Wednesday, 17 October 2018 17:25

CBS Language Trip to Vienna

 

On 4th October 2018, Ms Campbell’s Higher Level Leaving Cert German class went on a school trip to Austria’s capital, Vienna in order to improve our German.

 

After months of preparation, passport pictures being sent, and filling out forms, 16 of us along with Ms Campbell and Ms Molloy set off from Inver petrol station in Ennis at 3am for Dublin Airport. We were all drained as we had all got only a few hours sleep and the early morning wake-up call was a shock to the system so the majority of us had a good nap on the bus.

Within a few hours, we all woke up and we were at the airport. We got breakfast from one of the cafes which went down a treat! After that, we put our bags through security and got our boarding passes from Ms Campbell and were able to relax and do a bit of shopping before the flight.

We took our seats on the Ryanair plane at about 9am and after an almost 3 hour flight, we landed in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and were relieved to be able to stretch our legs. We hopped straight onto the bus that was waiting for us and were on our way.

After an hour, we were in Vienna. The bus dropped us outside our hostel which was called ‘Meininger’. We checked in, dropped our bags into our rooms and with no delay we headed straight out to do some sightseeing. We got the U-Bahn (the underground train) into the city and we visited the famous Stephansdom, which was a huge cathedral in the city centre. This became our meeting point for the day. We were let off shopping in the Mariahilfestraße which was the main shopping part of the city. We met back at Das Stephansdom and went for dinner in the Zwölf Apostellkeller which was a restaurant deep underground the city. We were joined by our old sprachassistant, Jana and her friend Felix. For dinner, we had a traditional Austrian dish called Wienerschnitzel which was similar to a chicken fillet. We had Apfelstrüdel for dessert which is a traditional Austrian dessert consisting of pastry, cooked apple and cinnamon.

With our bellies full, we headed back to the hotel and had a good night’s sleep.

 

Am Freitag, we got up at 7 am and headed downstairs for breakfast. After we had finished, we headed straight to the U-Bahn station. Our first location to visit for the day was the “Wiedner Gymnasium” which was a secondary school in the city. The school was much bigger than ours! We waited around in the hallway and soon we followed Ms Campbell to the classroom where we were paired up with students who were aged 14. We spoke in both German and English and we taught them about Ireland whilst they told us about Austria. After we had finished our conversations, we got a bite to eat in the school cafeteria and took a short walk to a famous art gallery called ‘Schloss Belvedere’ where we saw lots of very old, beautiful paintings and sculptures including the iconic Austrian painting ‘Der Kuss’ (The Kiss).

After a few hours in the gallery,  we went to a local supermarket called ‘Billa’ which would be the Austrian version of Centra! We got to see all the different Austrian foods which consisted mainly of breads and hams. We all got our food and ate it outside and in the local park which was at the bottom of the road. Once we had finished our food, we were let off shopping for an hour. We met up at the Wienner Staatsoper which is the Vienna Opera House. Here, we met Gerda who took us on a tour of the Ringstrasse which is the historic ring road in Vienna. We saw many sights such as the Austrian Parliamentary Building and the Heldenplatz, where Adolf Hitler announced that Nazi Germany had taken control of Austria in 1938. We then met up with Ms Campbell and Ms Molloy and went for a walk around the city. We then went to Time Travel Vienna which was a guided tour of the history Vienna through the years which was very fun and interesting! Later that night, we went for pizza in an Italian restaurant and for dessert, we went to eine Eisdiele where there was a huge selection of ice creams and once again, we were let off shopping for an hour. We met up in the Hyden Kino, an English speaking cinema where we saw a movie called ‘Blackkklansman’. We then got the U-Bahn back to the hotel and headed straight to sleep.

 

Our final full day in Vienna, Am Samstag, was full of activities and plenty of walking! We got up at 7:45, had breakfast and went straight to the Schloss Schönbrunn. This was the birthplace and deathplace of Franz Joseph I of Austria and the imperial summer residence. Here, we took lots of pictures and also got to do a maze which was surprisingly fun! We then took a long walk up a huge hill to the ‘Gloriette’ which was a huge gate-like building in the gardens of the Schloss Schönbrunn where the royal family would have eaten. This was a perfect photo opportunity as it overlooked Vienna and was also a great opportunity for ice-cream!

We then went to ‘eine Strudelshow’ where we were shown how to make Apfelstrüdel and also got to taste some. We then did our daily routine of going to Billa for some food and then walked to the Mariahilfestraße. We returned to the hotel later on to shower and put on our finery for the Viennese opera as we had to look very respectable for this! We got the U-Bahn into the Mariahilfestraße and got some pasta in a Eurospar and then headed to the opera house. We got our tickets from Ms. Campbell, and took our seats. The show we saw was called ‘I am from Austria’ which was a comedy-romance. It was in German but had English subtitles showing on a screen. We all thoroughly enjoyed it!

We then got a bite to eat in McDonalds and headed back to the hotel.

 

Am Sonntag, it was a sad atmosphere in the breakfast room as we had to start packing up. We had breakfast at 8:30 and went to an amusement park called ‘Wiener Prater’. There was 2 huge ferris wheels, bumper cars, rollercoasters, a Madame Tussauds, and so much more here! We went on one of the ferris wheels in which we could see the whole of Vienna. We then had a few hours to ourselves here so made the most of the bumper cars and rollercoasters!

Our time in Vienna had now come to an end. We headed to the airport, and got on the plane home and arrived back in Ennis at 11pm.

 

Going to Vienna was an amazing experience and its certainly one we’ll remember for a long, long time!

 

By Harry Kerin

Sixth Year Student

Click HERE to see the Youtube Video Slide Show