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    • Day 341


      May 24 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      Während die Stadt in der Republik Irland Derry heißt, wird sie im Vereinigten Königreich Londonderry genannt (nur die Einwohner selber sagen meistens Derry).
      Nachdem wir einen kurzen Abstecher zur Peace Bridge gemacht haben, ging es einmal durch die Innenstadt zur St. Columb´s Cathedral, die zur Church of Ireland gehört, also anglikanisch ist. (Nicht nur mit dem Geld ist das kompliziert hier!) Eine schöne Kirche, in der mich besonders die uralten Flaggen beeindruckt haben.
      Da ich mich bisher eher wenig mit dem Nordirlandkonflikt beschäftigt habe und auch bisher nicht so wirklich wusste worum es dabei eigentlich geht, haben wir noch das Museum of Free Derry besucht. Das Gebäude steht in Bogside, dem Viertel, in dem am 30. Januar 1972 die Demonstration stattfand, die später im "Bloody Sunday" endete. Sehr eindrucksvolle und bewegende Texte, Bilder und Videos sind in dem kleinen Museum zu sehen.
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    • Day 16

      Derry City Wall

      July 22, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 59 °F

      Mom and I got up and walked the Derry Wall. Pretty cool. It's about a mile around, and served the purpose of protecting the city in the 1600's. It served the purpose of keeping the Catholics out in the 1900's.Read more

    • Day 10

      Things don't always go as you plan...

      May 11, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

      Things don't always go as you plan...the Sea Safari was cancelled (rough seas). 😢 The up side to that is we had lots of time for the Slea Head Drive! The morning started out a bit cool, gray, and windy - some real Irish weather. 😀

      First stop - Fairy Fort and critters. 🐑🐎🐐🦙 We had so much fun with the animals we kinda forgot about the fort. Stop two was Dunbeg Fort and no critters so I could focus. This fort, from 500BC, is nearly falling into the ocean as erosion wears away at the cliff. I hiked up to see some of the abandoned famine houses while Richard checked out the building that housed a restaurant. When I got back, he had found us some real Irish headgear to help complete our conversion. 😆☘️

      Somewhere between the 8th and 12th centuries, dry stone stacked huts called "beehive huts" were built. They were used mostly by monks and Star Wars film crews.

      Onward...Dunmore Beach and Dunquin Pier. This is where the less than 175 inhabitants of the Blanket Islands would row across to unload their sheep and other items to sell on the main island. This island's people were instrumental in helping the Irish language not go extinct. Today, Irish is now a required to be taught in schools and is growing in use. Learn more: blasket.ie

      Stopped for a pint at the western most pub in Ireland, Kruger's. We then continued our loop around with a stop at the Gallarus Oratory. Also built using the stacked dry stone method, it stands today exactly as it was built over 1000 years ago. There has been no need for any renovations! Amazing! 

      Back in town, we popped into Murphy's for some locally made ice cream. Oh my goodness!! Such great flavors - Brown Bread Crumble, Chocolate Whiskey, Dingle Sea Salt, and Honeycomb Caramel. 😋🍦 I know, brown bread ice cream sounds really weird, but it was delicious!

      We had enough time to drive Slea Head a second time...hoping for a little more sun. We didn't get the sunset we were hoping for, but we did stop back at Kruger's for a pub dinner. Learned about Sheep Dog peanut butter whiskey. Delicious!

      After a few hundred more photos, we arrived back in Dingle in time to hit a couple of pubs. Foxy John's is half pub, half hardware store. 😂 Then, down the street to Nelligan's for some TRAD (traditional) music to end our day. 
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    • Day 11

      Starting the morning right!

      May 12, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 63 °F

      Starting the morning right. The local bakery, Courtney's, came highly recommended. Spot on! Scones, fresh cream filled donut, cinnamon donut, and an apple tart. 😋 No! We did NOT eat them all right away! Saved some for later. 😆

      Stopped in the church gardens across the street. Just lovely. They have a 200 year old beech tree according to Paudi ("not Paulie" we were told), the grounds keeper. Many nuns are buried under this tree as the building that now has a Catholic school was once a nunnery. The chapel has stained glass windows by Harry Clarke (1889-1931), an Irish stained-glass artist and book illustrator whose works are considered national treasures.

      We left a sunny Dingle to drive into the clouds covering the Conner Pass on our way to the Blennerville Windmill. What we thought was a photo op turned into a really interesting stop. The port here is where the Jeanne Johnson famine ship departed from for other lands (remember we saw this ship on Day 1). At 5 stories tall, this stone windmill is the largest working windmill in Ireland. The mill has been refurbished and is again operational. The miller gave us a tour and demonstrations about how it all functioned. Quite amazing. Even Richard learned something new! 🤓

      The ferry system has been grand.  We took a second car ferry trip today to cut over to the Kilkie Cliffs and Pollock Holes. This was yet another of the amazing "like another world" sites. 

