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My trip to Portugal

Posted by Pierce On May - 9 - 2017

There were five people in my host family and six people including me. When I came in they were all there and they had a glass of milk for me and some cookies. They had two dogs and a cat. The cat’s name was Chef. They had one daughter  and they had a son. The mother’s name was Isabel and she was an English teacher. The dad was a teacher as well.  I enjoyed bringing the dogs for a walk. I had lots of fun and enjoyed staying with them.

At the school we did lots of things such as workshops, Lego Mindstorms, baking lemon cookies and we made a rocket out of a bottle. We also made a satellite, a photo frame and we met the mayor. We also went to the salt mines with the school, took part on a fitness walk, swimming and lots more. We went to a science museum in Lisbon and we also went baking. On one of the evenings we had a stargazing party for around an hour. We also went to the beach and and played football. We visited a factory that produces lettuce and melons. We saw huge churches and we saw the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War 1. When we were in the science museum most of us went on a bike 18 metres from the ground and cycled over a net. The school was really big. On the last night we had to show a short film to present our school and then we sang a song in Irish, played the tin whistle and Orlaith did some Irish dancing. I had lots of fun in Portugal. I had a great experience and I had lots of fun. 

My trip to Portugal

Posted by Conor On May - 9 - 2017

I went to Portugal in March. The house I was staying in had eight rooms. I was staying with Daniel and a family of three. The boy I was staying with was nine years old and his name was Martin Gomes. His mom was a teacher and his dad liked cycling. They had three bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and kitchen in the same room, a bathroom and an attic. They had two big lassie dogs and three birds. One dog was called Eddie and the other was called Shackeela. They had a very nice house and I liked staying there.

The first day we went to the school and had a look all around it and made satellites out of tinfoil and bottles. The school was very big and the students had to scan a card at the gate to get into the school. At about 4 o’clock we went to the salt mines. Then we went home with our families. On Tuesday we went to Lisbon and in the evening we met the mayor of Rio Maior. She gave us a present from the salt mines. We saw a monastery and we went to a science museum. We came back to Rio Maior on a bus. The next day we went back to the school. We made origamis in the morning and then we had a break followed by science experiments. In the evening we went star gazing. On Thursday a bus picked us up outside the school. We went to a lettuce factory and then we went to a village where a chocolate festival was taking place. There were lots of shops there and we also went to another monastery. On Friday we played Plickers and talked about a book called The Little Prince in the school. We also baked lemon cookies. Then we went to Nazaré. We went to a restaurant and the beach. The waves were big. We then went home with our families and at 8 o’clock we went to the farewell party. There was plenty of food and every school had to sing or do some sort of dance. In the morning we went to the airport in Lisbon and flew home to Dublin. We got a taxi to Heuston train station and got a train back to Claremorris.

My trip to Portugal

Posted by Eoin On May - 8 - 2017

My family in Portugal was very nice. The parents had three children, one boy and two girls. The boy’s name was Jáou and he was eleven like me. They had one cat and a dog. The dog’s name was Toby and the cat’s name was Snowy. They had a very big house with two balconies. Evan and I played football and the Playstation 3 with Jáou. They cooked us some really nice food like meatloaf and spaghetti. On Thursday they brought us to the food festival and I had some lovely pork. I really enjoyed staying with them.

The school in Portugal was huge. There were about 500 pupils in the school. There are three other schools in Rio Maior. My favourite thing that we did was our visit to the beach in Nazaré. We played football with everyone from the different countries. While we were beside the beach we all went to a lovely seafood restaurant. We tried some squid rings and they were really nice. We all had cod for dinner and it was delicious.

At the school we also showed the other pupils how to build the Lego Mars rover. Evan and I were with the French team. We also had to show them how to program the robot that they made. When we went to Lisbon we went to the science museum. We got to go on a bike that was 18 meters from the ground but we couldn’t fall because there was a big weight underneath it holding it to the rope. We also made some origami rockets. On the last day we went to an Olympic sized swimming pool and in the evening there was a farewell party for all the countries. There was plenty of food – they even had 5 pizzas and all of them were 35 inches. After we ate our food we made our cultural presentation. I think the French made the best presentation. I really had a great time.     

On our way home

Posted by Máistir Ó Beirn On April - 1 - 2017

We had a lovely week and would like to thank our Portuguese families and teachers.

On our way home.

On our way home.On our way home.

Video of our trip to Lisbon

Posted by Máistir Ó Beirn On March - 30 - 2017

The tomb of Vasco da Gama.

