Last words…

Hi everyone,

at least these are my final words in the blog and it feels somehow sad to close that chapter.
But I can’t say that I am not writing this in a happy mood, because it was “the time of my life” like Fabian compared it musically a few days ago. That just fits perfectly.

After coming back everyone of us was busy travelling through Germany and applying for jobs. You may be happy to hear that Fabian and me got a job. Both in Bavaria. So if you finally want to meet us, visit us in Munich or Regensburg πŸ™‚

We also had our final meeting after “The Ireland experience” and we could share our experience with the others.
While I am moving to Bavaria now Fabian will still be in Berlin to make a presentation on the final party on october. I am proud on him to do that.

And thats it. Chapter closed. I know I am going to stay in contact with the guys in Dublin and also to some spanish guys. And thats a great result.

So thanks for reading and I hope you will always enjoy our blog.

Have a good time,

– Manuel

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(almost) last words

We just woke up from our very last night. Almost everything is packed and we are in queue for the shower.
Outside is typical Irish weather, clowds and clowds mixed with clowds.
We are kind of looking forward to Berlin but also we are a little sad that we have to leave this great country with its nice people.

This does not yet mean the end of our blog. We are going to write a little more about reviews and stuff we did and couldn’t yet post.
Read you soon. Wish us a pleasent flight πŸ™‚
Fabian

All good things have come to an end…

Hello everyone,

I am writing these lines with very mixed emotions. Reviewing the stay and my work experience means that it will soon be over. Part of me is happy to come back home to my normal life with my family and friends and part of me has become so used to the life here that I’d like to stay forever. I’d agree immediately to stay another month and then come back. But all good things have to end like the title already says. And I guess that is good, because then I have only good memories to remember.

My internship

My internship at Webroot was brilliant. I am really happy that I had the opportunity to work there. Everyone in the office is very friendly, open-minded and also competent in their fields. I was always looking forward going there because it was like being part of a big family. My team manager and my trainer were fabulous and looked after me. I had a very warm welcome and always had someone to help me if necessary. They provided me with complete training though I was only staying for some weeks. And they treated me like I am a regular employee here with all the duties and rights. That meant that I had to find my place in the company very soon and that I had to be serious about my job, because I had to deal with everything that any other Irish advisor had to deal with. But that was the best way to learn how to interact with British and US customers in a cultural perspective and it was also the best way to improve my language skills. I wouldn’t say that I have learned more vocabs or that my language skills has become way better, but I am used to interacting with English speaking people in an international office. So it is easier for me to talk to people in English in the future. There are no language or the cultural barriers anymore. I am also used to some colloquial phrases and what people are expecting you to say in certain situations. That is one of the things that I am taking home and that is a big step in gaining international experience and knowledge. I am absolutely thankful for this possibility. It was definitely one of the best experiences in the apprenticeship at all.

The work experience itself was also very good. I had no professional knowledge about firewalls and Antivirus-Software before. According to the training I had, I learned a lot about virus behaviour, symptoms of an infection, next generation AVs in clouds, the situation on the market, cleaning and fixing tools and causes of technical issues on machines that has been infected or just messed up. I learned how to work with English interfaces for customer support as well. Webroot itself is an auspicious company on the security software market. The people, the management and also the product is characterized by a high and very effective quality standard. The company is still growing and it would be a great place to work.

To sum up my time here, I can tell you that when I started product training it was just like been back at school. Later on I was working together with my trainer to listen to calls and see him working email cases. That stage of learning after the basic training is called shadowing. After a while I wanted to drive the computer during a call and that was the moment when my trainer and manager threw me in at the deep end. I was a little overwhelmed, but not really scared, because I did it before in Germany. And as a former trainer for work in the support field, I can say that this is the best way to start any new activity. Usually customers are patient with trainees if you are honest with them and you deal with them in a smart and professional way. In the beginning I was having a hard time to understand some British dialects, because I was not really used to them. And it was also not easy to understand email addresses and the spelling of them. In some dialects they speak out letters in a different way. I was also not aware of the email providers in UK and in the US. But if you just handle it in a professional way and ask politely for a slower spelling then it was never a problem. With the help of my trainer shadowing me, I could handle every case pretty well. I was shadowing and being shadowed for a week with nearly every member of the team and so I got to know different styles of how to deal with the cases. It worked out perfectly and finally I could work on my own. From the first day in Webroot I was provided with every login that is necessary to have the full access to systems. So Webroot trusted me a lot. This fact also kept me interested in the work itself. There was nothing forgotten about in the entire experience.

