The HLT Semmering students arrived to Dublin airport around 5am and prepared for their flight back home. The flight was nearly on time with a slight delay of about 10 minutes. We wish everyone a good start back at home and we send our thanks and best wishes – Lucy, Jackie, Peter, Brian, Michael, Gina and Lisa from the H2 Team in Ireland. Looking forward to seeing you again!
The group had an early start at 7am when the bus left for Dublin. The students said good-bye to their host families in the early morning.They had a nice time with them. The host family stay was a great opportunity for them to experience Irish family life. They are now nearly in Dublin and will have a guided city tour and will later on check into the hostel. They are all looking forward to some free time and to exploring Ireland’s capital by themselves. The famous St. Patrick’s Day will take place on Sunday and this week there are already lots of acitivites around St. Patrick happening in Dublin
The last day of English lessons is over. The English teachers had prepared a ceremony at the end of the lessons, after the students had presented their project work (they had researched topics such as St. Patrick’s day, the Irish flag and Guinness, etc). The students were given their student reports and certificates. Afterwards they went on the bus and waved good-bye to the teachers Lucy, Peter, Jacky and Brian. In the afternoon they met with Barry in Kinsale. He is a tour guide for this lovely town right beside the Atlantic Sea. He showed them around and informed them about a famous battle in 1601 and told them stories about a “White Lady” and the “giant of Kinsale”. Also, there are quite a few rumours about pirates that once lived in Kinsale! Later on the Group had some free time to go for a coffee and to pass along the lovely narrow streets and colourful houses with many galleries and nice restaurants . The then headed to the “Old Head of Kinsale”. As it was very windy they did not go down to the cliffs but enjoyed the view from the bus onto the sea. The final stop was at Garrettstown Beach where some brave students went swimming!
The English lessons are well underway. Today Lucy has played a quiz that deals with conflicts, Brian has asked the students to act in role plays centred around the tourism industry, Peter has sung a song called “Molly Malone” and checked some grammar aspects such as the use of tenses and the difference between “since” and “for”. Jackie has informed the students about the famous St. Patrick’s Day (coming up on 17th March) and fairies and myths in Ireland. Hopefully the weather will stay dry for the afternoon. It has been raining on and off this morning. After the lessons the group will head to Blarney Castle where they will go for a walk around the park. They will climb up to the top of the castle to kiss the famous Blarney Stone and later on might check out the souvenires in Blarney Woolen Mills – “the largest Irish gift shop in the world”.
It is the second day at School and the lessons are well underway. In the afternoon the students will head to the famous Ballymaloe estate where they will have a guided tour along the gardens. A beautiful and very unique Shell House can be found there, decorated with thousands of shells from all over the world. They will also visit the massive green house were a huge variety of lettuce grows that is used to serve for dinner at the Ballymaloe House and in the Cookery School. Later on they will have a guided tour around the Ballymaloe House which is an intimite Country-style hotel. Ballymaloe has a very famous Cookery School that is knownworld-wideamongs chefs. At the end of their visit the students will have an opportunity to relax in the breakfast room and to enjoy coffee, tea and delicious home-baked cakes.
On Sunday the students had a relaxed start into the day. They were allowed to sleep in and some host families prepared a typical Irish breakfast for them (with toast, sausages, black pudding, tomatoes, beans and fried egg). In the afternoon they headed to Cobh (formerly knows as Queenstown) which is a small town right at the Cork harbour. Here, people can visit the Titanic Experience, a museum located in the original building of the White Star Line Ticket Office. Our students received a boarding card which had the details of one of the 123 passengers who came to the White Star Line Ticket Office on Thursday April 11th 1912. These were the final passengers to join Titanic at her last port of call in Queenstown, Ireland. The students were taken on a virtual journey to board the tenders and join Titanic for her maiden voyage to New York. Along this journey they viewed the original pier also known as Heartbreak Pier, which was the last point of land contact for the Queenstown passengers. They experienced life aboard Titanic and learned a little about the conditions on board for third and first class passengers. At the end of their journey through the museum they had the opportunity to find out if “their” passenger survived and learned more about the fate of all the other passengers. Afterwards they all headed back to Carrigaline where the host Families were already waiting with a delicious dinner.
In the evening they met again at St. Mary’s School for a bit of “craic” (fun) with Ceili dance lessons with Fionan. He showed them the steps and typical dances that many Irish People would engage in during social gatherings. The Irish traditional musice that is played along with it, is sweeping as the rhythms can be very fast! They learned a few “reels” and dances called “The Walls of Limerick” and “The Battle of Ennis”.
The students had to get up early as it was the first morning of English lessons. The were picked up by the bus and were driven to the H2 School in Minane Bridge. They were welcomed by the H2 Team members and English teachers. Lisa gave a welcome speech and introduced the teachers to them: Lucy, Jacky, Peter and Brian. After a short placement test the students were split into four smaller groups. A few warm-up games helped to ease into speaking English and learning new vocabularies.
In the afternoon the students went to Cork City. They had a guided tour with Claire who showed them around the town. Cork City is the second biggest city in the Republic of Ireland. They passed St. Finbarr’s Cathedral and walked across the campus of Cork University. They were told about the famous English Market with its fresh products such as meats, cheeses, fish and vegetables. Later on they had some free time to stroll around and to explore the city by themselves.
46 students and their teachers from HLT Semmering arrived to Dublin airport, safe and sound. They were picked up by our busdriver and H2 member Michael. Once the luggage was stored away the group made their way down to Carrigaline in Co. Cork. Unfortunately they were stuck in traffic (rush hour in Dublin) for about an hour. The group arrived around 7.30pm and were welcomed warmly by their host families. The host families had already prepared a delicious dinner. Afterwards there was still time to get to know each other before everyone went to bed.