Days 1 and 2
After a long, exhausting journey and a long wait at the airport, thanks to Eurowings, we finally arrived in sunny Ireland.
“Hey Folks”, these were the first words we heard from our funny bus driver, who greeted us with a beaming smile and kind words.
And so our adventurous journey through Ireland began in the wonderful company of Mrs. Hohl and Mrs. Maas.
The next stop on our trip is beautiful Galway!
The first day we were led by Oliver and Galway had the opportunity to visit great sights. Among other things, the cathedral we visited looked even more breathtaking from the inside than from the outside. We walked along the river and enjoyed the beautiful nature and nice weather.
After we arrived at the hostel, we made ourselves comfortable there and rounded off our day with a delicious dinner.
Day 3 – Let’s droive to Dobblin!
Unfortunately, we already had to leave Galway on Tuesday and continued our journey to Dublin. We were all very tired and tried to sleep on the bus but our bus driver, who was a typical Irishman, could not stop telling us some very interesting facts about Ireland and its culture, history and language. We all enjoyed hearing his voice because of his strong Irish accent.
In order to see some important Irish sights like the Burren, Poulnabrone Dolmen and especially the Cliffs of Moher, we did not take the direct route to Dublin but made a detour down the west coast.
Crossing County Clare, we noticed many long stone walls going through the fields for no apparent reason. Our bus driver had the answer: He explained to us that these walls are connected to the time when the British ruled over Ireland. The Irish were forced to build them just to ensure that they had something to do. The stone walls were created with a special technique: No cement was used and the stones came from the nearby Burren, which was our first stop.
The name “Burren” comes from the Irish word “bhoireann”, which means “stony place”. It stretches over an area of about 400 square kilometres and is a national park. We enjoyed our time there and took a lot of photos.
After that it only took us 15 minutes to arrive at the Cliffs of Moher, our main attraction on this day. Before going up the path to the Cliffs, we listened to Afia’s enlightening presentation about the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. As she told us that there was an unofficial pathway, we could not resist taking it despite the warnings of our worried teachers ;). When we passed O’Brian’s Tower, we had a breathtaking view on the impressive cliffs rising far above the sea level. It was the perfect scenery for taking lots and lots of wonderful pictures.
We wished to stay longer but since we still had to cross the country from the west to the east coast, we jumped on the bus again. However, we still had one stop left which was a small surfer village and beautiful beach. There we took our first group picture and then headed to Dublin.
Finally, at around 6 pm, we reached our destination: the Four Courts Hostel in Dublin. Exhausted but curiously we explored the district Temple Bar in hope of satisfying our empty stomachs. Stepping out of the restaurant we found ourselves in front of a big yellow sign saying “Open Mic Comedy Night”. The idea of experiencing the Irish humour at close quarters appealed to us and before we knew it we were caught in a tourist trap ;).
written by Luise, Annika, Afia and Astrid
The day started early... too early for some of us. For Afia and Luise being late resulted in operating as our tour guides all day.
After breakfast we began our sightseeing tour through Dublin with a walk to the “Old Jameson Distillery” where Michael gave us an exquisite introduction into the brewing of beer and distilling of whiskey in the history of ancient Ireland. Of course we were all very interested and listened attentively. Despite Michael´s extraordinary rhetorical skills Jessica still took on the challenge of presenting her subject “Irish food and drink” - and she did very well too. Unfortunately we were not able to go inside due to time pressure.
Our next stop was the “National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History”. After another presentation, given by Astrid, about “Dublin´s history” our group was free to take a quick walk around the museum. By accident we visited the exhibition of coins, which was not very interesting, so we decided to add a new exhibit to the collection that you can now admire if you take a visit. Since we are really creative, we painted the windows … this was part of the exhibition – don´t worry. In the museum we had the chance to be even more creative than just painting on a window – we were even allowed to design our own chair, which was named “sea(t) life”.
After the time we had in the museum our group continued to walk to “Kilmainham Gaol”, which was right next to the museum … approximately. With Afia still acting as our tour guide, we arrived safely at the jail, but before entering Frida gave us some short but of course very important facts about the building. Actually it did not look very frightening from the outside but as soon as Rebecca, our guide, took us inside and started our tour, we were all in awe. While listening to passionate Rebecca and the stories she told us about some of the inmates, you could see mixed feelings in all of our faces. Some were impressed by the stories, some depressed. We walked through those narrow and dark corridors and even saw cells from the inside. The most impressive part of the jail was probably the “Stonebreaker´s yard” where 14 leaders of the “Easter Rising” were executed.
Now it was time to walk to the other end of the city, always following Afia´s instructions, to St. Patrick´s cathedral but not without making a quick stop at the “Guinness storehouse”. Finally arriving at our destination, we looked around the breath-taking cathedral and “incidentally” emptied the gift shop of St. Patrick´s. Mrs Hohl took it upon herself to inform us about St. Patrick and his deeds. We were so grateful for that!
Our next two stops consisted of going to Christchurch and Dublin castle, where we listened to two more presentations, given by Bedor and Luise.
Afterwards, we were all free for the rest of the day. Some of us took the time to go shopping, others went back to the hostel and prepared dinner
Since we are all very close, we spent our evening playing some games. Thereby we found out that you are definitely never too old to be completely enthusiastic about playing “Fruit salad”. It was the perfect ending to an action-packed and beautiful day.
Days 5 and 6
On our last productive day in Ireland we started the day by going to Trinity College in Dublin. It is very famous and therefore attracts many tourists from all countries in the world. Because of that, we had to wait a pretty long time before we actually got inside Trinity College. The library and even the gift shop were filled with tourists, as expected.
Afterwards we went to the General Post Office in famous O'Connell Street. The General Post Office played a significant role during the Easter Rising in 1916, because the GPO served as the headquarters of the leaders of the uprising.
After visiting the GPO we went to the beautiful Garden of Remembrance, which is a memorial garden in Dublin dedicated to the people who lost their lives for the freedom of Ireland. After finishing that visit we had time for ourselves.
On our last day (Friday) we woke up earlier than usual to prepare ourselves to leave the hostel. Thankfully, we did not have to wait as long as we had to wait in Germany for our flight. There was just one small issue again, because we did not land in Cologne, which was supposed to be our final destination, but landed in Düsseldorf instead so our teachers had to buy new tickets for our train back to Mannheim. Lastly, we were back home and safe after an amazing trip to Ireland.