I learned a lot more than expected. I was expecting to gain a new experience in terms of technical skills but in fact I gained a lot of experience in terms of teamwork and collaboration with colleagues both in Dublin and Colorado. I was part of the local Dublin team but very much part of the global team too even though I was only there for a short time. I have met many different and interesting personalities as well as gaining a wider and better understanding of various cultures.Β  In the end my team manager even gave me a really amazing letter of reference that was basically telling that it was a pleasure to work with me. She is recommending me to any employer and confirmed that I have all the skills necessary for this type of role. That really helps me in my life, because such a reference is not easy to get and also very unique in your curriculum vitae. All things considered it couldn’t have been better at all.

organisation / accomodation / how to get along in a foreign country

The preparation at home was nice but not absolutely necessary. I think it is better to check before who really needs a language and cultural preparation. Then there should be courses for those who need to be pushed a bit. It would be a good way to save some money in that regard and perhaps give it to the participants as a pocket money or so. We were also getting important information about when to start and where to go very late or with a wrong content. So that could be improved. But the supervisor of the agency Internsplus that was caring for us and also our bosses and the people in the accommodation were very friendly and helpful when we needed something. They were also tolerant and open-minded when we had problems talking to them because of the language barrier or when we were shy. So that was the best thing about being here in the perspective of being a foreigner. So everywhere that I was going I felt welcome and people cared about you. Even when you had a look on your street map in the city there was at least one person that asked if you are kind of lost and could need help. So it wasn’t a problem at all.

The accommodation was really good. There is a cleaning staff that is cleaning the basic stuff every week and they gave us fresh linen. The apartment is pretty big and the furnishing was good. There were some organizational issues, but when we went to the reception and asked for help we usually got help. When the issue that we had not an own router for the internet connection wasn’t solved our supervisor from the agency took good care of it. So we weren’t lost at all.

In the Republic of Ireland nearly everyone seems to be very used to tourists, especially in the area where we were living in Dublin. There are all of the apartments for students from abroad. But also in the city centre and in all of the other cities, people has always been nice and tolerant. That was a great experience. I even had the impression that they are extremely polite… it was always a good feeling. Getting along in Ireland shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. And if you go out to a pub in the evening you can go home with a bunch of new friends. That is quiet ordinary here…

cultural differences

I can say that I experienced a lot of cultural differences because I was not only working with Irish colleagues, but also with British and American colleagues. I was in an international office and talked to customers all around the globe.
I also still have the experience what customer support is like in Germany since I am working in that field for about 8 years now. First of all I can say that customers are behaving completely different. German customers tend to be exact and always a little complaining. When you work in a technical field you have a feeling that most of the customers are really bad in using computers. So they are quiet computer illiterated. But the American customers are even more computer illiterated. It can take a long time to do simple steps. So it is much more necessary to get remotely connected to help out. But there is also a difference. Most Germans are refusing to have a remote connection because they believe that you want to break into their privacy. English speaking customers usually don’t have a problem with it. They are happy when there is someone there to help. That is not necessarily only a good thing because there are a lot of fake supporters trying to earn a lot of money with that weakness. And they often behave like they offer an official support. So that is bad for the business in general. When you deal with English speaking customers there is always a high level of politeness. You really have to be considerable with the choice of your words to get along with them. But they are also in critical situations open to your support and tend to follow you rather than escalating which is nice. There are also exceptions and it is not convenient to talk to excited and angry American customers. They tend to be rude and aggressive. But it doesn’t happen that often. I also needed some time to realize that “How are you” is a standard salutation here and that they don’t really expect you to answer. So I was often getting in a chatty mood and was looking forward talking to the person who just asked “How are you” but they just say “How are you” are nodding friendly and then just go on whatever they are doing. That was confusing for the first days. Also when the cashier in the supermarket says “How are you” I used to be confused. Also everyone in Ireland is really relaxed. So if you have an appointment you shouln’t be surprised if someone comes half an hour later. That is still in time for the Irish people. But the good thing is that they are not mad when you are 5-10 minutes late. So it is kind of a deal. That difference is also striking I think. We could also experience that the rumor is true: Irish service staff don’t want a tip. We were at a barber and we were insisting on giving her a tip and she was insisting on giving us the correct amount of change. So it is really different to work abroad which is kind of refreshing when you only know what it is like to live in your own culture. And especially it is a striking difference to be in a foreign country for holidays.

