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    • Day 16

      Derry („Londonderry“)

      July 10 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      I will be two nights in Derry (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derry) before going back to Coleraine by train and to Ballycastle by bus where I‘ve started three days ago. Nothing was really planned; only an idea to come here.
      I am into history of the country and I want to feel and ask a lot to soak the city’s mood. Let’s dive in.
      Decided to write another Footprint 👣 on the history of Derry. My feelings in the city and my „poor“ view about what I‘ve recognized.
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    • Day 12

      Around Derry

      May 9 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

      We made an early start (for us). Drove NE along Lough Foyle past Ballykenny (beach views), Bellanena (cliff and beach views). Next stop was the town of Coleraine. The cute Culture Coffee Café provided an opportunity for alliteration, coffee and Portuguese custard tarts. Continuing and hugging the coast we drove through Portstewart and Portrush. Scenic views. Lots of temporary grandstands lining the route. What is it? North West 200. [https://www.northwest200.org/ ] Practice starts tomorrow.
      We could see Dunluce Castle from the road. The first castle on the site dates from the 13th century. There have been extensive renovations but the castle is now mostly ruins. There was actually quite a busy small town here from the 1600s.

      Now we are not far from the Giant’s Causeway which is the big ticket tourist item hereabouts. We had read that parking was a rip-off. Best deal looked to be at the Causeway Hotel where the £10 parking fee is credited to your lunch. The lunch was surprisingly nice. We walked the Blue Trail as the Red looked challenging. Lots of spectacular interlocking basalt columns. Most look hexagonal. Near the sea you can walk on the tops of the columns. At the end of the Blue Trail we could see another, the Red Trail, going further with another vantage point. “By the time you get up there you will be halfway to the top.” So we completed the Red Trail and returned along it, firstly up 150 uneven steps then along the top of the cliffs. Inland there were lots of huge sheep with youngish lambs. Large number of tourists huffing and puffing their way along the trails and up and down the steps. There is a defibrillator at the top of the steps.

      Once back to the car we visited the quaint little harbour of Ballintoy. The inviting-looking café brought forth the desire for ice-creams but we were unable to rouse any service. Unfortunately the desire persisted to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge where we ate huge expensive soft serve ice creams. About twice the quantity we really wanted. Another mile or so to the bridge. We have done plenty of walking today (5-6 miles).
      We drove home along slightly faster roads through Bushmills (we didn’t stop) and back to Derry. Found the Sainsbury store – huge. More essential shopping. Dinner at home tonight as there wasn’t a lot of room after the ice-creams.

      Next day we started with a closer look at Bogside which we had viewed from the top of the walls on the walking tour. The tenement housing has been replaced by upgraded accommodation and some green space. Bogside was a downtrodden catholic neighbourhood which experienced “the troubles” in the 70s. Lots of big murals and thought-provoking plaques depict the events of those times.

      In the afternoon we did a country drive through the Sperrin Mountains as far as Kilrea on the River Bann. Interesting 18th century stone bridge and peaceful river walk. Home firstly along the river to Portglenone. Then a scenic route via Maghera, Cookstown and Gortin. This was a beautiful drive with lovely farmland together with much wilder country and some very narrow “Hail Mary” roads. Also some quaint small villages.

      Typically we reached home quite a bit later than planned. Were planning to eat at Peadar O’Donnell’s pub. Last year it was named as the best pub in the county. No food, so we made do with Guinness and white wine. Feeling hungry we found that not all pubs in Derry serve food after 8:30 pm. Try none. We were directed to the restaurant, Fitzroy’s, which is under our apartment. Nice convenient meal and a unique feature was being able to connect to our apartment’s wifi from our table.

      Thursday 9 May is our final day to enjoy Derry. Relaxation is the key. We started with a long walk along the waterfront and back through town. Tony had noticed Rosta, a new clean and bright independent café on the street into town. They serve Hopong Long Hay Natural coffee imported from Myanmar. A young local guy gave us his window spot and stayed for a chat. Lovely coffee. The Flat White coffee has spread. Even in country Ireland they provide a lovely creamy microfoam, with none of the airy froth you get with a typical cappuccino.
      In the afternoon Tony looked through the Tower Museum while Ursula did some light shopping. The museum had been recommended by yet another friendly, cheerful and helpful Derry local. “I went to Australia supporting a Lions tour. Best time of my life.” There were lots of memorabilia from the wreck of a ship from the Spanish Armada, La Trinidad Valencera, which was wrecked off Derry in 1588 after being blown around Britain. The wreck was discovered in 1971. 500 men managed to struggle ashore. They were confronted by a force of English cavalry. Instead of a battle, they were offered safe conduct provided they surrendered. They did. The officers were separated out for ransom. The others were attacked with muskets and pikes. 300 of the remaining Spanish were massacred while the remainder managed to escape. On a brighter note there were exhibitions about Derry Girls and the Story of Derry.
      Tomorrow, Donegal.
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    • Day 11