      The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most famous sites and images of Ireland. The sheer cliffs are 700 ft high - second highest in Ireland and has one of the major bird nesting colonies. They are stunning to see! 
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    • Day 6


      May 18, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Derry is where Bloody Sunday occured in 1972. It happened as a result of 'The Toubles' associated with separation of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (UK). Thirteen people died and an inquiry said these people provoked the situation. After a second inquiry it was found that they were innocent. Derry has done a lot of work to promote peace since that incident.Read more

    • Day 92


      July 24, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Après la journée a flâner a Malin Head, on prend la direction de Derry avec Annick et Guy.
      Une ville magnifique, chargée d'histoire et que l'on sent encore marquée.
      Pour situer, en 1972 le Bloody Sunday a eu lieu. Lors d'une manifestation pour les droits civils, l'armée a pris pour cible les manifestants, sans distinction. Treize hommes dont sept adolescents sont morts immédiatement ; un autre homme blessé ce jour-là est mort quatre mois et demi plus tard. Quatorze personnes furent également blessées, douze par balles et deux écrasées par des véhicules militaires. Cinq de ces blessés ont été touchés dans le dos.
      L'armée a tenté de camoufler en prétendant avoir fait des tirs de riposte et que les manifestants étaient armés. Ils sont allés jusqu'à mettre des explosifs sur des cadavres pour justifier leurs actes. La première enquête a été bâclé et l'armée a été déclarée dans son bon droit. Aucune personne civils n'avait été entendu lors de l'enquête.
      En 1998, Tony Blair ouvre une nouvelle enquête. C'est en 2010 que vient le rapport final, de plus de 5000 pages, édifiant l'armée comme seule coupables et condamnant cette tuerie. L'état britannique reconnaît officiellement son manque et s'excuse auprès des victimes en les déclarant innocents. Il a été prouvé que :
      Aucun militaire ne se trouvait en état de légitime défense, ils tirèrent sur des innocents, sans sommation ni avertissements, alors qu'il leur était parfaitement visible que les civils étaient désarmés et cherchaient à prendre soin des blessés ;
      Les militaires ont par la suite menti sur les circonstances exactes de l'incident
      Malheureusement les personnes en poste et les militaires impliqués n'ont pas été poursuivi.
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    • Day 25


      August 30, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Derry, officially Londonderry, is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and the fifth-largest city on the island of Ireland. The old walled city lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, which is spanned by two road bridges and one footbridge. The city now covers both banks.

      Derry is the only remaining completely intact walled city in Ireland, and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe.[47][48][49] The walls constitute the largest monument in State care in Northern Ireland and, as part of the last walled city to be built in Europe, stand as the most complete and spectacular.[50]

      The Walls were built in 1613–1619 by The Honourable The Irish Society as defences for early 17th-century settlers from England and Scotland. The Walls, which are approximately one mile (1.5 kilometres) in circumference and which vary in height and width between 3.7 and 10.7 metres (12 and 35 feet), are completely intact and form a walkway around the inner city. They provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance-style street plan. The four original gates to the Walled City are Bishop's Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Butcher Gate and Shipquay Gate. Three further gates were added later, Magazine Gate, Castle Gate and New Gate, making seven gates in total. The architect was Peter Benson, a London-born builder, who was rewarded with several grants of land.
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    • Day 4 - Derry & Carrowkeel, Ireland

      July 13, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      This morning we walked from our Airbnb into Derry town. Maps shown the town as Derry but it is also known as Londonderry. This is a dispute almost as old as the dispute between Ireland and England.

      Derry, as known by most of its inhabitants, was christened Londonderry in 1613 when a Royal Charter proclaimed, “that the said city or town of Derry, forever hereafter be and shall be named and called the city of Londonderry. This name change was thrust upon the city by King James VI of Scotland.

      As we walked into Derry ( approx. 25 minutes), we passed some of the murals representing The Troubles in Derry, along with 2 of the 4 city gates built in the 18th century, which could be closed to keep invaders out of the city.

      It was interesting to note the lack of graffiti on any of the murals, despite graffiti being noticed elsewhere.

      We walked through Butcher Gate then Ferryquay Gate, making our way to Artillery Street from where we would join a walking tour of Derry.
      Derry has the most complete circuit of historic walls of any town or city in Ireland- they stand up 16 feet (8 metres) high and measure almost 1 mile (1.6km) in circumference. The walls were constructed between 1613 and 1618 to protect the English and Scot settlers of the new town that was established as part of the Plantation of Ulster by King James I, in order to bring the rebellious Gaelic region firmly under the control of the English crown in 1611.

      The new city of Londonderry was laid out as the defensive walls were being constructed. Still seen today, the street pattern was regular, with 4 main streets crossing at a central square, later called ‘The Diamond’, leading straight to the 4 gates in the walls. In 1689 the Catholic King James II and his supporters, known as Jacobites, laid siege to the city for 105 days, as part of his campaign to reclaim the English throne. Thirteen apprentices famously shut the city gates against the advancing Jacobite troops and despite fierce fighting over the weeks, the city successfully withstood the attack.