What I am taking with me…

I have become very self-confident in an English-speaking environment. I got to know a lot of different dialects and so it is easier for me to understand now. I learned stuff about a former unknown topic in IT. I am taking a lot of wonderful memories with me. The landscapes are breathtaking and mostly you see natural wonders. It is a land to relax and chill, making new friends and having fun. I could explore so much different countrysides and landscapes. I don’t want to miss anything of it.

Read ya,

Manuel

Saving the best for last

Hello to our dear readers,

This was our last trip outside Dublin in Ireland and we are really sad that we have to leave Ireland this sunday. But our last trip was the highlight of our stay and trips. After all of the people at work recommended a visit in Kerry very much (Fabians colleagues as well as my colleagues), we decided to go to Kerry and drive along the Ring of Kerry. Unfortunately there were only three of us going there l because the others couldn’t afford it anymore. So we had to pay about 80€ for the trip, but it was worth it. And we were definetly saving the best for last.
We had a long weekend because there was the bank holiday on monday.
Our travel guide literally says that a visit at Kerry is usually the highlight of every journey in Ireland. And that is certainly true.
To describe it shortly: The Ring of Kerry has a lot of different landscapes and it is a little like a national park in the US or Canada. It seems to be very wild and natural. All the goats, cows and sheep are just sitting on the road or wandering over the hills. There are untouched coasts and the picturesque Kerry Highlands. Everyone who loves the nature should definitely go there.

Only three of us were left for a group picture… Or better trio picture πŸ™‚

So here is the story, lads!
Funnily we had the same car that we had on our first trip. So we have come full circle.
We even got up at 5am. So if there would have been a fire alert we would have been already awake… Isn’t that grand?
So this time we started at 6 am and travelled from the east coast to the west coast. It was a drive of about three hours to get there. We first arrived in Killarney which could be called the civilisation before the wilderness. It is a bigger city with lots of hotels, shopping centres and some tourist offices. We just passed it and entered the national park of Kerry and we were immediately caught by the beauty of this area.

view from a mountain at the beginning of the Kerry national park

beautiful wet flowers in the wilderness

After climbing the mountain a bit we also wanted to see the lakes from nearby. So we went there with the car and found this idyllic lake view…

the lake and the mountains behind

Some were in a hurry… some not… πŸ™‚

On our way we found an old church near a running river. If there wouldn’t be the road it would have been perfect… But it was good enough.

a church in a nowhereland

a running river in Kerry

There were several stunning views on our way through Kerry. These pictures will give you an impression:

Me at the Ladies view

play of light in an untouched scenery

What would life be like as a goat?

coming to the Ocean… Would you like such a house with Atlantic view?

a beautiful beach at the very west coast

It was a little windy…

…yeah just a little

Country roads…. Take me home…. To the place….

