Tráthnóna maith duit!
Fàilte to the world of sheep, cow, stonewall, sheep, cow, stonewall, sheep, cow, stonewall, ….
Fàilte to the world’s coolest English!
Fàilte to Ireland!
Let’s face it: Sometimes it’s hard to be far away from home – especially when you arrive at Dublin airport and nobody is there to pick you up… However, some (boring) time later our bus had finally found us and our Irish experience could begin. And it did. …
At last, after quite an odyssey, our bus driver managed it to find the designated meeting point where our host families had been freezing in nice Irish weather conditions for hours. What a day! When we went to bed we were more than tired and excited and this feeling kept us warm – fortunately since Irish weather seems to consist of rain, rain, rain, wind, rain, sunray, rain, rain, wind ... But we are tough Austrians and since Professor Wehr had given us the right clothes (thanks Didi J ) we could cope with the bad weather and enjoy our stay.
The school was super and as far as teachers can be cool they sure were. We had a lot of fun studying English and the Irish accent did not bother us – only our English teacher had some problems communicating … especially with our bus driver who took us through Connemara. Have you ever heard about the fact that there are different species of sheep in Ireland? There’s for example the suicide sheep, which can be found in the middle of every road waiting for cars and busses to come… And did you know that in the walled gardens of Kylemore Abbey only plants and vegetables that grew in Victorian times are grown today?
The Aran Islands welcomed us with rain and wind and just when we thought that we might need winter equipment the Irish sun passed by and even stopped for a short visit. So we could ride our bikes up and down the hills and had an astonishing view at Dún Aonghasa. Fun, fun, fun … the only problem was that besides driving on the left even the brakes were reversed…
After some interesting days in Galway we headed east with a short visit at the Irish National Stud where we got to know that some horses are even more expensive than a Rolls Royce! A trip through Europe’s biggest and greatest Japanese Garden revealed to us the various paths of life and walking through Saint Fiachra’s Garden (would you believe it: gardeners have got their own patron saint!) we enjoyed the beauty of one of the world’s most extraordinary gardens seeking to capture the power of the Irish landscape using rock and water – which could not only be seen but also be felt as usual…
Sometimes it’s good that things turn out to be quite different to what was actually planned – despite the fact that our Youth Hostel was not a five-star luxury hotel we were lucky enough not to end up without running water and earth closets… Wicklow Mountains National Park welcomed us (what a surprise) with rain and wind and hundreds of stairs! Sporty and athletic as we Austrians are we followed our two guides from the mountain rescue service and kept track of Irish deer, the history of mining and Saint Kevin.
The last day of our trip came and we decided to book Professor Hofer-Taferner for a guided tour through Dublin. In no time at all she got used to her new job and showed us all the important sights in the center of Ireland’s capital: Trinity College, Half Penny Bridge and Temple Bar just to mention a few. The highlight of the day was the Guinness Storehouse where – would you believe it – we learned that Guinness beer isn’t black but ruby-red J
When our alarm clocks rang at around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning we were tired (Austrians seem to need at least some sleep) and we were sad but also happy – sad since we had to leave nice people, lovely landscapes, crazy sheep and cool English accents and happy since we were about to come home to nice people, lovely landscapes, crazy cows and cool German accents J
Beannachd leibh and Tapadh leibh!