation· Golf course reservations· Event ticketing· Floral services· Identity Theft restoration
Business Assistant* (available when Optional Cancel for Work Reasons coverage is purchased)

*Non-Insurance services are provided by AIG Travel Assist.

Citizenship: All Nationalities
Residency: United States
New York, Oregon, and Washington residence please call to purchase
Some rider options are not available and other restrictions may apply

Destination: Worldwide
Ages: All Ages
Max Trip Length: 365 Days

Occidental College Glee Club Concert Announced on the Web

Dear travelers of Occidental College Glee Club,
Check out your Dublin concert announcement on the web! Your performance on May 25 at the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral is listed on the official Dublin Tourism website.

Incantato Weather Forecast for Galway

Dear travelers of the Occidental College Glee Club,

Your trip to Ireland is just around the corner! We had a look at the weather forecast for you: There is light rain in Galway with around 60°F during the next days. But when you are visiting the Cliffs of Moher on Friday, May 21, the sky will light up just in time and the sun is likely to shine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Want to learn more about Ireland?

Then visit the official website of the emerald isle at

Don't want to miss any updates?

Dear Readers of the Oxy Glee Club 2010 Ireland Tour. If you want to make sure you don't miss a post, then become a follower. There is a box in the right navigation of the blog that you can click to do so. Your email address (we are pretty sure it has to be a googleemail) will not be used for anything but updates about the Oxy Glee Club Incantato Tour.

Occidental Glee Club Ireland Performance Schedule

Monday, May 3, 2010

Travel Tips: Q & A

What should everyone carry at all times, real passport or a photo copy?

Ideally, your passport should be on your person at all times. Please be “street-smart” and don’t wave it around for all to see. Photocopies of the passport should be packed in your suitcase, available in your e-mail and also Incantato should have a copy as well.

Is the tap water safe to drink?

It is save to drink the water in Ireland. But in some cities it's not tasty because of the chlorine or hard water.

Do you have recommendations or suggestions on the type of power adapter needed and what wattage?

Electricity in Ireland is supplied at standard European voltage, 230V 50Hz, but the plugs used are not the same as continental Europe. Ireland uses IS401 (BS1363) plugs which are identical to those used in the United Kingdom. Visitors from the US using 110 volt supplies need to purchase voltage adaptors, or ensure that their equipment can be used on 230V 50Hz. Adapters and converters may be found at Target, Walmart and radio shack etc.

What is the weight limit for check-in baggage?

1 suitcase weighing under 50lbs.

What the size limit and number of items is for carry on?

You may have 1 carry-on bag – it must be able to fit either under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. We recommend a backpack.

What are the airline carryon container regulations?

No containers holding more that 3ozs of liquid or (100g for toothpaste) is allowed in the carryon luggage. They also must be in a plastic zip-lock bag.

What has the best exchange rate, using a debit card to pull money out or exchanging US currency?

By far the best way is to use your debit card. Most banks only charge around $2 per withdraw and they also take care of the exchange rate for you. You do need a 4 digit pin and also let your bank know that you are travelling abroad. DO NOT BRING TRAVELLERS' CHEQUES!

What is the approximate exchange rate right now?

It’s about $1.31 to 1 EUR.

What happens if someone gets injured while in tour? Medical care and cost wise? Do they need a medical consent form for treatment?

We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. You find a link to our recommended partner on this blog.

If needed, is there laundry service?

It’s really expensive to do laundry overseas as it is dry-cleaning only. There are no irons in the hotel room.

Travel Tips: Money matters

Dear Travelers, Money is a delicate subject. The exchange rate at the moment is better than it was a few months ago. Currently it's around 1 Euro = $ 1,31. The best way to use your money is to have a debit card; this allows you to withdraw money from any ATM machine with only being charged a small withdrawal fee. The fee differs between banks. Be sure to call your bank before your departure to tell them where you are going and for how long so they won't freeze your account. The debit cards given by the bank has the compatibility of Visa, MasterCard, however, Visa is the most widely accepted worldwide. If you bring cash, you can exchange it but you will lose more money as they charge for their services. Most places in Europe won't accept traveler's checks anymore. Also, be prepared to pay for water and a fee for restroom use (between 30 to 70 Euro cent). Last not least, there are no free refills on soft drinks in Europe which is why most Europeans ask for little to no ice in their drinks.
We suggest you have some spending money available and our recommendation is around 15 to 20 Euro per day for the meals not included, snacks, drinks, postcards, some souvenirs. It is not imperative that you have this amount of money. There are many ways to lower your expenses such as:
· Most restaurants have menus outside so you can check their price range.
· Venture off the main roads to find a restaurant. These usually have more character, better food, and better prices.
· Bring your own water bottle. Most places have safe tap water to fill up with.
· Buy food from the "convenient" stores. You don't have to sit down in the restaurant for every meal.
· Shop around for souvenirs; many stores have the same things on sale for very different prices.

