IRLAND 7b - 2008 Dietschy/Fuchs

Ireland - A new experience

Actually I had never heard a lot about Ireland, so I never showed any interest in our journey. On Sunday afternoon we arrived at Bray, a small city in the south of Dublin.
The whole class was waiting for their host families to pick them up. Melanie, Babsi and I were waiting nervously and thought about how they would look like. Finally our new "host mother" arrived and took us to her house. Our first impression of our new family was really good. For the next couple of days we had to attend lessons in a school named Pace in the mornings. They taught us English for everyday situations and we learned a lot about the Irish culture. On Monday afternoon we took the train to Dublin where we visited Trinity College to see the amazing Book of Kells. The book was awesome to see, even if I was a bit disappointed because we did not see the pages showing pictures of Jesus and Holy Mother. After that we went to see Dublinia and Christchurch Cathedral. For me, it was great to see the buildings and I totally liked them.
The next day after school we got on a bus and went to Knowth where a guided tour around the passage tombs. After visiting the museum at Newgrange we continued our trip and finally arrived at Monasterboice which is a very old graveyard being famous for its Irish High Crosses dating back to the tenth century.
The next day was really extraordinary: We went to Kilmainham Gaol, an old prison, where a guide explained the most important facts about the Irish struggle for independence. Some of the leaders of these rebellions were kept prisoners here and finally executed. Our last stop was the Guinness Storehouse where most of us went to visit the Storehouse exhibition for getting some information about the brewing process and the history of that famous brewery.
Until now, I have seen a very nice side of Ireland and I am really impressed by it.

Saba Shirvani

The second part of our journey through Ireland

On Thursday we visited Christ Church, which is connected with “Dublinia“. There we saw an exhibition about the Vikings’ way of life and which parts of Dublin they inhabited. Then we got to Christ Church, where we visited its crypt, which is the biggest of Ireland and where we could admire a mummified cat hunting a mummified mouse, which had a very strange and funny look.
Next day we took the train from Bray to Dublin again and visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In the afternoon we had some time off when we bought some clothes and souvenirs or just went around in this lovely city.
On Saturday we went to Glendalough, a beautiful old monastery with lots of graveyards in it. It’s situated in the “Wicklow Mountains National Park“. This place with its amazingly beautiful landscape is better known than the place where Ireland’s famous patron, St. Patrick, lived.
After this first very exciting week we departed from Bray on Sunday at half past eight in the morning. In a very comfortable and big bus we first went to “Rock of Cashel“ and then to “Blarney Castle“ , where we were allowed to kiss the „Blarney Stone“, which, as the legend says, gives the one who kisses it more eloquence.
On the next day we drove south-west to Dingle, where we visited the “Dingle Oceanworld“, in which we got the chance to pet real rays and afterwards our trip led us to “Killarney National Park“, where we saw “Muckross Abbey“, which is a nice old building with a tree in its centre.
On Tuesday our bus took us over narrow streets to the famous “Cliffs of Moher“. I had one of the most impressive moments of my life there, because the cliffs showed how small and powerless humans actually are, compared to the mighty forces of nature.
On the following morning we visited “Clonmacnoise“. It is an abbey situated at the river Shannon, which was a popular trading route in earlier days. There we saw and tested a special archway, which carried the words you whispered from one side of the door to the other. In the afternoon we finally arrived at our youth hostel in Dublin and got the chance to stroll around in the city till half past nine and in the end we had a nice last evening with our teachers in a traditional Irish pub.
With a heavy heart we left Ireland at five o’clock in the morning and were also glad to be home in Vienna again.

Philipp Höllebauer