All went smoothly at the airport and the plane took off in time. The H2 Team – Lucy, Jackie, Brian, Gina, Michael, Jack and Lisa – wishes their farewells to the students.
At 9:15am in the morning it was time for the students to say their good-byes to their host families. The host family stay was a great opportunity to learn more about the daily life of Irish families, their interests and hobbies and of course to practise English in an all English-speaking environment. When the bus left for Dublin the weather was sunny and dry with warm temperatures. It was the perfect way to end the school language trip to Ireland – spending the last day in Dublin, the capital of Ireland! After the students had checked into the hostel they had all afternoon to explore Dublin themselves. In the evening they all met back at the “Aulde Dubliner” pub for some nice typical Irish food (like Fish & Chips, Beef & Guinness Stew, etc) and lovely Irish Trad Music.
Unfortunately the heat wave has not reached Ireland! It is a soft day today, as the Irish say: a light drizzle, but not enough to say it is wet and rainy day. The English lessons are nearly over – the English teachers have decided to finish the day with a typical table quiz – asking general knowledge questions and Ireland-related questions. It is quite challenging! The winners will receive a prize! At the end of the morning Lucy, Jackie and Brian will hand out the student reports and certificates. Then the group will be picked up by the bus and the H2 Team will wave them good-bye. In the afternoon the students will be greeted by Dave, our tour guide in Kinsale who will await them at Charles Fort. From there the group will have a lovely view onto Kinsale. They will then make their way into Kinsale, passing narrow streets and colourful houses and will learn a lot about Kinsale’s history, incl. pirate stories, a saga about a “White Lady” and the battle from 1601. Afterward they will have About two hours of free time and the day will be concluded with a trip to the cliffs at the “Old Head of Kinsale”. The views from there are absolutely fabulous – onto the Atlantic Sea and the nearby coastal lines and beaches. Let’s Keep our fingers crossed that the weather will improve as the day progresses.
It is a sunny but very windy morning. According to the weather forecast it is supposed to get really warm with temperatures around 24 degrees (which is A LOT in Ireland 🙂 ). Lets keep our fingers crossed. After the English lessons the students will go to West Cork, passing through the beautiful town of Kinsale where they will taste some typical Irish scones with a cup of tea at the Blue Haven Hotel. They will spend the afternoon at Garrettstown beach, a sandy beach about 25 minutes west of Kinsale. The weather will be perfect for relaxing there, going on a little walk or dipping the feet into the Atlantic Sea…
The English lessons are well underway – the teachers have prepared various topics covering the Irish culture, fairy stories, St. Patrick’s day and hurling. They have informed the students about idioms, adverbs and slang, have conducted a general knowledge quiz and one about Irish topics and have also been debating with the students. Focus is on improving speaking and communication skills – taught in a versatile and fun way! In the afternoon the students had an hour lunch break to relax in the sunshine before the “ceili” lessons started. Our dance teacher Fionán showed them the basic steps and rules that are quite easy to learn. Also everything works better with music anyway! Once the students had an idea of the rhythms and how to approach the various dancesj, they enjoyed it very much! It is very exhausting to dance along the sweeping tempo of the Irish trad music tunes but fun was guaranteed! As there was still time in the afternoon, the bus dropped off the group in the lovely town Crosshaven which is situated in the Cork Harbour. It was nice to look at the sailing boats at the Yacht Club and to go for a stroll along the pier.
The weather was a little bit cloudy in the morning but got really sunny in the afternoon! Perfect weather to go to the famous Blarney Castle after the English lessons. The students enjoyed some sourvenir shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills (apparently the largest Irish gift shop in the world) . They then headed over to the castle grounds where they went up the old fort to kiss the famous Blarney Stone and to enjoy the view from up there in 60 metres height. The flora is beautiful at this time of the year with many colourful flowers, trees and shrubs.
The school started an hour later and the students were able to get another hour of sleep to catch up on. The bus picked them up from the various bus stops and drove them to the school in Minane Bridge where they met Lisa from the H2 Team and the English teachers Lucy, Jackie and Brian. After a short placement test the group was divided into three smaller groups and not long after the first day of English lessons was over. In the afternoon they went to Cork City where they went on a guided tour with the tour guide Noel. They passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral and stopped at the campus of Cork University College. The campus with its old buildings and gras areas in front looks a little bit like a scene from one of the Harry Potter movies. Afterwards the students enjoyed some free time to explore the city by themselves, to go for some coffee and to find some nice souvenirs.
The students of HLW Leoben arrived to Dublin with a 45 minutes delay. As the bus had a problem on the way down to Carrigline the group only arrived a little over an hour past midnight. The host families were patiently waiting for them and once everyone was allocated it did not take long until everyone was fast asleep.