Last not least, remember that your Incantato Tour Manager is with you pretty much 24/7. The guide is there to help you make the right choices.

Travel Tips: What to pack?

For most people, packing is the most difficult part. The solution for many is to just pack as much as you possibly can into your suitcase and backpack, but as a colleague explains it: "You'll be thanking me later when you don't break your back from having to carry everything on your own. Don't do it!" Her advice: "Pack as lightly as you can. The best way to get it all to fit nicely into your suitcase is to fold it nicely and then roll it tightly. It can all fit into your bag like a puzzle."
Keep in mind, however, that many cathedrals have a dress code and will not allow you to walk in if you are wearing tank tops or shorts. A scarf is a good solution to this code. And shorts should always go to your knees (both for Ladies and Gents). Incantato also plans a farewell dinner for the tour groups, so bring something comfortable and dressy.
Here are a few things that we think are essential to have to be comfortable with what the weather brings and with the weight of your bag - remember, we allow only one checked bag per person and a small carry-on such as a bag pack or small duffel. Yes Ladies, you may have a small purse in addition, gents a camera case is fine too, but again, you will be the one carrying it all from the bus to the hotel and vice versa, so better test if you can move all your travel belongings without needing to make two trips or help from someone else.
A sample packing list (just a suggestion!)
* Rain jacket, maybe with fleece insert
* Umbrella
* An adapter plug/converter (if bringing electronic devices)
* Camera and batteries or charger with adapter
* At least two pair of jeans/pants, ladies may want to bring a couple skirts or dresses too
* a sweater or two
* Plenty of shirts, including a polo or two and at least two dress shirts (Europeans dress much more formal than Americans)
* Plenty of undergarments and socks for daily changes
* A watch, make-up and jewelry if applicable (carry on any valuables)
* Choir music and attire
* Don't forget shoes, we recommend a maximum of three pairs (tennis shoes, good everyday shoes, dress shoes). Bring nice concert shoes, but make sure that you will be able to walk long distances in them. Europeans do not wear flip flops other than to the pool or at the beach.
* Put all liquids that are in your carry-on into a zip-lock bag. And remember the 311 rules.
* All scissors, fingernail clippers, etc. are better packed in your check-in luggage along with liquids over 3 ounzes. Bring enough contact lense solution and prescription medication that you may need for the whole duration of the trip.

If you forget anything there are plenty of shops where you can by shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sightseeing-Highlight: Blarney Castle near Cork

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork and the River Martin. The Occidental College Glee Club will visit the castle on Sunday, May 23rd. The building originally dates from before AD 1200, when a wooden structure was built on the site. Around 1210 A.D. this was replaced by a stone fortification. It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy - then King of Munster. The castle was besieged during the Irish Confederate Wars and was seized in 1646 by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill. However after the restoration the castle was restored to Donough MacCarty, who was made 1st Earl of Clancarty. During the Williamite War in Ireland in the 1690s, the then 4th Earl of Clancarty was captured and his lands (including Blarney Castle) were confiscated by the Williamites. The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times before being purchased by Sir James St. John Jefferyes. Members of the Jefferyes family would later build a mansion near the keep. This house was destroyed by fire however, and in 1874 a replacement baronial mansion - known as Blarney House - was built overlooking the nearby lake.
The castle is now a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and battlements. At the top of the castle lies the Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. Tourists visiting Blarney Castle may hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquence. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil - a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned. Surrounding the castle are extensive gardens. There are paths touring the grounds with signs pointing out the various attractions such as several natural rock formations which have been given fanciful names, such as Druid's Circle, Witch's Cave and the Wishing Steps. Blarney House, also open to the public, is a Scottish baronial-style mansion that was built on the grounds in 1874. (The pictures are from the official website of Blarney Castle)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sightseeing-Highlight: The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a trail in County Kerry, south-western Ireland. The route covers the 179 km (111 miles) circular road, starting from Killarney, heading around the Iveragh Peninsula and passing through Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen and Killorglin. Popular points include Muckross House (near Killarney), Staigue stone fort and Derrynane House, home of Daniel O'Connell. Just south of Killarney, Ross Castle, Lough Leane, and Ladies View (a panoramic viewpoint), all located within Killarney National Park, are major attractions located along the Ring. The picture is from the official website of the trail.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

