It was an early start this morning – the students had to get ready for their departure at 7am! They all waved good-bye to their lovely host families. They had a nice time with them and it was very interesting to spend some time with an Irish family and to gain insight into daily Irish family routines. The group is currently on their way to the famous “Cliffs of Moher” where they will enjoy a cliff walk and the beautiful views onto the stunning cliffs and the Atlantic Sea. The weather is really nice with pure sunshine and blue skies. Perfect weather to visit the cliffs! Later on they will continue their trip up along the “Wild Atlantic Way”, with a stop at the Burren National Park. The area is located County Clare, in the west of Ireland and is approximately 1500 hectares in size. The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boireann” meaning a rocky place. In the late afternoon the group will arrive to Galway where they will check into their Sleepzone Hostel and will go for dinner at the Irish Pub called “Monroe’s”. Galway is a vibrant student town with a lively pub scene and lots of buskers (musicians) in the streets.
It is a beautiful morning – the sun is coming out and it looks as if it will stay dry. Best conditions for the Gaelic Sports afternoon. The last morning of English lessons is going well. Lucy and Jackie have been covering the following topics (among other topics) over the past few days: fairy stories and Irish culture, quirky Irish facts, Business English, an IQ test, and extending the range of the students vocabulary. At the end of the lessons today the teachers will hand out the student reports and certificates. They are still debating about the “Students of the week” as there were so many potential candidates! Let’s see who will get a prize! In the afternoon the group will walk over to the Tracton G.A.A. pitch where the students will meet two members of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The trainers will introduce them to the basics of Hurling and Gaelic Football. Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin. The game has prehistoric origins, and has been played for 4,000 years. It is only really popular among Irish people, however, since there are so many Irish emigrants – Hurling is played nearly everywhere in the world!
It is a wet morning here in Minane Bridge, but the weather forecast seems very promising for the afternoon. If you like to keep track of the weather in Ireland, check this website here. The students are currently enjoying their English classes with Lucy and Jackie. Our teachers have prepared interesting tasks and games such as role plays, interview questions and debates to get the students practising their English skills as much as possible. In the afternoon the group will head to the lovely fishing village Kinsale. They will meet our tour guide Barry at Charles Fort, a star fort from the 1670s, located on the water’s edge, at the southern end of the village of Summer Cove, on Kinsale harbour. From there the students will have a nice view onto Kinsale. Also, the old fort is a great photo opportunity. Barry will then guide them through the narrow streets with their colourful houses, galleries and restaurants. The students will learn more about the history and the famous battle of 1601, about pirates, a “White Lady” and the “Giant of Kinsale”. Afterward the students will have some free time to stroll around themselves, to go shopping for some souvenirs and to go for a nice cup of tea or coffee. The final stops for the day will the the cliffs at the “Old Head of Kinsale” with stunning views onto the coast line of West Cork; the group will continue on to the sandy beach of Garrettstown. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the weather will stay dry!
The first morning of English lessons at the H2 International Academy in Minane Bridge is nearly over. In the morning the students were introduced to their teachers for the week – Lucy and Jackie. After a short placement test with multiple choice questions and a writing task the students were split into two smaller groups. Some introduction- and warm-up games helped to ease into the English language. Our English teachers have already reported about the excellent level of English of the students! In the afternoon the group will be heading to Cork City for a guided city tour with stops at St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, the Cork University campus, the famous English Market and some free time afterwards. The sun is shining again – it is promised to be another beautiful afternoon.
A lot of rain came down the day before, but on Sunday the weather was beautiful! Sunshine and blue skies all day long! But first of all, the students were allowed to sleep in for a while. Some host families had prepared a typical Irish breakfast with sausages, black pudding, tomatoes, beans, toast and egg. Other families brought their guests out to the nearby Fountainstown beach or went to see the yachts in Crosshaven. At midday they were all picked up by the H2 bus again and headed to the famous Blarney Castle. They strolled around the beautiful park, climbed up to the top of the castle to kiss the Blarney Stone, passed through the fern garden and stopped at the Wishing Steps. In the evening they made their way back home to Carrigaline where the host families had already prepared a delicious dinner. They all met back a little while later at St. Mary’s School for a Ceili dance lesson with our teacher Fionan. He showed them the basic steps and dance types and had also invited a few more female dancers to make it a little bit easier for our male students! It was a lot of fun to dance along the rhythm of the “Walls of Limerick” or “Shoe the Donkey”!
The students from HTL Leoben and their teachers arrived to Dublin at 4.50pm – ahead of the scheduled time! All went smoothly at the pass control and baggage claim and shortly after they already stored their luggage into our H2 bus. The journey down to Carrigaline in County Cork took about 3,5 hours. They arrived around 9.40pm to Carrigaline where they were greeted by our lovely host families who welcomed them warmly to their homes. As it was already very late, most of the students went to bed quickly after a light dinner with their host families.