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Sophie’s Manchester Diary

I was surprisingly organised for my trip to Manchester, packing on the Monday night compared to the usual ‘throw everything and anything into the suitcase the night before job’ I usually do. So all packed and ready to go on the Thursday night I lay in bed wondering what lay ahead on our trip to Manchester. I couldn’t wait to see the much talked about Trafford Centre, go on the rides in Alton Towers and maybe see a ‘Corrie’ star or two. But the thing I looked forward to most was simply heading off to a new city with my friends and the craic that would ensue.

Day 1

Up bright and early everyone gathered outside the school gates at 5am. After the last suitcase had been loaded and the teachers had arrived, we were off. Now, I am personally not in any way a morning person so, after the initial fervour of being on the way to Dublin Port had passed, I plugged in my earphones and dozed off for a bit. After the surprisingly smooth ferry journey which consisted mostly of chatting and playing card games we arrived in Wales. At this point the excitement was building. Though faced with the long and slightly arduous drive to Manchester, we had DVD’s to pass the time. Who doesn’t love a bit of ‘John Tucker Must Die’? Finally we reached our journey’s end in the form of the Stay Inn Hotel, Manchester - basic, but very clean with friendly staff. We were soon settled in, only to be whisked away to the Trafford Centre for dinner. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the Trafford Centre. I had anticipated a nice modern shopping centre but it really was amazing with its impressive statues, marble columns, walls and floor. It reminded me of a Roman villa. In the middle of the food court was a gigantic structure of a ship, complete with swimming pool (though, much of my chagrin, it was purely for decoration). Surrounding the ship was a vast range of restaurants and cafes to choose from. After dinner, we made our way to the bowling alley. There were laughs all around and I confirmed my suspicion that I really am rubbish at bowling.

Day 2

After breakfast we visited three different museums, The Lowry Gallery, The Imperial War Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry. They were all interesting but my favourite was the war museum as the exhibition was very well thought out and while we were walking around looking at all the war paraphernalia, there was a projection of a number of interviews with war survivors. That evening we returned to the Trafford Centre for some tea and few rounds of laser blast.

Day 3

This was the day everyone had been waiting for. Alton Towers!  As the buses pulled  into the car-park a resounding cheer erupted from the passengers. We piled out and entered through the gates, heading for such roller coasters as Rita, Air, Thirteen, Oblivion, and Nemesis. I think everyone really enjoyed Alton Towers, whether they were swirling around on Air, plunging towards the hole in the ground on the Oblivion or dropping through the floor on Thirteen. We were all exhausted but happy after our day there and I think most people slept pretty soundly that night.

Day 4

On our last day in Manchester our first port of call was Old Trafford, the renowned home place of Manchester United. We were given a tour of the grounds and brought into the players changing rooms (my dad later informed that they were playing away that night so I wouldn’t have seen any footballers). After Old Trafford it was time for shopping. When everyone had managed to get off the bus, we all made many purchases in the huge variety of shops in the Trafford Centre. Later that day we went to see the show ‘’Monkee Business’’. It was very well done and it included lots of songs everyone would sing along to. It was a great way to finish off our trip!


Sophie Rowe 4th Year

Transition year students usually travel to Manchester during the Easter holidays. They usually visit Alton Towers, Granada Studios and go to see a Manchester United match.

Fifth year students head for Kerry during the May Bank Holiday weekend. To sample to delights of what the Gaeltacht has to offer.

First year students travel to Lourdes in June, at the beginning of their summer holiday.

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