Ireland Day 9 – A tourist day – sort of

Connie says….

After getting up for the past week having somewhere to go this morning felt very strange.  I felt kind of at loose ends.  The night before our host JJ suggested we make the trip to Londonderry/Derry.  That would involve catching a bus to Coleraine and then a train to Londonderry.  So off we went on another adventure –  just what we needed to get us over the hiking is all over doldrums.

http://www.londonderry.com/

The transit system here is great and very easy to figure out.  The bus and train station are together so it makes it very easy to travel.  I really enjoyed seeing more of Ireland through the train window.  There was a hill (or small mountain) – called Binevenagh that I saw and believe it or not thought how cool it would be to be on the top of that.  What a view that would be!  http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/nature_reserves/nature_reserves_binevenagh.shtml

Binevenagh Mountain in distance

We got to Londonderry and walked over the bridge – yes there was water under it, and into the walled city of Derry.

Part of the wall and one of the "gates"

Another very old place with a ton of history.  This is a place that is very hard to describe in words.  There are a lot of old buildings mixed in with newer ones and even a mall.  We walked through narrow lanes to get to the shops all the while aware of the high walls around us.  These were to protect the people who lived here in the 1700’s from a siege that lasted over a hundred days.  Strong people to survive that.

When we got back from there we headed out to supper which was yummy again.  Too much yummy food!  We then went back to our home away from home, Cul-Erg B&B.  We got into comfy clothes and sat in the lounge where JJ had started a peat and coal fire in the fireplace.  Barry worked on the blog and I read.  What a great way to end a day that started out at loose ends.

AND

that is all true

The buses and trains here run pretty much on time, and are quite clean as well.  They seem to be well networked and you don’t have to wait too long for connections.

So with a few general directions, and asking questions we boarded our bus just around the corner from the B&B.  That trip was 15 minutes or so, then we waited for the train for about a half hour which then dropped us off a half hour or so later in Derry.    As we got off the train on the one side of the river, the weather was kind of misty drizzle – another feature of being in Ireland.  We followed the map to enter the city at one of the “gates” and walked along the narrow streets looking at shops.

Height of wall surrouding city

Gate we entered through

There is quite a number of differences between the older smaller stores and shops, and the larger mall oriented stores.  We prefer the small ones and avoid the malls.

view of street outside wall

Street views inside wall

We looked for a place to have lunch first as it was time, and had a good bowl of chicken vegetable soup, followed by salad and a chicken/ham pie which was quite good.   After that we went in search of some shops that sold Irish products as we were not interested in stuff from China.

Connie had been looking for a bohran (an Irish drum) and found one in a shop along with some other things we were looking for.   We spent a few hours looking around at the architecture, took a tour of the Colomb church (Catholic) that was just inside the walls beside the cannons and turrets where they defended the city years ago. http://www.stcolumbscathedral.org/

Colomb

Some of the things that were Canadian inside the church included a flag that came from that last ship to leave in the war as well as the roof which was made of pine imported from Canada to replace the slate roof that was originally on the building.  That was good to hear.   Can only show pictures of the outside area as there were no pictures allowed inside the church.

Views of wall

We walked back across the bridge to the train station, boarded our train shortly after and went to Colerain where we changed to our bus back to Portstewart.  Along the way we saw that the tide was now out and the water was a long ways from shore.  As well we saw a line of hills that looked like they may need climbing another time.  Very nice area along this section as well.

Arrived in the rain and had a quick bite then headed back to Cul-Erg B&B where we did some blogging in the sitting room in front of the peat/coal fire.

That was it for our first non-hiking (pretty much anyway) day.

About trailsandtrips

I am a consultant in the forestry and environmental fields and spend my recreational time in a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
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