The students of HLA-The Flensburg Business School report about a class trip to Nothern Irland and the Republic of Irland. Two classes of 12th grade of the Grammar school took part in this extraordinary trip: The bilingual International Business Class (Abi 18 A) and Business – IT Class (Abi 18C).
Late in the morning on the 31st October 2016, our classes, the Abi18a and the Abi18c, met at the train station in Flensburg to start their class trip to Ireland.
We got on the train to the Hamburg Airport and caught the flight to Dublin at 5.10 p.m. We arrived there at 6.40 p.m. local time. Considering the one hour time delay, we had to set back our clocks.
Because we were to spend the first two days in Belfast in Northern Ireland, the bus already awaited us outside the Dublin Airport. Our bus driver Eugene, who continued to drive us around during our entire stay in Northern Ireland, took us to our hostel in Belfast, where we arrived at 10 p.m. local time. After everyone had taken the luggage to their rooms, we were free to join our teachers to visit the Robinsons Pub.
The next morning we had breakfast at 7.30 a.m. Half an hour later our bus took off to a trip along the Antrim Coast, that included a few stops at some beautiful viewpoints. We also stopped to visit the Bushmills Distillery. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to visit the production, but we had a good time at the souvenir shop and the distillery restaurant.
The highlight of that day was the walk along the Giants Causeway, where Eugene took us after we’ve been to the distillery.
Our last stop on our way back to the city was the ruin of the Dunluce Castle.
Back in Belfast, the teachers granted us a free evening.
We started our last day in Belfast just like the day before. We got on the bus to pick up our tour guide at the Queens University, which he let us take a closer look at. After about 10 minutes we got back on the bus again to start the actual bus tour through the city. Amongst other things we saw the Titanic Museum and the Parliament Building.
To us, the most interesting part of the tour were the murals, which remind the people of the conflict between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland, and are painted all over Belfast’s walls. We also halted at a so called Peace Wall, which had the purpose of separating the communities with opposing beliefs concerning Irelands‘ independence living within the city. The wall was covered with murals, peaceful notes and messages people left there.
The last stop before Dublin was the Monasterboice Ruin outside of Belfast.
In the late evening, we said goodbye to Eugene and checked in at our hostel in Dublin. After that, we enjoyed our free time on Temple Bar. The area, which is known for its pubs and premises, was also the place where our hostel was located.
As every other morning, we ate breakfast before we left the hostel to meet our tour guide at the Trinity College. She took us on a three-hour-walk trough Dublin and showed us culturally and historically valuable places such as the Georgian Town Houses, the Oscar Wilde Memorial, and the Dublin Castle.
It was then up to us to decide what we wanted to do the rest of the day, so a lot of us spent the afternoon shopping and the evening on Temple Bar or in the common room of the hostel, listening to music and playing games.
We started the next day by visiting the Trinity College Library, where The Book of Kells and other historical books are stored. Afterwards, the Abi18a visited the National Museum of Ireland and the National Gallery of Ireland. Meanwhile, the Abi18c got to take a look inside the well-known location of Google.
Again, the teachers let us create our individual program for the rest of the day.
The last day of our class trip, we checked out at 9 a.m. and took the bus to the airport. Our flight to Hamburg took off at 1:10 p.m. and arrived at 4 p.m. local time. From there we took the train home and arrived at home at around 8 p.m.
Looking back, we say that we had a terrific class-trip and would go back to see the island any day. It was lovely to spend the week with the class and to get to know our classmates and teachers on a more personal basis.
But obviously, the most exciting aspect of our journey were the foreign countries. Northern Ireland and the Republic offer a rich culture, a vivid history and a wonderful landscape that is beyond compare.
Not to mention that the island is home to open-minded and incredibly friendly people, who admittedly sometimes are a bit hard to understand, but always cheerful and willing to lend a helping hand.
We would definitely recommend visiting Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland to everyone!
Authors: Aischa Sane and Merle Ketelsen, Abi-18a