      May 8 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      “Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.”– The Dalai Lama
      Several new experiences today. The first was to travel to Heathrow using the brand new Elizabeth Line for most of the journey. Quick, clean, comfortable and quiet. Actually better than a minicab as you get the bonus of lugging suitcases up (in this case down) the long hill to Highgate station and the tube station steps. At Tottenham court road station, there were many steps to be climbed and this T-shirted body building type young man grabbed Ursula’s case (13.9kg) and whisked it up several flights of stairs. Lots of people at the airport, as we see nearly everywhere in London. Everything worked properly though a kind fellow traveller helped us with Step 2, sticking the bag tags to our luggage. “Do you get paid by BA?” She laughed.
      Flight to Belfast is just over an hour. While collecting our hire car (a huge Hyundai i10 – Tony had thought a 20 was small), we had our first experience of the unique Northern Ireland accent. We have to listen very carefully. Now we have been let loose on the Irish countryside. Good road. “Should have looked up the speed limits.” We settled on 70 mph. Varied countryside. Very green.
      We entered Londonderry (Derry from now on, much easier) and Google said “You have reached your destination” well before we expected it. Busy road, absolutely nowhere to stop. Fortunately it is Sunday. We found a loading zone around the corner. Not far to drag the luggage. Our apartment is behind and above a baker and Fitzroy’s, a bistro/restaurant. Only a single door entry. Google did very well to find it. We phoned our host about parking, but needed a follow-up text message to locate the street he suggested. Accent again.
      Ursula has done very well with our location. About 40m away there is a bright new shopping centre with, fortunately, a M&S food hall. We just had time to obtain our essentials then were last out of the store which closed at 6. We are immediately outside the walls so very near the centre of this small town. The population is very similar to that of Launceston (Tasmania). That’s where the similarity ends. The town is jumping. Sunday evening. Streets thronging. Cheery people spilling outside the many pubs. Gotta love the Irish.
      We decide to eat at the The Bentley. “Did you check it on the map?” No need. 20m, through the walls. There it is. Location. Location. Location. Inside the main (busy) pub the kitchen has closed so a friendly barman takes us outside and ushers us into a lift to The Bentley Steakhouse. Keen young staff. Wholesome food. Good choice.
      Living in unfamiliar places has its drawbacks. Tony can’t get hot water from the shower. Ursula found the hot water system in a cupboard. It needed to be switched on.
      From our living room Ursula spotted a big yellow sign. “Martin McCrossan award winning walking tours”. We joined the 10am tour and spent an enjoyable hour walking the walls and finding out about Derry’s troubled past. Complicated. The English are not the heroes.
      We looked into the beautifully restored Guild Hall. Now recovered from being bombed in 1972. Massive organ, extensive beautiful stained glass windows, perfectly restored building right down to the pristine toilets. Next, the Visitor Centre proved very helpful. Along the waterfront is a full-sized Tescos. We topped up our shopping. Seemed to spend about the same number of pounds as we would spend dollars at home. Glad we aren’t here permanently.
      Today is the final day of the Derry Jazz and Big Band festival (Guiness Jazz Trail). “We Love Sax” is on at the Embankment. 15 minute walk across the river. Very lively. We sat outside. Tony enjoyed his first Guinness. Surprising to us was the number of kids. See video.
      Tuesday 7 May was forecast to be the best weather for the week. Coastal expedition on the agenda.
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    • Day 599

      Londonderry Derry

      June 6 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Wir sind in Nordirland angekommen. Das Navi springt auf mp/h um, der Provider schreibt, surfen wie zuhause.
      Was braucht es mehr 😂🤷🏼‍♀️?

      Derry [ˈdɛɹɪ] (offiziell Londonderry; irisch Doire Cholm Chille [ˈdɛɾʲə ˌxɔɫəm ˈçɪl̠ʲə], deutsch ‚Eichenhain des (hl.) Columcille‘, oder meist kurz Doire ‚Eichenhain‘) ist eine Stadt in Nordirland. Sie ist mit etwa 85.000 Einwohnern (Stand 2008) die zweitgrößte Stadt Nordirlands und viertgrößte der irischen Insel. Sie liegt am River Foyle in der historischen Grafschaft (County) Londonderry nahe der Grenze zur Republik Irland. Die Stadt Derry war seit 1973 Teil des größeren Districts Derry, zu dem auch das ländliche Umland der Stadt gehörte, und ist seit 2015 Teil des Districts Derry City and Strabane. Derry ist nunmehr einer der beiden Verwaltungssitze des Distrikts Derry City and Strabane.

