Thursday, 1 March 2012

On the Paddywagon – Part 1

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1On Monday 12th December we set off from our hostel on the first day of our 6 Day All Ireland tour. The first stop on the way to Derry was St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Drogheda, which houses the national shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett. The shrine also includes the preserved head of the guy, which for some reason neither mum or I got a picture of… If you really want to see what it looks like, here’s a link.




3The next stop on the way to Derry was Monasterboice, a monastery with monuments dating from the 10th Century. The tall building in the photo below is a ‘round tower’, which could have served as a watch tower, belfry, repository for church valuables and as a refuge for the community. Somewhere between leaving Dublin and arriving in Derry our tour guide made us all tell each other our names/where we are from/what we do and also come up with a ‘name rhyme’ to hopefully help as remember everyone’s name. Apparently it didn’t work… 2 months later and I had forgotten his name. Thanks to a quick facebook enquiry one of the girls on our tour reminded me that he was ‘Mike on the Mic’. Seriously? How did I forget that?! Unfortunately Mine was ‘Sarah the carer’. Can't remember mum's either - something like 'Grace is ace'??

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We made it to Derry in Northern Ireland and it was cold and wet. Too wet to do the walking tour around the city. So went in the bus. Derry has troubled history, both religious and political, some of which is quite recent, that I just don’t understand. Have a look here to get an overview. People are either Catholic/republican or Protestant/Unionist, and the divide between the two are enormous. According to Wikipedia (yes, I am referencing the devil, but hey, this is not a uni assingnment… Smile with tongue out) 75% of the Catholics voted yes to changing the legal name of Londonderry to Derry, however on 6% of Protestants voted yes! Back in the republic road signs lead to ‘Derry’, while in Northern Ireland they lead to ‘Londonderry’. Yes, most of the signs have the ‘London’ part defaced/crossed out/scrubbed off…

019The first stop on our ‘walking’ tour was the Free Derry Corner, where there are multiple murals depicting parts of Derry’s troubled history, including the Bloody Sunday massacre, and other political happenings. After that we had a walk through Bishop’s Gate, and along the Derry city wall. The wall, built between 1613-1619, is completely intact and forms a walkway around the inner city. The purpose of the wall was as a defence for settlers to the area from England and Scotland. Bishop’s Gate is one of four original gates into the city.SAM_0460









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That night Mum, Angie, another girl on our tour, and I went for a walk along the Peace Bridge, It was soooooo windy. Afterwards a group from the tour went to a bar, Peadar O'Donnells, (an Irish one of all things :o can add that to the list of countries that I've been to an Irish bar in) to listen to some traditional Irish music... This is what they did to the Aussie flag, being republican and all..


2 comments:

Sarah Odgaard said...

For some reason I haven't been able to comment on my own blog, and I don't think others can either.. I changed the settings so seeing if this works. If it does feel free to comment :)

Rebecca said...

Hey!

Not sure if you are into doing these things, but I tagged you and your blog in my latest blog post http://expatlifebybec.blogspot.com/2012/03/11-questions-tag.html

Feel free to ignore it if you like.

Bec