Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day 3 of the 12-day Giant Irish Adventure

In the morning we headed into the walled city of Derry (or Londonderry, depending on which side of the political spectrum you prefer), for a walking tour of the city.
The tour took place atop the city wall, built in the years 1613-1618. I will not attempt to recount the history of Derry that our informative guide related to us, however if you are interested, here is a link to a brief history:
The original name Derry was changed to Londonderry after the English captured it in 1603. The city was besieged many times in its history, but the city never fell.
 The most famous siege took place in 1689, after the Catholic King James was deposed. A Catholic Army attempted to enter Londonderry which was one of the few places loyal to the Protestant King William. Protestants fled to Londonderry for safety, swelling its population. The besiegers tried to starve the defenders into submission, but a supply ship from England was able to break the blockade and rescue the city.
Tensions remained between Catholics and Protestants for centuries. We are approaching the part of the city where the infamous Bloody Sunday Massacre occurred in 1972.
In October, 1968, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement attempted to hold a march in Derry, however the Northern Irish government banned it, leading to the Battle of Bogside in 1969. Tensions erupted into violence resulting in 3 days of rioting. The British Army was sent in.
In 1972 came the tragic event known as 'Bloody Sunday'. On 30 January 1972 the Derry Civil Rights Association were holding a march through Catholic Bogside when the British 1st Parachute Regiment opened fire, killing 14 people.
Catholic Bogside, site of the Bloody Sunday Massacre.
There are still tensions as shown in these signs, but mostly the murals are about peace.

A few of the murals:

Notice the fence added to the wall to protect against projectiles being thrown over.
We were invited to go inside this Cathedral.

After the tour we were served a free cup of tea in a local cafe. Then Dee had given us an assignment to visit one of the Charity Shops and buy something under 2 pounds. As a cancer surviver, I chose the Cancer Research shop, and bought a bag with the shop's logo on it. I found these shops an interesting concept for raising money for charities.
We had our daily rain shower as we traveled on to visit an ancient Ring Fort.

And we had blue skies again when we arrived. We were lucky like that.
Tina inside the fort.
We all brought a picnic lunch to eat here.
Climbing the narrow stairs.

Dee and the view from the top.

I will always remember this place because somewhere up there I let my camera lens hit those old rocks. So all my subsequent pictures are flawed by that slash, sometimes worse than others, depending on how the light hits it.
And sometimes the camera just wants to focus on the scratch.
Other times I can crop out the blur.
Roundabout signifying peace across the divide, I think.
Another Roundabout sculpture, made of telephone poles.
Our next stop was in Glenveigh National Park for a hike in this beautiful, but austere wilderness. We were hiking down into the valley and back up, not as far as the castle.
The first part is easy...all downhill.

As the valley opens up we can see a lake in the distance.

Looking back up from where we came.
A narrow brook runs down the center.

I turned around here to get a head start on the way back.
Several small waterfalls flow into the valley.
It's uphill all the way back, pant, pant.
After the hike we drove through the rest of the National Park. Click on the video to see part of the ride. Dee has lively Irish music playing in the van, but you can't hear it because I stuck the camera out the window. Watch for the sheep.
The view from where we stopped.
We passed several old shepherd's cottages...remains of the time when landowners evicted the tenants who could not pay the rising rents.
Old and new together. 
A sad time in history. 
More views from the road as we enter the area known as the Bogs. 

 Peat from the bogs is harvested and used for fuel to heat homes.
Harvesting the peat: 
Log-sized pieces are stacked and allowed to dry.
Then they are put in white bags to be taken by wagonload to sell. Sorry for the blurry picture on the fly. 
We made another short stop at this beach.
Locals were enjoying the last days of summer holiday. 
 We in our jackets...this is how the locals dress.

 Katie had to try it...

 I noticed she didn't go far or for very long.
 Meanwhile, Dee prepares to teach us how to play Irish Football.
 Warming up...

Dee demonstrates how to serve...

 If the ball goes between your legs, you're out. Obviously, I was out.
 Eventually it was down to just two...Elaine and Lance.
Flowers growing on the beach.
The Nesbitt Arms...our hotel for the night in the village of Adara.
Where we went for the music.
 Before we left in the morning, we watched tweed being woven here.

 This tweed will be made into blankets like this one.
Here's a link to Tina's blog. She will have some different views, and photos of me.

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