7Ra and 7Rb - Irish Experience 2013

Our Irish experience began at Dublin Airport. After a 40-minute bus ride to Bray, County Wicklow, we were welcomed by our host families in front of the school, where our English lessons started the next day. Later on we met our teachers at a local landmark and received permission to explore Bray on our own. The following day we had our first lessons with Eileen and Edel, our Irish teachers. After school we took the Dart to Dublin for a guided tour through the city, to see the most important sights.

One of the first highlights of our stay was our tour to Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is under British rule, and the visit to Titanic Museum, the city center, the troubled districts with the political Murals and the Wall of Peace, where we signed our names.

On Sunday we did the magnificent cliff walk round Bray Head to get to the neighbouring village of Greystones. Whatever we set our eyes on, was traditional and typically Irish. In the evening we were given an Irish Dancing lesson by a kind lady and her husband, whom we called Klaus, though his real name was Liam. It was great fun and everyone enjoyed the evening. We set off for the beach to cool down.

The following day led us into the "sacred halls" of Guinness Brewery, where we entered the World of Guinness with all its interesting aspects. From the natural ingredients to the freshly served pint, we learned everything. The only downside was that we were not allowed to get a taste of it, because the legal drinking age in Ireland is 18.

On Tuesday we went to Dublin again, where some of us explored the city and others were drawn into the fancy boutiques the city had to offer or bought presents elsewhere.

On Wednesday afternoon we took the bus to Kilmainham Gaol for a guided tour through the prison. Seeing the places in which people were executed was intense, interesting and terrifying at the same time. We left with a deeper understanding of the dramatic happenings that had occurred on these premises. Back in Bray we met at the local Bowling hall, to spend the evening together with fun and games.

The last day was the saddest of all. Our host parents drove us to school and we bid farewell to them. In our final lessons we presented our works to Mrs Lienbacher and Mrs Kleindl. We were awarded certificates of participation and a report card with individual verbal assessment and sadly took leave of Eileen and Edel.

After boarding the coach, we were on our way back towards our beloved home country, but Ireland has stolen our hearts, just like Steve Earle’s "Galway Girl" has done.