Vasco da Gama

In the middle of the 15th century, Portugal was the leading seafaring nation in Europe. There was great rivalry between Portugal and Spain for the control of trade with India and China. At the time it was believed that the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean were landlocked. Christopher Columbus believed the East Indies (the lands of South and Southeast Asia) could be reached by sailing west across the Atlantic. In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain provided money to fund Columbus’ plans. He discovered the Americas in 1492 and thought he had reached Asia.

At the shore of the river Targus.

Vasco da Gama from Portugal was actually the first European to reach India by sea. His first voyage to India took two years (1497-1499). This was the first time Europe and Asia were connected by an ocean route. Today we visited the monastery of St. Jerome in Lisbon which is the final resting place of this famous Portuguese explorer. Many roads and buildings are named after Vasco da Gama in Portugal. We saw the Vasco da Gama bridge in Lisbon which is the longest bridge in Europe. It took three years to build (1995-1998) – eighteen months of preparation and eighteen months of construction. It spans the river Targus which is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula at 1007km long.

Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)
Standing at 171 feet (50 meters), this monument is a tribute to the success of Portuguese explorations in an era known as The Age of Discoveries, which began in 1415 and led to the creation of Portugal’s empire.

Belém Tower
On our trip to Lisbon we visited Belém Tower which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is Lisbon’s most famous landmark and built to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s expedition. It was built as a lighthouse and fortress near the shore of the river Tagus which flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon.

Lisbon Interactive Science Museum, Dinner and Disco
We visited a science museum which had lots of interactive displays and even a “flying” bicycle. It was the first time for all of us to cycle 16m from the ground! We joined a workshop on space in the laboratory which explained why Mars is red. The iron in the dust on Mars reacts with oxygen to create a red, rust colour. The sky looks red because storms carry the dust into the atmosphere. We learned about the daily challenges facing astronauts aboard the International Space Station – washing, exercising without gravity, using velcro to attach items such as shoes to the walls. Conor demonstrated an experiment to show how objects travel faster in a vacuum. In the evening all the pupils and teachers went to a restaurant. After the meal a DJ played some music and everyone danced until 11pm. You can view some clips from our day in the video below.

  1. Jan Wilkins Jan Wilkins says:

    Its great to see everyone having such a fantastic time, love that you all had a go on the flying bike, amazing memories for all of you x

Video of our first day in Portugal

Posted by Máistir Ó Beirn On March - 27 - 2017

We had a great day today. First, the parents took the children to the school and they sat in on a morning lesson. It is a big school with over 500 pupils. Then we had the official opening ceremony and each partner presented their school and were entertained by the school music club. We were then given a walking tour of the building before all of the pupils from France, Italy, Croatia, Portugal and Ireland were split into groups and all got to make a rocket, satellite and photo frame at different stations. Lunch was in the canteen and then we went to visit nearby salt mines where we were given a tour and afterwards had some ice cream. At the local council building we were welcomed by the mayor and had our photos taken for the local newspaper. We wore our uniforms because we were meeting the mayor. Afterwards we went for a walk in the local park and had some fun which you can see in the video. Tomorrow we go to Lisbon where we will visit a science museum, historical buildings and some of the shopping centres. We will go to a restaurant for dinner tomorrow evening where there will be live music.

  1. Jan Wilkins Jan Wilkins says:

    Looks like the first day was busy but fun, bet they r all tired tonight ☺

  2. Looks like they having good time.. well done to you all

At Lisbon airport

Posted by Máistir Ó Beirn On March - 26 - 2017

A few hours ago we arrived at Lisbon airport. We were met at the airport and taken to Rio Maior where the host families were there to greet us. We didn’t expect it but it’s been raining heavily all day and for the past few days. The pupils were great and we didn’t have any problems along the way. We have an exciting week ahead. Everyone gave Sian their best wishes as it’s her birthday today! 🎂

Gortskehy pupils at Lisbon airport.

  1. Are you in Portugal??? Enjoy your stay… If you like to come to Algarve it would be nice…

  2. Unfortunately it rained all the day!!! Have a a nice week. See you in a few days?!

  3. Enjoy everyone a great experience….

We’ve arrived safely in Stansted

Posted by Máistir Ó Beirn On March - 26 - 2017

Gortskehy pupils in Stansted airport.

We arrived safely in Stansted after a very smooth flight from Knock. Everyone had something to eat and now it’s off to have a look in the shops. 😊 The flight to Lisbon departs at 17.40.

  1. Gortskehy Primary on tour again!!!!! Enjoy & safe travels.