From 16th to 23rd April our class went on a 7 day trip to the capital city of Ireland – Dublin. After a three hours bus drive we finally arrived at the airport in Venice. The flight with Ryan Air was ok, but flying with a low price airline automatically means uncomfortable seats and a lot of people who clap after the touchdown. Well, thanks for not crashing our plane, pilot! So after a two hour flight we finally arrived in Ireland and the first impression was quite nice. Around 8 pm we left the airport and took the bus to the check point where we met our host families for the first time. To be honest, some of us had a lot of problems with them because of several issues, while others had very friendly and caring hosts. Nevertheless, we all looked forward to an exciting week in Dublin. The first day in Dublin already started with a highlight – the trip to Belfast. After a two hour drive we arrived in the capital city of Northern Ireland. First of all we had a city tour where we learned a lot about the history of Belfast which was marked by the clash between Protestants and Catholics. The rest of the afternoon we were allowed to spend some time in the city on our own. Time flied and after a long day we took the bus back to our hosts. Our first day in Dublin drew to a close.
On Monday we went, like every day that week, to the language school where we mainly had conversation lessons with our native teachers. It was an interesting experience to talk with someone who has been living in Dublin since a couple of years. Our teacher, Dejan, told us a lot about the culture of Ireland and also recommended some pubs. Later that day we took a walking tour through Dublin with our guide. He showed us some of the most interesting places in the big city, for example the temple bar district. In the evening, our “free” time, some of us headed into the city centre and visited some pubs, while others went to the beach and took some great pictures.
On our third day in Dublin we went to Trinity College. Because of a task for our portfolio we had to collect some information about the Book of Kells. We received some interesting facts about one of the biggest universities in Ireland before we had been dismissed in our free time.
On Wednesday our class visited Howth Head, a peninsula northeast of Dublin. The landscape there was breath-taking and we were able to take a lot of beautiful pictures.
Thursday was probably one of the most anticipated days because of the tour through the Guinness factory. We learned a lot about the history of the famous beer. Unfortunately we were not allowed to try it due to the liquor laws in Ireland. Later that day we went to a Greyhound Racing where we were allowed to bet some money. Some lost a lot while others had been lucky and drew some profit.
On Friday, our last day, no special activities, except the language school, were on the schedule so we were allowed to do whatever we wanted. Most of us bought some presents for their relatives and friends, and in the evening nearly everyone headed into the city centre. And before we knew where we were our last day in Dublin came to an end.
On Saturday we packed our things and went to the airport. After the usual procedure we boarded the plane at 3pm and took off half an hour later. Farewell Ireland!
All in all, it was a great trip. We learned a lot of new facts about Ireland and gained some great experience. However, in the end we were all happy to be back in Austria as there is no place like home.