5.10.2022 Ireland, here we come!
We arrived at Memmingen airport at 6:30pm. We were all looking forward to this day and we couldn’t believe it was finally happening! We boarded the plane at around 8:30pm.
The takeoff was a real adrenaline rush for me! We all love flying, so everyone was comfortable and enjoyed the time we had.The flight went well and we all took lovely pictures of the view through the windows.
At 10:30pm we landed in Dublin. Now we only had to take the bus for another hour and we would be in Banagher. Arriving in Banagher at around 12pm we met our Irish friends and went home with them. After an amazing day, full of great memories, we went to sleep with a smile.
One question remained, though: Will the weather really stay like that:
The weather in Bavaria
The forecast for Ireland
6.10.2022 Our first day
Thursday was our first day in Ireland and also the day we first visited our Irish partner school, Banagher College:
It is very different from our own school and seeing the huge amount of stairs that go in every direction you just have to think of (a modern) Hogwarts. Also the time you spend at school is different from what we do back home: On the one hand you don’t have to get up as early because school starts later, but on the other hand it also takes longer: There are lessons every afternoon. We, however, didn’t have to spend the whole day in regular classes because some really nice Irish students volunteered to teach us Hurling, a traditional Irish sport. It could be described as a mixture of football and baseball, but that description isn’t fully accurate as it’s a quite complicated sport. After showing us the basics, they challenged us to score 3 points, which you achieve by shooting the ball, called slitter, into the goal. Even though everyone tried, only a few of us succeded. Up to that point it was a lovely, sunny day. While taking a group picture, though, the weather forecast came true: A massive downpour made us run to safety. Hopefully the weather won’t stay like that!
Hurling racket and sliotar
On the Hurling pitch
7.10.2022 At, on and in the River Shannon
Today we went canoeing in the River Shannon. Afterwards we even jumped in and swam in it. Despite the wetsuit we were wearing, it was freezing cold and I felt like turning into an icicle. My lips went completely blue and I couldn't feel my limbs anymore. We walked back to school and drank some Irish tea to warm up a little bit. After school Saoirse, Sophia, Ashley and I met to go shopping in Banagher. I got a cute scarf and makeup. In the evening we watched a movie and went to sleep afterwards – easy after a day of Irish outdoor activities!
8./9.10.2022 Weekend with our host families: Irish food, landscape, folk tales and traditions
Different stories from different students:
What a day: First a Hurling match. So fast and brutal, however, fascinating! In the end, one player got so badly hurt, that the match was stopped and the player had to be taken to hospital! The rest of the day was spent with our host families: Board games, a countryside stroll and a family dinner. Much needed relaxation after the intense days before…
That day we decided to go and see the cliffs, but when we arrived, it was very rainy and windy. I did not see a lot, but what I saw, was very beautiful. After being completely drenched, we went to an exhibition about the region and ate a little snack. Then we wanted to go to a cave but everyone was cold, so we did not go there. We just drove around a little to see some houses with thatched roofs or the waves racing on to some rocks making huge splashes. I got to see a lot of Irish landscape that way. Finally, we went to a local pub for dinner, which was kinda bad, but we did not let that ruin the day we had. After coming home we warmed up and watched a movie.
During the weekend we also worked on our learning projects doing some research for the Bayrisch-Irish recipe book we are writing together.
- Me and my host family went to their weekly prayer in the morning. There are lots of local folklore tales about the Mary statue. Its said that the statue was found in a tree: While cutting it down, the tree began to bleed since the woodchopper accidently cut off one of her arms. The figure was hidden during a war to protect it, but then it got forgotten. After the discovery it was placed in the church in Meelick, but the statue kept turning in the direction of Clonfert, so they moved Mary to the church in which she resides now.
- In the afternoon we went shopping in one of Ireland famous bargain clothing stores: “Pennys” (outside of Ireland also known as Primark.)
- On Sunday woke up in the morning and had a gorgeos view at the nice fields with sheep and cows. After getting ready we had a typical cooked breakfast together and talked and ate a lot. A little bit later we went to a bowling house where we met other students with their exchange family. Everyone had a great time while bowling and it was really fun. Because we all were very hungry after bowling we went to a Thai Restaurant and had a delicious dinner. When we went back home again we stopped at an Irish ice cream shop called “mood”. I ate a Kinder Bueno softice which was really yummy. We arrived at a beautiful sunset at home and went to my exchange partner’s cousins who were our neighbours. We played a few games and afterwards we went home again. In the evening we were very tired, so we went to bed early. And after this great day I fell asleep with a smile and the thought that our great journey wasn’t over yet...
10.10.2022 A photo rally in Galway In the morning we met in school and drove to Galway by bus. During the drive we could see the beautiful landscape and we were very impressed by Ireland’s unique coasts. We were dropped off by the ocean promenade to enjoy the beautiful view. After a while we went for a walk along the ocean to the center of Galway. There, we went shopping and continued our photo rally about regional identities which is part of our learning project. We took many pictures of Celtic symbols and Gaelic words which we added to our collaborative picture platform. Of course, we also went shopping 😉 ...
11.10.2022 History and Culture
All German students and our teachers went on a bus tour around Banagher to learn more about local history. The bus driver and our tour guide were really nice and had a lot of stories to tell. He had also prepared an interesting program, so it wasn’t boring at all. All in all, we learned a lot, but in our opinion, Fort Eliza was the most interesting place that day: It is located on the east side of the River Shannon. It was constructed in 1812 and was made to defend Banagher. In the center of the enclosure was the brick-vaulted powder magazine which was surrounded by 3 “bombs” to protect Banagher from enemies trying to get through the river. The plans were made during the war against France and the River Shannon was of strategic importance to keep the region safe.
12.10.2022 The final day
Our last day began with a tutor call for our exchange partners. After the short meeting, we went to church with our exchange partners. It ended perfectly for lunch time. We left the school at 11:30 to say “Good bye” to Ireland, where we had a brilliant and informative week. With tears in our eyes (really!) and a lot of good memories, we drove to Dublin Airport, from which we flew back home after staying there for 4 hours. We took off with 1 hour delay and landed in Memmingen after two hours of flying. From there we drove home to Hog`au, where we go to school normally and then we went back home to our families.
We had a very nice trip and we really enjoyed the week in Ireland. In the next couple of weeks we will finish our learning projects – and hopefully see our exchange partners again at some point in the future!
Thank you, or buíochas, as they say in Ireland…