We had to get out of bed quite early to catch the bus, which brought us straight to Dublin, the capital of Ireland. We waved good-bye to our host families, who made our stay in Ireland fun, heart-warming and comfortable. We really enjoyed our time together! When we arrived in Dublin, we got a great first look around with a tour guide, who showed us all the important buildings and historic monuments you have to see in the city. Also we learned a bit about the history and the cultural life here. Afterwards it was time to explore the city on our own, so we took advantage of the shopping facilities and coffee shops here. Later we will have dinner once more on the green island, before its time to check in our hostel and have one more sleep. Tomorrow we will depart to Austria.
One last full day in Carrigaline before it was time to drive to Dublin on Friday. We once more had breakfast at our host families and went to our bus stops. We all drove to Kinsale, had a quick look around, as the weather was really bad: wet and foggy. We then went to Mahon Point Shopping Center, where we warmed ourselves up and got a little bit of shopping done. Afterwards it was time for another fun afternoon with Peter and Lucy in Carrigaline. For the evening we had a special treat planned: Traditional Irish food and music at Kitty O'Se's (a pub) in Kinsale. We can't wait to get the experience of the atmosphere of a pub in Ireland!
This morning we woke up to the traditional Irish weather: rain. We had breakfast in the morning with our host families, before we were picked up by the bus and drove to Cobh, a small village by the sea. Here we had a small stroll around, had a coffee and just a relaxed start into the day. Afterwards we drove to Cork City again, because Fota Gardens was closed due to the damage of the storm on Monday. From 1pm on we had English classes in Carrigaline with Lucy and Peter, who taught us a thing or two about the Irish, their music (we even sang songs!) and culture. Both of the teachers are fabulous and easy going, we were looking forward to more fun with them both the following day.
The storm calmed down during the night, so we all had a good sleep and woke up to sunshine in the morning. It looked like Ophelia never happened, except for the leaves, branches and trees on the roads. But it was already taken care of and everyone did their best to tidy up now. We had breakfast at our host families and went to the bus stops. Unfortunately the storm caused a cut in the electricity in most of the country, so we had to cancel the English lesson for today BUT were able to get a whole day of activity. So the first stop was Cobh in the morning, a lovely little town by the sea, famous for the last stop of the Titanic. We took a stroll around, drank a coffee and took some pictures. In the early afternoon it was time to hop back on the bus and drive to Cork City again. We didn't have enoguh time on Sunday to take a proper look around, so we had more time today and with the beautiful sunshine it was even more fun to go along the shopping streets. Later that day we had the opportunity to watch a movie in the cinema, so we all gathered there, got popcorn and enjoyed the film.
On Monday some of us had full Irish breakfast and the full Irish experience of Ophelia, that hit Ireland. Everyone in Ireland was prepared for the storm and did everything they could to prevent damage or harm. So exept for damages on the road (a lot of trees fell), we were all safe and sound at our host families houses. Unfortunately some of us don't have any electricity at the moment, but we hope for the best, that it will be back on in the next few days. All the activities for the day had to be cancelled, but that gave everyone great time to get to know their host families better, play board games and have a nice and relaxing day inside. Tuesday hopefully will be better.
On Sunday we woke up after a good night sleep at our host families. We got lovely breakfast or some of us even experienced what "full Irish breakfast" really was. Then we walked to our bus stops together with our host families and were picked up by the bus and drove to Blarney. Here we had a great walk around and saw all sorts of interesting plants. We even kissed the famous Blarney stone, which promises for the one that kisses it to speak more eloquently (in English of course! ;-) ). At the end we got a quick look around in the shop of Blarney Woollen Mills, where you can get Irish crafted souvenirs. As the weather forecast for Monday looked pretty bad (storm Ophelia was on the way), we decided to drive to Cork City and get a quick look around. We weren't sure what was going to happen when the storm once hit the island. So the bus driver told us some facts about the city while driving around and we even got a bit time to explore the city on our own, before it was time to go back to our host families.
On Saturday we all gathered at the airport in Vienna and waited for our flight to Dublin. We were all very excited to see what the island of rainbows, leprechauns and evergreen fields looked like. We all got on the plane and could watch Austria getting smaller and smaller as the plane made its way up in the sky and through the clouds. We flew for a good two and a half hours until we arrived in Dublin. The moment we stepped out of the plane, it already looked and felt different. A fresh breazy wind welcomed us to the green island. We grabbed our luggage and walked out into the entrance hall of the airport, where we could already see Michael our bus driver for the week. He welcomed us to Ireland and helped us storing our luggage in the bus. Then it was time to drove all the way from the east to the south of Ireland - to Carrigaline in County Cork to be exact. Here we waited for our names to be called and were introduced to our host families, who already waited for our bus to arrive. We then took of and walked in the house that we will call home for the next few days. As it was very late already, we just had a quick chat, before we went to bed.