On Sunday September 15th we, the classes 6B and 6C with our teachers Mrs Sablatschan, Mrs Guggenberger and Mr Oberauner, started our journey to Ireland, where we had planned to spend five days in the capital city Dublin and one in Galway.
After we had arrived at Dublin Airport at night, our host parents picked us up and took us to our homes for the following five days. The majority of them were living in the north and east of the city and they all were super friendly and helpful. Of course our rooms weren’t the biggest, but they were clean, comfortable and offered us everything we needed during our stay.
The next morning it was time to go to the city centre to the classes at the Bable Academy of English, which we attended every morning. There we were able to improve our working knowledge of English, especially our speaking skills, and sometimes we had to challenge ourselves. The biggest challenge for most of us was an interview we had to do on Grafton Street. It wasn’t easy at all to talk to random people.
On the way to the centre of Dublin we soon noticed some differences to the things we were used to. People drove on the left like in Great Britain and traffic in general is extremely busy. Public transport surprisingly seems to be used a lot, but the people are more hectic and impatient and so crossing streets when the traffic lights are red is very common there. We also saw school uniforms very often and were wondering about the Gaelic language on the signs.
Every afternoon we had different activities which showed us more about the country and its culture. The first activity, a literary walking tour, took us to memorials of many famous Irish writers in Dublin. The very next day we went on a little hike at the cliffs in Howth and could see the beautiful Irish landscape with its hills and cliffs. One of Dublin’s universities, the Trinity College, was our next sight and we were able to have a look at the campus, the enormous Long Room of the library as well as the ancient Book of Kells. The last group activity in Dublin was the ship Jeanie Johnston, which sailed during the Great Famine and never lost a life. Friday was our free afternoon so we could discover other places on our own, like Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo or one of the cities museums.
On Saturday morning we had to leave the city and people of Dublin to go to Galway on the West of Ireland. Along the route we stopped at the old monastery Clonmacnoise, we saw the Matchmaking Festival in Lisdoonvarna and were impressed by the Cliffs of Moher. We stayed in Galway for the night and left on the next morning to go back home.
During the whole week we were lucky with the weather as there was sunshine all day – a true rarity.
In conclusion we want to express our thanks to Mrs Sablatschan, Mrs Guggenberger and Mr Oberauner for making this experience possible by accompanying and supporting us.
Magdalena Matheuschitz, 6C