May I introduce: the Irish cow

impression of the cliffs

That’s what I’d call picturesque

In the night we planned to sleep in the car. So we tried to find a nice place to be.
On our way we could see one of the greatest sunsets I’ve ever seen…
And we ended up in the middle of the Kerry Highlands near Glencar…

sunset in Kerry

red sky over the highlands

our night scenery

After getting up we started over with climbing the hills in the highlands. And could see the natural life of some sheep there…

wandering in the highlands

May I introduce: Mr. Sheep

On the next day we were finishing our trip through Kerry and we were going to the peninsula Dingle. This is a nice Island with some hills and beaches as well. A lot of Irish and foreign tourists are coming there, so it was really crowded… Especially on the bank holiday weekend.

First we had coffee, a hot chocolate and a piece of cake at the beach after having… let’s say a difficult night in a narrow and cold car in the windy highlands… That was nice and then we started over seeing this place. Then we came to a 2500 year old fort. It wasn’t that impressive, but it is amazing that there are remnants of such an old age.

view from the sky

pictures from the sight

palms in Ireland

Mine! Mine! Mine!

And finally Slea Head…

After another 2 hours we finally arrived in Dublin and Fabian was really sad about the fact that this was our last trip… But we didn’t realize that there is still a week left in Dublin…

To be continued…

Read you in the next article about our last weeks in Ireland and how we finished our jobs here πŸ™‚

on the road again

hi lads,

so, another weekend has passed which means a new post with new impressions should be posted.
So here it goes:

This weekend was all about the irish landscapes and natural beauties. We realized that the English language hasn’t got enough adjectives to describe our impressions properly. We already used phrases like breathtaking, amazing, stunning, wonderful, awesome… the all apply for this weekend as well.

We started early at 7am. We had a fire alarm again to wake us up right on time so we couldn’t oversleep. It was shut down after 10 minutes. I’m very curious if it going to happen this saturday again. Now back to topic.

At first we (rather me) drove to the county (and city) Sligo. This county was highly recommended by the tour guide from the trip to Glendalough. We didn’t waste much time in Sligo (the city) because a few of us wanted to see an old cairn near Sligo. That was the only disappointment of the trip. The cairn itself was not as great and special as promised.

But at least we saw some cows and hey, that thing is still older than 4000 years. Not too bad πŸ˜‰
After that amazing experience we drove back through Sligo towards Mayo, another well recommended county. That is where the trip starts to become one of the most memorable journeys here in Ireland. The county Mayo is truly beautiful. It is not very populated so you get to see lots of beautiful landscapes with tiny villages in between. We drove on the coast towards Achill Island and just stopt where we wanted to enjoy the beauty. It was pretty hard to find our way trough the tiny villages because up there the road signes are all in Gaelic while our map was in English obviously. But we made it somehow.
As you see on the pictures the weather wasn’t as good as on our last trips but somehow it really fits right into the settings.


Achill Island itself is a beautiful place. We really enjoyed it there. Like there is a place where we didn’t enjoy it but you know what I mean πŸ˜‰ we stopt at a long beach and wandered a little bit around until the rain forced us back into the car.


Then we drove to the very edge of the Island. There was a beautiful beach as well and also a few hills waiting to be climbed by us. So we did. The views from the top were mind-blowing. The see, the cliffs, the green, the brave sheep hopping around at the edges. Stefan and I took it a little further and climbed higher than the others so we ould see this:

After returning to the car we drove to the mountain Mweelin where we als had a great view back on the beaches and the hills we climbed before and the rest of the island. The hill itself seemed to be some kind of cemetery. There were lots of graves and gravestones. A Madonna statue is suited on the hilltop.


We all took a little time there just sat there in quiet. It was amazing apart from the sea and the wind you couldn’t hear anything.

We enjoyed the sundown from the hill and then drove off towards Connemara National Park where our B&B is located. We had some trouble finding it but thanks to the combined effort from Stefan (who led me in the wrong direction in the first place) and Manuel (who woke up just in time to help Stefan out with his GPS). At least we got to see some beautiful settings with the moon shining over the lakes and hills of Connemara. We finally arrived at the B&B at 1am. And after a quick phone call with the manager we could go to sleep.
I got a room for myself and could sleep very well but who wouldn’t after a day like that. Anyway we started early at 7:30amΒ  because we didn’t know when the breakfast starts. It started at 8. So we had time to plan our day in Connemara. After a not very exciting breakfast except for the wonderful bread we started our day in the National Park. It is not very big and we took a route through it that lasted like 2 and a half hours.

