In Ireland (2007): Some extracts from the students´ final reports
So we did some travelling, drove with busses, flew with airplanes and found an island in the Atlantic Ocean. Ireland, the promised land of clovers inhabited by leprechauns and filled with pubs serving the elixir of life while men hardened with life sing out their ideas of sex, drinking and crime. Oh well that's the common concept anyway.
The first thing that I noticed when we drove towards Galway from Dublin airport was that the damn Island was green! Totally green! Even the benches beside the motorway were filled with bushes and trees of varying kinds. Not to mention the vast plateaus of grass after a few hours of drive. The other thing that caught my eye was that the Irish people really liked building their houses from stone and walls around it. Oh, and a rather well kept beautiful garden facing the road so that everyone who go past it could see that the owner of the house has put some effort in to his/her garden. To mention something else about the houses was that they sure did like to build lots and lots of the same kind of houses in one area. It looked bizarre to me, never had I seen more than four houses sharing the same appearance.
Once upon a time there was a small town named Tuam. And there it still is (Thank God for that). Well I just say the thing that is written in every other report made by the boys in the trip. The girl school was great! Although it was a catholic girl school it didn't seem like one. The shows they made were something I didn't see coming. Do they really teach that kind of a performance art in there? Well I suppose they tried to make an impression to us, at least they didn't fail at that. Name a day and I'd go there again.
As mentioned before the nature was absolutely fascinating. The ever changing heights of the land needled with trees that were angled in to the direction the wind blows. And the castle in the town of Birr was something else. Damn it I want to go there again! I mean who has the time to gather so many different trees, plant them scattered around the castle yards and still come up with the most beautiful garden area that I've yet seen? Well I guess that it's just a show off that the family who live in the castle really do have some extra money in their pockets. And the Cliffs of Moher were something amazing. You could actually feel the height there... 200 meters!
All in all the trip was a 100% success. I wish that these trips will be arranged in the future too and that they go as smoothly as ours did.
We started our lovely journey by bus at 04.00. Finally it was time to go in the airplane and direct to Ireland. I was bewildered when I saw the airplane rising and how the earth became smaller and smaller. All the clouds and the sun twinkled nicely and I fell asleep happily a huge smile on my face.
The flight took a few hours and oh my, Dublin airport is busy-looking place! There was a bus waiting for us to take us to Galway. The views of Ireland's nature were all green and hilly. Sheep, horses and cows were running at the fields and the same time watching us peacefully. Bus drove more than five hours along small curvy road which was quite boring after hundreds of green fields with stone walls.
Next day we went to Tuam to visit a catholic girl school. The weather was great and sunny and we all got some nice tan during the day. We went to listen to their lessons and had a chat with some girls. All the girls had uniforms, which I like to have in Finland too. You don't need to think in the morning what to put on! Irish students also played some Irish traditional music for us and taught us a simple Irish dance. The greatest moment of the day was the football match Finland-Ireland, which we won! In the evening we went to town centre and looked around wondering how many nice little boutiques there were. I also noticed that all the Irish people are very polite, charming!
On Friday the plan was awesome. We were going check out some cool caves, Aillwee Caves and Cliffs of Moher. In caves we walked in the darkness and listened to guide telling us some history about the caves. The air of Aillwee Caves was very clammy and the atmosphere was frightfully spooky! Cliffs of Moher was something that I won't ever forget. Strong steeps after one other and slightly foggy view near the ocean in a sunny day; I just couldn't believe my eyes. I want definitely go back some day!
When we we're in Dublin, there were people all over the streets walking back and forth, like thousands of ants! On Monday we went to look Trinity College, which looked like a castle and I would definitely study there under those pretty and huge trees. Also National Museum was nice place to visit. Especially art and ceramics were lovely.
After all travelling to Ireland was memorable. There was nothing that I didn't like, I enjoyed every moment. What a great group we had and everything went so smoothly. I hope that some day I can go back to Ireland and stay little longer and really get into Irish world! Thank you all!