      Ich habe inzwischen meine Liebe zu irische Interpreten entdeckt. Røry Gallagher und The Undertones sind zwei, die ich durch Plakate und Wandbilder entdeckt habe. Echt gut.. Gefällt mir 🥳
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    • Day 4

      Londonderry Derry

      August 10, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Capolinea della giornata è Londonderry Derry, dove pernotteremo.
      Non arriviamo tardissimo e quindi prima di cena decidiamo di fare un bel giro del centro visitando la Guildhall di Derry, attraversando il fiume Foyle sul Peace Bridge e percorrendo le mura storiche che circondano la città. Il B&B dove alloggiamo si chiama Legenderry Bed & Breakfast, pulito ed accogliente.Read more

    • Day 15

      Pyke n' Pommes

      July 21, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ 🌧 59 °F

      Our driver, Deirdre, recommended this restaurant, and we all agree that it was one of the best meals!
      We each had a burger and fries. The burgers were Waygu beef, and the fries were nice and crispy.
      It was a short, 10 minute walk from our hotel. However, Derry is built on a hill. The walk back was a bit more challenging.
      We wanted to stop at a cute pub on the way back, but it was too crowded. Dang it!
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    • Day 63

      Derry oder doch Londonderry?

      July 19, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      In der Stadt sind Differenzen noch immer sichtbar,oder wenn man die Geschichte kennt, fühlbar. Die Nordiren zeigen sich sehr reserviert und halten es nicht für nötig zu grüßen oder einen Plausch über das Wetter zu halten. Nordirland ist eben immer noch eine Kolonie Englands. Hübsch und reicher als das restliche Irland, aber man muss die Leute ja bei der Stange halten. Und die , die englisch fühlen hissen ihre Fahnen. Klare Ansage.Read more

    • Day 38


      August 11, 2019 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Dimanche, 11 août 2019
      Un petit quart d'heure et nous sommes à Muff, fin du Wild Atlantic Way et début du Causeway Costal Route, soeur jumelle en Ireland du Nord. Derry, ville-frontière, nous accueille sur un parking du St-Columb-Park. L'histoire mouvementée de cette ville nous suit à chaque pas. La très récente passerelle “Peace Bridge" nous permet d'accéder en qq minutes la vieille-ville, complètement cernée par des remparts. La Guildhall, est un magnifique bâtiment avec de nombreux vitraux, où siège le conseil municipal. Nous faisons le tour de la ville sur les remparts, parfois si large qu'une parade militaire pouvait s'y tenir. La petite église St-Augustin est sur notre parcours, mais nous allons suivre le culte à la St-Columb's Cathedral. Un petit “village" d'artisans en plein city, installé dans un ensemble de maisons ouvrières, joliment restaurées, a beaucoup de charme. Bastion protestant et pro-UK, le centre-ville surplombe le quartier catholique “Bogside". Des véritables batailles ont eu lieu ici, et les murs en témoignent encore. En visitant le Museum of Free Derry, nous nous rendons compte, de la lutte des catholiques pour accéder au droits civiques et aussi de la répression des forces de l'ordre britanniques. D’innombrables victimes ont payé de leur vie, la petite autonomie et la paix encore fragile, enfin atteints. Derry fût en 2013 Capitale Européenne de la Culture et a donc restauré bon nombre de bâtiments, réhabilité d'anciens entrepôts et construit le pont sur la Foyle, qui nous rend bien service.Read more

    • Day 5

      Was für ein Start in den Sonntagmorgen

      August 27, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

      Heute Morgen ging die Fahrt nicht entspannt los. Dank einer Reifenpanne hieß es erst einmal 2 Stunden auf den Abschleppdienst warten und dann in die Werkstatt. Hier konnte uns Gott sei Dank direkt jemand weiterhelfen. 2 Löcher werden gefunden und direkt gefixt. Jetzt kann die Reise weitergehen.Read more

    • Day 106

      Last NI charge

      August 15, 2023 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      In Derry we try to get as much E-Juice as possible before driving into the Wild West of Donegal with hardly any charging points.
      Although... The next weeks will be even harder, less and less civilisation...
      Interesting: this is a former petrol station, now only used for EV charging, cash machine, and washing. It's the future of the majority of petrol stations I suppose.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Derry, Londonderry, ديري, Дери, دری, Londenderry, Doire, דרי, LDY, Derry / Londonderry, ロンドンデリー, 데리, Ker Dherow, Derae, Londonderis, ڈیری, Дерри, Lunnonderry, Деррі, 伦敦德里城, 德里

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