Saturday, 7th March 2020
17 students and their teachers from HLT Semmering arrived safe and sound in Dublin.
They were picked up by our bus driver and H2 member Michael. Once the luggage was stored away in the bus, the adventure on the green island began! First stop was Butlers Chocolate Experience where the students enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate, watched the chocolate film and wandered through the chocolate museum. The students also painted and decorated their own piece of chocolate to take home (unless they couldn’t resist and ate it already 😊). The group then headed to County Cork. At 8.30pm they arrived in Carrigaline and were welcomed by our H2 host families and the H2 team members Lisa and Regina. They all went home quickly as everybody was looking forward to some food and a bed to recover from the journey.
Sunday, 8th March 2020
At around 9am the students were picked up again by our bus and were driven to Cobh to visit the Titanic Experience. The museum is housed in the original building of the “White Star Line” company that sold the tickets to those unfortunate 123 passengers who boarded Titanic in Cobh (formerly Queenstown) back in 1912. The students went on an audio-visual tour and experienced “live” the sinking of the ship! They also got to see the first- and third-class cabins and were given a boarding card with the original name of one of the passengers. At the end of their visit they were able to find out the fate of each of those passengers. Did they survive? Afterwards they had some free time to stroll along the Victorian house facades and the pier. Cobh is a nice sea-side town right at Cork’s harbor (which apparently is the world’s second largest natural harbor!).
In the afternoon they all went to kiss the Blarney Stone! Blarney Castle is an old fortress, more than 600 years old. One can climb up to the top of the ruin and kiss the famous stone that promises to give the “gift of the gap” (the ability to speak eloquently). Let’s see how the students perform during their English lessons 😊. The weather yesterday was sunny and cloudy and a few rain showers in between. But that is the typical weather of Ireland and the students just went along with it! In the evening they returned back to their host families for a nice dinner. Eventually they had a “Ceili” dance lesson with our dance teacher Fionan. Ceili is a gathering of people dancing together to Irish traditional music… the dances have very special names like “Shoe the Donkey”, “The Walls of Limerick” and “The Battle of Ennis”. It is a fun and very entertaining way to dance and it burns off a lot of calories!
Monday, 9th March 2020
In the morning the group met our English teachers Lucy and Jackie at our school in Minane Bridge. After a short introduction about the school they were split into two smaller groups. The lessons went smoothly with lots of games, quizzes, discussions… focusing on speaking, new vocabularies and looking at some common grammar mistakes… but overall to learn English while having fun! In the afternoon the group headed to Cork City for a guided tour with our guide Noel and some free time afterwards. Later this evening, the students and their teachers will relax at the Gate Cinema watching a Pixar film called “Onward”. We hope they will enjoy their time in Cork.