We climbedΒ  the Diamond hill (450m) from where we had a stunning view all over Connemara. It seemed to be a rough and wild landscape. I would love to come back sometime and explore it a further by foot.

– views from the top of Diamond Hill

– another inevitable group picture (Mathias wasn’t joining us because he was traveling with his girlfriend)
After that we drove slowly towards Galway. We drove trough Connemara on a beautiful scenic route.We stopped at an amazing beach.

Even the sun came out a bit so Stefan and I took our chance a jumped in the Atlantic. It was a bit cold so our bathing experience didn’t take long but at least we were in the ocean once (twice actually for Stefan).

As the great finish for our tour we wanted to eat at the “best seafood restaurant in county Galway” (quote from the Michael MΓΌller “Irland”) but unfortunately it doesn’t open until 6 and that would have been too late for us because we had to be back in Dublin at 10. We all were a bit tired and exhausted by the last days so we skipped the repeated visit in Galway and drove straight back to Dublin.

The trip was amazing, as I already explained in the beginning. We all thought that this trip was the best one so far (but that was before we experienced what the next weekend would hold for us … but that’s a different story :))

Read you soon,
Fabian

Wicklow Mountains

Hi again,

Given that Manuel already announced it I feel obligated to tell you about my weekend as well. No, just kidding, I really wanted to blog about my weekend but the week doesn’t have enough hours πŸ™‚ okay now it’s a little embarrassing because it’s already two weeks late but better late than never, right?

I planed this weekend a long time ago and as it turned out I picked the right weekend for it. I started on Friday afternoon. I took the St.Kevins Bus which connects Dublin with Glendalough. I arrived in Glendalough around half 7 and since the rain had stopped I checked in very quick at the youth hostel. Lucky for me all the tourist you see on Manuels pictures were already gone so I was almost alone at the beautiful monastery of Glendalough. The sun even came out a little bit and the scenery was amazing. I waked a bit through the ruins and then took a walk past the lower lake to the upper lake. Seriously if you are ever going to Ireland take the time to visit this area. You won’t regret it. I wandered around the lake for an hour or so and I couldn’t get enough of it. At 10 pm I was back in the hostel and went almost straight to bed because I had a long trip ahead of me.
I slept very well and got up at 8 am. The breakfast was nothing special but well enough. I started at half 9. The sun was shining and I went through the ruins of Glendalough again to take a few pictures with sunshine. I got to know the place when it was almost deserted. In the morning the place was packed with people. I even met Jordi, our roommate. After I took my pictures I headed of to Knockree on the Wicklow Way.
The way itself is very good in shape and the signs are very often and well placed. I can highly recommend that walk for anyone interested in that sort of activity. There isn’t much training or experience necessary.
At the beginning I had a stunning view over Glendalough and the surroundings.
This weekend was the first one with constant sunshine and I could even walk around in a shirt – unthinkable in Dublin so far.
I’m not going to bore you with too much details about the walk itself. But I was very impressed because the face of the way always changes. Hillwalking, wooded area, large valleys and peaks. The sunshine didn’t last long and as I was walking over a long ridge it got really stormy and a few raindrops came down. But as quick as it came it vanished and I had a beautiful view at a waterfall.

I arrived at the Knockree Youth hostel around 5pm. Much earlier than I expected but as I said without a heavy backpack walking is much easier and faster. I began to understand what all the fuss is about with that ultralight gear. Anyway, the hostel was very great. It is pretty new. They renovated it like a year ago. I shared a room with two guys from Coventry, England. They were pretty cool. We played Lord of the Rings Risk until 11pm. Of course we didn’t finish it.