Everything was perfect. Only bad thing was shower. There was no pressure and water was too cold or warm.
I'm not sure about the drinking culture of Dublin because big part of drunken people might have been tourists. Anyway, Galway showed that drinking and Guinness is a huge part of being Irish. Pubs are places for friends to meet each other, for people to make new contacts and relationships and just for everybody to eat, drink, have fun and watch the rugby match or football for example. Jokes are flying, beer is flowing, music is playing and everyone is having fun. Pubs aren't places of sadness. Sometimes people are going to pub even during the day but pubs can be very good places to eat during the day.
Maybe the only negative side of Ireland is high prices.
We had a wonderful trip that none of us will ever forget.
I even loved the rain because it was Irish rain. I got wet in Ireland, awesome!
I remember one door. It was little and yellow and cute, and I loved it. I´m so going to get door like that.
This trip is my best trip ever. Well, it´s my only trip but it would be the best if I had travelled before.
Our hostel in Dublin was located at the famous Temple Bar area that was a good thing because everything was close hostel which was good. Until we discovered that right under our window was a pub. And the pub culture in Ireland ain´t that quiet if you know what I mean.
The trip was a lot more than I had expected. The country was beautiful and so green and the weather was hot and sunny couple of days. We saw different kinds of things about the Irish culture by doing so many things during this wonderful trip.
We visited the Cliffs of Moher which was the most beautiful place I´ve ever seen before. The sun was shining and it made that place even more beautiful. During that day we ate traditional Irish food "fish and chips" and we saw also some caves which were interesting too.
It´s a pity that we couldn´t spend more time in Galway. I like the place so much because it gave me a lot of information about their culture. It was so nice to walk around the streets and talk to some strangers about Ireland. I liked that we were able to use our English and it was good practise for us.
People were great and we had great time together. Teachers and students got along very well! We could even find togetherness while the journey. In one evening, teachers had arranged a dinner for us in a really nice restaurant with traditional Irish music and dance. That is one good memory that stays in my mind.
Especially Irish people were positive surprise for me. People were very friendly and talkative, and noisy! But that wasn't a bad thing at all! Vice versa, it was nice to meet people that speak and aren't as shy as we Finns are. It could be seen that Irish like to have company and spend good time. Pubs are the best places to do that. It was great to see how people enjoyed listening traditional music and speaking with others. Finns should learn these kinds of things from Irish people.
The Cliffs of Moher were cool. And by cool I mean totally awesome! The dinner with live Irish music was one of the highlights of the trip.
Ireland was so amazing and I will never forget our trip. I love that country and I will protect the memories deep in my heart for the rest of my life.
The bus trip from Dublin to Galway took longer than I thought but luckily there was a lot of fields to watch. The view was fantastic. It was love at first sight. Just a few hours in that country and everything was much more than I had expected.
When we arrived in Galway I was surprised about the hostel which was very nice. Galway was nice city, beautiful and not too big. At evening we were walking in the city and even if it was Wednesday there was people everywhere laughing, drinking and listening to Irish music. The city was so alive that I wouldn´t want to sleep at all, but the day had exhausted us all.
The takeoff went well and the whole flight was exiting, especially the mountain range and the fjords of Norway were beautiful. The weather was sunny when we arrived to Ireland which was a bit strange to me because I thought it would rain. On the bus trip to Galway we saw beautiful fields of grass, sheep, cows, horses etc. The whole country view was beautiful, everything was green!!
I also made some new mates there, some of them I'm hoping to keep in contact later on too. Had some great conversations about things such as racism and changing attitudes and moods in Ireland, similarities of Irish and Finnish history, differences in the national characteristics and traditions of different nationalities and so on. Also had great time just chit chatting about general stuff and collecting names to the Ireland book. In general I can't think of a much better trip than what we just had.
One day was the most memorable in my life because of the Cliffs of Moher, 120 meters precipitous cliffs. Aillwee cave was quite boring place. Just walking through the cave. We listened to Irish music on couple days and sometimes it was nice to listen but not always.