Ireland - a smaragd island

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Our trip to Ireland- how was it you ask? It was educational, tiring, long, interesting, sometimes funny and ridiculous, but worth it. Starting in Myjava and knowing that we were about to sit on a bus for more than 20 hours, to be honest, the idea of that kind of scared me. Still, we were all looking forward to this journey and nothing could change that.

In high spirits, we set off to Bratislava to pick up our guide and some folks from the Polytechnická School. The guide was pretty interesting. She felt the need to talk constantly, and she made a point to describe something about each country that we drove through. Now, the real adventure had started. Every 3-4 hours a short break was the thing that kept our bodies in tact. Traveling for what felt like an eternity, we were informed that in the city of Bruges there would be a 9-hour break for our drivers. This gave us an opportunity to experience some culture and to stretch our legs. . Brugge is called ´Venice of the North´ as it is interlacing by numerous canals formed by the river Reie. It keeps its medieval character and the historical centre was added to The List of World Heritage Sites UNESCO in 2000. Some of us went shopping, some went eating and our little funny group just walked around the city for quite some time and admired the amazing gothic architecture.

Happy to see the bus again, we got on and continued on our way. After a couple of hours, we arrived to Calais and checked into our hotel.  This was a peculiar hotel. For example, when you entered the room, the toilets flushed and the lights turned off, and when you exited, the toilets flushed again and the lights turned back on. :) The next day we got up at three o’clock and hurried to catch the train to Britain. We were all tired and we slept on the bus. Having travelled for a couple of hours, we drove past Stonehenge, an impressive prehistoric monument. Unfortunately, we didn´t have enough time for any sightseeing, maybe the next time…

When we arrived at the port, we boarded a ferry that would take us to Ireland. The cruise took about four hours and we docked in Rosslare where we spent another night. This hotel was much better.  The following morning a couple of people overslept, but we were still able to get up and change in time. :) Now the sightseeing began. First we went to see Rock of Cashel, one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland and one of the most visited. Cashel’s rich history is reflected in its built heritage, from prehistoric dwellings to medieval monasteries and fortified town houses. We also visited its cemetery, the typical Irish one, we had seen just in films until then.

The second place we went to see was Bunratty castle. The majestic castle was built in 1425 and it contains the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country. It is surrounded by The Folk Park including farmhouses, watermills, a forge, a church… We were mesmerised by a restored village street with a pub, a post office, a school, the doctor´s house or different types of shops and services… We could experience the lifestyles of the poorest farmers to that of the gentry classes.


The third thing were the Cliffs of Moher... this place was breath taking... and windy. Spectacular scenery and huge cliffs were simply beautiful. We could enjoy an impressive cliff walk (not mentioning that we suffered from terrible rain and wind). The Cliffs of Moher are a UNESCO recognised Global Geopark since 2011. Some of us visited O´ Brein´s Tower which was built in the 19th century. We climbed the spiral staircases and tried to enjoy the view, but the weather beat us.


We went to Limerick where we spent the night in a hotel called Travelodge. This was the prettiest and most equipped hotel of all the hotels we stayed in on our journey. On the second day we were on our way to Dublin and we stopped to see amazing Glendalough lakes. The next day we visited the capital of Ireland, Dublin. Dubliners were friendly. When we found ourselves lost, we asked some of them and we were greeted with a little friendly chat. We went to see St. Patrick´s Cathedral, Christ Church and Temple bar, the oldest Irish Pub in Dublin.


At five o’clock in the afternoon we set off from Dublin, and started our journey home. At night we boarded a ferry to Britain which got there at about 1o clock in the morning. We went straight through Britain and got on the train to France. From France we went to Belgium, Brussels. The drivers had to take a nine-hour break so we stayed there for nine hours. We walked around the town to see its beautiful sights and, of course, the seat of European Union. At night there was a concert, so we had that going for ourselves. Unfortunately, one boy from Bratislava lost his backpack with all his stuff in it.


We got home at about 10 o’ clock, and all things considered, the journey was totally worth it and I would recommend it to everyone. We got to know other people, learned new things and got a lot of great memories. Everyone should have an opportunity to take this journey. So yeah... it was absolutely brilliant :)

by Július Mikula

Year 2, Issue 1