I slept very good and on the next morning was beautiful sunshine. After a good breakfast I got on the road again. After 10 minutes or so I met a nice Irish couple who were taking a morning walk in the sunshine. We walked together for quite a while and talked about what we would call in Germany God and the world

The last part of the way was very easy and quick. I had some great views towards Dublin and the whole Dublin area which was pretty great. But the very last kilometers were not so great because once I arrived at the outskirts of Dublin the way proceeded along roads and motorways. But at least he Marley Park where the official end/beginning of the way is was nice.

I allowed myself an ice cream and took the bus to our apartment.
In conclusion was the weekend really great. I very much enjoyed the walk and the beautiful landscapes. Again, I definitely recommend the Wicklow Way to anyone.

Read ya later,
Fabian
ps: I’ll put in some pictures later because the internet is really overwhelmed right now with uploading and streaming the olympics πŸ˜‰

Northern Ireland

Hello folks,

Here we go again. At the moment we are heading back to Dublin after another amazing journey in Irish countryside. As we said before we were going to the Braveheart Castle in Trim and to our great trip to Northern Ireland including a visit in Derry, a coast trip to the rope bridge Carrick-A-Rede, the natural wonder Giant’s Causeway and Belfast as the aim.
It was another fantastic trip for all of us. But have a look yourself…

As you perhaps already read it was kind of a rough start of the weekend for us, because we were waked by the fire alarm system and had to get out of the buioding at 5.20 this morning.
But somehow that was a good thing. With showering, having breakfast and pack our stuff we could start our trip at 7.30 am. And that was late enough, cuz after our trip we arrived at half 11 in Belfast…
After leaving Dublin to the northwest we arrived at the nearby Trim.

Trim Castle


Castle with sign

Trim itself is a very small village, but it is full of medieval remnants of old buildings.
But especially the Trim Castle which is well-known as a scenery for movies like Braveheart is seducing tourists to go there. And we should realize why. The castle and the surrounding is really beautiful and looks nearly untouched by civilisation. The castle was built from 1172 to 1270 and the river Boyne is running along to the castle. Next to the huge fortress there are some nice landscapes…

Surrounding of Trim Castle

fortress of Trim

bridge near Trim Castle

flowers at the river Boyne

nice countryside next to the castle

Fabian holds history in his hands

us in the ruins of Trim Castle

It was just a short stop for about half an hour, but we strongly recommend going there. You can just take a walk from the castle, along the river up to The heritage village and back. We enjoyed it a lot and kept on going then to finally leave the Republic Of Ireland to go to Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom…

Derry/Londonderry


Londonderry sign with Union Jack

Derry would be one of the cities that is most affected by the Ireland conflict. It is the very centre of the conflicts escalation. Mainly there are living catholics and in order of the conflict it was once destroyed by an Irish army in 1608. So it is a hard-fought place since centuries. This is also the place where the so called “Bloody Sunday” happened at January, 30th 1972. The British has killed 14 peaceful demonstrants at the place where is now the Bloody Sunday Memorial. It is a nice little city with a giant wall around the city. You can also walk on that wall and have a nice view on the city.

Derry Citywall


wall way with church


wall with city view in background


views from the wall to the Bloody Sunday Plaza


Me nearly being killed by Mathias on a canon

The Bloody Sunday Memorial


Someone burned down a doll at this place for some reason


views on the memorial plaza


the famous murals

The name of the city is still political hard to say. It was usually called Derry by the Irish but the British Government named it Londonderry. Here we could see our first murals. The Northern Irish murals are unique and a grand sight to see. They usually transport a certain message of the experience or impression of the Northern Irish conflict. When I first saw them I said that it is like a window to the past. They mostly show a moment in history at the same place or near the place. They are really impressive. The painters made them with a lot of artistic skills and show precise details. Some of them really look like a photo. Surprisingly no one is destroying them though there is still a conflict exisiting in everyones head… Later we saw loads of murals in Belfast at a sight that showed us how sad history can be… But more later on…

British pound – currency in Northern Ireland

Like the sign said with the special Irish humour… The city is legenDerry πŸ™‚

LegenDerry placat

Magilighan Beach
After leaving Derry we were heading directly to The Giant’s Causeway… Well we intended to go there directly, but in fact we changed our trip twice. First we had to stop at Magilighan. There we could see a wonderful beach. And it was just before Donegal.
Donegal ist part of the Republic Of Ireland while Magilighan is part of UK. So you can see the Irish coast from there.