      Some of the features and landmarks we saw or were taken to on the tour included:
      - The 4 original defensive gates - Shipquay Gate, Bishop’s Gate, Butcher Gate and Ferryquay Gate.

      - there are 3 other gates, Castle Gate, New Gate and Magazine Gate built between 1790 and 1888.

      - Artillery Bastion where 2 famous cannons are situated, one with a City of London shield on it

      - St. Columba’s Cathedral, built between 1628 and 1633. During the 1869 siege the lead from the spire was used for artillery.

      - St. Augustine’s Church

      - Church Bastion, Water Bastion, Artillery Bastion, Double Bastion, Royal Bastion, Gunner’s Bastion, Hangman’s Bastion and Coward’s Bastion

      We were invited to enter the First Derry Presbyterian Church, a listed historic building, that lies within the city’s walls. It is believed to be on the site of an earlier Presbyterian Church founded in 1690, as a reward for the bravery of the Presbyterians during the Siege of Derry in 1689.

      The church has recently been re-opened following a programme of works that has totally renovated the building due to dry rot. In the spirit of unity, a church service conducted by both the Presbyterian and Catholic ministers occurred at this church. (This is what religion should be like at all times in my opinion).

      The church reflects many unique 18th century Presbyterian features.

      During the tour, John, our guide took us to The People’s Gallery in the Bogside, which has public art in the form of 12 murals that have profound significance in Derry. These murals have layers of stories, histories, and deep meanings. I have to admit that visiting these murals helps me to try to understand the political pressures that affected the people of Derry during the 30 years or so that The Troubles affected their lives. You can’t come and not be drawn to these powerful images, the one that I will always recall is the mural known as “Death of Innocence”, which commemorates Annette McGavigan, a 14 year old girl who was killed in 1971. She went to the local shops on an errand for her parents. On her way back home a British soldier killed her while she stood at the side of the road. She was not even involved in what was going on at the time - Death of Innocence is an apt title for the mural.

      We left Derry to drive to Sligo, where we walked around this beautiful town and went on a tour of Sligo Abbey, which was built in 1252. It was a Dominican Priory which was accidentally burnt in 1414 and ruined by Hamilton’s army in 1641.

      When you first enter the Abbey you see the remains of a townhouse dating back to the year 1700. The cobbled yard is intact, as are many of the walls and the open fireplace. The nave, where the congregation would have stood while mass was celebrated ( yes, they did not sit). The tall, slender Belfry Tower is still evident. Six of the 8 original 13th century lancet windows are still there.

      Throughout the abbey a large number of headstones can be seen, as Sligo Abbey was the official Catholic burial ground for Sligo Town, dating back as far as the 14th century.

      It was getting late in the afternoon and time to drive to our Airbnb located in Carrowkeel, which is famous for Neolithic burial tombs on nearby hills. We settled into our luxurious Airbnb in an isolated and peaceful area, then Dad and I drove the 1 km to the car park of the Neolithic tombs, followed by another 1 km walk to come across 4 huge stone Neolithic burial tombs, 3 of which still had their entrances evident. It is believed that up to 18 such burial tombs are known in the area.
      We planned to walk up to another behind the host of the Airbnb’s house but with rain setting in, we opted that we had enough of the moisture.
      Katie settled for a bath this evening while I joined Dad for his beer of the day that was The Cranbourne Poacher, brewed by Badger brewery in Dorset England. It is a rich and fruity ruby - normally don’t go near ruby or red beers but when on holidays.
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    • Day 104

      The Murals of Derry

      August 13, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      A memorial for a bloody history, bloody not only on that famous Bloody Sunday. A very recent history. We all know probably someone personally who was affected by The Troubles.
      A bitter sweet walk along the houses with the murals, all masterly painted and every one of them with a deep symbolic meaning.Read more

    • Day 7


      August 21, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Heute begannen wir den Tag mit einer Stadtbesichtigung durch das schöne Londonderry. Wir liefen Teile der 1,6km langen Stadtmauer entlang, vorbei an der St. Columb‘s Cathedral, sahen das ein oder andere Wandgemälde und gingen durch die „Guildhall“ (Rathaus). Dieses Rathaus ist etwas ganz besonderes. Hier gibt es einen großen Saal mit einer riesigen Orgel (3.132 Rohren). Diese hat sehr aufwändige und wunderschöne Holzschnitzereien.

      In einem Café nahe der Rathauses genossen wir leckere Backwaren und liesen uns von einem Straßenmusikanten berieseln. Danach liefen wir weiter und fanden durch Zufall eine kleine Seitenstraße namens „Craft Village“. Hier gibt es kleine Kunsthandwerksläden, Apartments mit Balkonen und einem Restaurant. Hier hat es uns besonders gut gefallen. Zuletzt liefen wir über die „Peace Bridge“ bevor es dann wieder zurück zum Auto ging.
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