City Facts about Killarney

A beautiful landscape will welcome the Occidental College Glee Club when the singers stop over in Killarney during their 2010 Ireland Performance Tour with Incantato.
Killarney (from the Irish: "Cill Airne" meaning "church of sloes") is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is located north of the MacGillicuddy Reeks, on the northeastern shore of the Lough Lein/Leane which are part of Killarney National Park. The town and its surrounding region are home to St. Mary's Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall and Gap of Dunloe. Killarney was awarded the "Best Kept Town" award for 2007 in a cross-border competition jointly organised by the Department of the Environment and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council. Owing to its natural heritage, history and proximity to the Dingle Peninsula, Skellig Michael island and its location on the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is a popular tourist destination.
"There's only the one Killarney" is a song that was recorded by Irish tenor, Patrich O'Hagan. The song was written by Irish songwriter, Dick Farrelly, who wrote the words & music. Killarney appears in another song, titled, "How Can you buy Killarney", written by Kennedy, Steels, Grant and Morrison, the song was recorded by Joseph Locke among others.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

City Facts about Cork

The Occidental College Glee Club will enjoy some great time in the Irish city of Cork with Incantato Tours. Let's have a closer look at this destination:

Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,143, while the addition of the suburban areas contained the county brings the total to 190,384. Cork has a reputation for rebelliousness dating back to the town's support of the English Pretender Perkin Warbeck in 1491 following the Wars of the Roses. As a result, County Cork has earned the nickname of "the Rebel County", while Corkonians often refer to the city as the "real capital of Ireland", and themselves as the "Rebels". The city is built on the River Lee which divides into two channels at the western end of the city. The city centre is located on the island created by the channels. At the eastern end of the city centre they converge; and the Lee flows around Lough Mahon to Cork Harbour, one of the world's largest natural harbours. The city is a major Irish seaport; there are quays and docks along the banks of the Lee on the city's east side.
Music, theatre, dance, film and poetry all play a prominent role in Cork city life. The Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design provide a constant throughput of new blood, as do the active theatre components of many courses at University College Cork (UCC). Highlights include: Corcadorca Theatre Company, of which Cillian Murphy was a troupe member prior to Hollywood fame; Cork Film Festival, a major supporter of the art of the short film; The Institute for Choreography and Dance, a national contemporary dance resource; the Triskel Arts Centre; Cork Jazz Festival; the Cork Academy of Dramatic Art (CADA).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Your Home away from Home: Carlton Hotel Galway City

When the Occidental College Glee Club stops in Galway, the singers, their family and friends arestaying at the Carlton Hotel Galway City.

The 3-Star Carlton Hotel Galway City is located 5 minutes from Galway City Centre. Galway is well known for it's great shopping and good food with plenty to see and do, including a great nightlife of dancing, concerts, funfairs, festivals and much more. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi in public areas and free high speed internet access in bedrooms. You can have dinner at Rueben's Restaurant or grab a snack at Bar Solo. The rooms are equipped with a laptop size safe, a hairdryer and a Tea/Coffee Station.

The pictures are from the official hotel website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Occidental College Glee Club meet the Galway Gospel Choir and a Norway Choir in Galway on Thursday, May 20 at 7.30 PM

Incantato Tours has arranged a very special event for the Occidental College Glee Club: They will join forces with the Galway Gospel Choir and a Norway Choir for a highlight exchange concert in Galway on Thursday, May 20 at 7.30 PM.
The venue is the beautiful Galway Franciscans Abbey. 'The Abbey' was founded in 1296. In 1781 the church was rebuilt and around 1836 the present building was opened.
Here is a picture of the Galway Gospel Choir, which you will meet in Galway:

The above picture is from the offical website of the Galway Gospel Choir.