Photos from Magilighan

And then we went on. It was already really late and we knew that they won’t allow visitors to the rope bridge Carrick-A-Rede later on. So we decided to go there first which was a good decision, cuz we just joined the last group to visit the place.

Carrick-A-Rede

bridge

The bridges name means literally “rock in the way” and thats because this rock of one of two dead vulcans was in the way of the salmons way to spawn there. A fisher company recognised the chance and built that bridge to fish them. Now it is a sight to make the tourists excited about crossing the rope bridge above the sea.
There is a kilometre to walk and five pounds to pay to get the experience but there are several reasons to go there. First of all it is a brilliant landscape to see, secondary it is a great feeling to cross the bridge and finally you can see the scottish coast from there very well if the weather is good.

impressions of Carrick-A-Rede


funny traffic instructions

A last try to get to The Giant’s Causeway

We intended to go there first and it was finally the last thing to do on our list. But our last try to go there was successful.
And first we went to the other side of the Giant’s causeway path.
But unfortunately it was about 10 km to get there. We only made half of the way because the weather was about becoming uncomfortable and it would’ve taken too long.
So after circa 4 km we turned around and went back. But it was a nice walk with the chance to get a photo of really nice views and especially the chance to get a sheep photo.

pics from the path to The Giant’s Causeway

A house at the Atlantic Ocean

I finally found true Irish sheep

Mathias caught a little sheep to take it home

Also Domeniko was happy about finding the sheeps

Afterwards we headed back to the car and finally made our way to…

The Giant’s Causeway

On that photo you see our photo from the Causeway hotel down to the sight.
The Giant’s Causeway is one of the natural wonders of Ireland. The way the stones has been set and formed looks like someone constructed it, but it is truely natural.
This is just amazing and a really wonderful view. We were all finally flashed by what we could see there. Have a look yourself…

After this last experience we arrived at Belfast at half 11 just to see some of the other people from Germany who are staying in Ireland. They invited us to sleep at their apartement. Three of us could sleep on couches and a bed there. Two of us needed to sleep in the car. But the night was great. After travelling for 16 hours all of us were really tired.

Belfast – city of conflicts

These photos show a view on the very City Centre of Belfast. This is the view from the apartements there…
The core of the city is really modern and has some old buildings as well. The typical Ireland feeling concerning hospitality, just having fun in life and the city life didn’t come up. The weather was really cloudy and that somehow fits to the mood of the people in the city.

photos of the city

Though it seems to be a normal city there is something that makes me feel frustrated.
And as we went deeper into the city and saw how people were living like, we realized where it comes from.
The Ireland comflict is still enduring in Belfast. At least in everyones head. The city is divided into catholic and protestant parts. The protestant districts are full of British Union Jacks wherever you go. And also the world famous murals there are showing in a provocant way how the British defeated the Irish.

murals in protestant part

In the catholic parts of Belfast the murals show that the Irish suffer under the ongoing “siege” of belfast. The murals are less provocant but as desperate as the protestant murals.

murals in catholic part

While we walk through the streets, we finally come to a playground and behind it only a huge, long wall with a barbed fire fence on top. It is called “peacewall” and divides the catholic part from the protestant part. It is a really weird and unsettled picture. A lonely playground, no child playing there and the huge so called peacewall in the background… It is an atmosphere of anger, frustration, a worse life…

the border zone of the peacewall. it divides the catholic district from the protestant district

And at the edge of the peacewall there is actually a borderzone… We can’t really say if that is still in use or not. In this part of the city you can get directly in touch with the thoughts about the conflict. And there is perhaps no way out…

It was a thoughtful visit there, but we all enjoyed that important experience.

Finally we can say that the trip was great and the hospitality of our Belfast colleagues was great.

Read you lads,
Manuel