Return visit to Sligo April 2018
After a successful start of the exchange in January 2018, when the Irish girls came to visit us in Kempten, it was our turn to visit their families in Sligo. Our journey started on 25th March 2018 in Memmingen, where our flight left for Dublin in the afternoon. We arrived at 5pm local time, checked in to the four star Radisson Blu Airport Hotel and afterwards went out for a delicious dinner in a traditional Irish Pub nearby. The next day we went to the city centre, visited Trinity College and admired the Book of Kells in the famous library of the university and then went on a Hop-On-Hop-Off sightseeing tour of Dublin. Afterwards we had some time to go shopping and to explore the city by ourselves. Later that day a coach took us to Sligo, where we first met our host families.
On Tuesday the Irish teacher and local town twinning committee member, Ms Harte, kindly offered a free guided walking tour of Sligo for everyone.
On Wednesday morning we were able to sleep in and spend some time with our host families. In the afternoon we went horse riding at the sea, near Grange, which was certainly one of the highlights of the exchange. We were riding along the beach, when two of the horses decided to lie down and roll around in the sand. This was very funny!
The next day, our programme started in the afternoon by visiting the Model Art Gallery, where we saw some interesting art projects about refugees. After that we went to the cinema where we watched the movie “I Tonya“, which featured the tragic life of the ex-ice skating star Tonya Harding.
On Friday our host families took us to all the scenic and famous places in and around County Sligo: thus a lot of us spent a lovely day for example at the beach in Strandhill etc.
Saturday started early at the Mercy College where a coach was already waiting to take us to Westport and Galway. On our way from Westport to Galway we were able to get a glimpse of the marvellous landscape of Connemara. Easter Sunday we spent with our exchange partners and their families giving us once more a chance to have a memorable time and to get closer to each other.
On Monday a lot of us were excited about the prospect of going surfing but sadly this was not possible because of the flat sea and lack of waves. Some of us spontaneously organised some activities in small groups with the Irish and German students.
The next day we were guided through the Institute of Technology by a lecturer of the Institute of Engineering, who had been in Kempten with students on an exchange, two weeks prior to our visit. Subsequently we went to an official reception by the Chairperson (Cathaoirleach) and other officials from Sligo Council. We signed the guest book and were cordially treated to tea and biscuits afterwards. Since this was our last evening together, we went to a lovely restaurant, where we had dinner with our exchange partners and teachers and we all really enjoyed this. We did not get a lot of sleep that night because our journey back to Dublin Airport started at 5am. After ten days it was hard to say Good-bye because we got really close to our Irish partners and had a great time in Ireland.
In the afternoon we arrived back in Germany where our families already waited for us. We had a wonderful time in Sligo and are very grateful to the Irish host families as well as the Town Twinning Committees of Kempten and Sligo. We would especially like thank their representatives Ms Claudia Michna-Aardeck (Kempten) and Ms Harte (Sligo) and our teacher Dietlinde Kautz, who accompanied our exchange during the Easter holidays. We also want to thank the Council of Kempten for its financial and moral support of the exchange. We will certainly go back to Ireland and particularly to Sligo of which we have lasting memories and where we made close friends.
by Paula Heinrichs, Carina Schnalzger, Verena Schmid
Reception at the County Council Sligo