Blogs from County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe

Advertisement


The rooster crows each morning with the first light. He has a distinct sound that pierces the cold morning air and the stone walls of the barn we call home. He will not stop until we give up on our dreams and the warmth of our thick blankets and start our day. The dogs come to the glass kitchen door when they see us turn on the light. We name them Scruffy and Old Tom and they don't seem to care what we call them as long we give them treats. After a couple of days, we decide it is okay if they come into the house. The painted cement floors of the barn have permanently embedded dog prints so the owner must have been alright with them entering at one time. Scruffy knows where we ... read more
Mussenden Temple
Dunluce Castle
The Dark Hedges


Dear All And so here is my third and final blog entry on my amazing mid-winter trip to Northern Ireland in February. As mentioned, although the trip was only four days in length, I feel I packed so much into it, that I am so glad to be able to write three separate blog entries about it. Upon booking my trip, it was quite easy for me to make the decision of spending one day in Belfast and one on the Causeway Coast. It was not so easy to decide what to do on my third day. My initial thoughts lay with visiting the nearby town of Antrim, which sits close to Lough Neagh, the largest lake both in the United Kingdom and also in Ireland. I could take a quick train trip down to the ... read more
Wall Mural
City Walls
Me, Peace Bridge


Geo: 54.9981, -7.30934Today we left Kilcolgan for the drive to Derry. Karen had an early appointment so she told us last night what to do about the keys and the doors when we were ready to leave. Philip got the car packed (I think with Grizzly's help), and we were on our way.The driving today was over mostly nice two-lane roads. At one point, the gps told us to take off the highway for more rural roads. We did that not realizing what was happening at first, but corrected ourselves within a couple of miles. She continued telling us to turn around or take other rural roads, but we ignored that and stayed on the highway. After restarting the gps a couple of times, she finally caught up and was helpful getting through Derry. She didn't ... read more
Apartment in Derry
Apartment in Derry
Apartment in Derry


Helt alene Som altid skulle arbejdet klares inden jeg kunne smutte. Denne gang tog jeg bussen fra Killybegs. Jeg var i Donegal en halv time før min næste bus gik, så jeg gik over til SimpleSimons og fik lidt at spise. Jeg fik en helt fantastisk tomatsuppe. De har så mange lækre ting i den butik.  Busturen var ikke særlig lang, hvilket var skønt. Det var lige før jeg havde overset mit hostel, skiltningen var ikke særlig tydelig. Jeg tjekkede ind og fik en meget grundig gennemgang af de forskellige ting man kan se i Derry. Virkelig fedt at de var så engagerede. Jeg havde værelset helt for mig selv, hvilket var skønt! Jeg burde have været gået på opdagelse i Derry, men jeg opdagede at hostellets wifi var genialt, så jeg endte med at stene ... read more
Kirke
Sød kanin
Bogside området i Derry


Had a bit of a sleep in this morning and headed down to breakfast at 9am having packed up the car ready to go. Finding somewhere for dinner last night at 9pm was hard, well finding breakfast at 9am was just as hard! Finally found a lovely little coffee shop on the other side of the Diamond. Then walked around the corner to Donegal castle for 10am. “Built by the O'Donnell chieftain in the 15th century, beside the River Eske, the Castle has extensive 17th century additions by Sir Basil Brooke. The Castle is furnished throughout and includes Persian rugs and French tapestries. Information panels chronicle the history of the Castle owners from the O'Donnell chieftains to the Brooke family.” An amazing restoration with a full banquet hall. It took 4 months for the roof to ... read more
Donegal accommodation
Breakfast in Donegal
Donegal Castle


Geo: 54.9981, -7.30934Driving in Northern Ireland has introduced a peculiar Irish sense of humour. In addition to very narrow winding roads, we noted that the authorities have completely done away with speed limit signs both in towns and on the open roads- in their place are a copious number of signs warning of the presence of speed cameras (don't tell me what the limit is but take a photo if I exceed it?). Even the parking requires local knowledge and copying others doesn't work as I think there's some sort of secret handshake involved. I might be getting tickets long after leaving the country.Our last stop in Northern Ireland had to be Londonderry, second only to Belfast when it came to the violence of 'the troubles'. Even the name of the city (second largest in Northern ... read more
Irish Countryside
Irish Street Scene
Londonderry


Monday 27thApril. Today I completed that weather quartet, and had snow as well – in addition to rain and hail – and the wind! The wind on the coast was fierce. I had to wear plenty of layers, and gloves and ear-warming hat too. The snow, which was occasional, and up in the hills, consisted of big, wet flakes, which melted as soon as they hit the car or the ground. It was interesting too to have a sun-shower or two, but not of rain, but hail! It certainly was cold. In the morning I walked the walls of Derry, in the rain. This city has a very interesting history, and was under siege in 1689 when a Catholic king and a Protestant king were fighting over who was to actually be king of England. Also ... read more
Giant's Causeway
Glenelly Valley
Yours truly at the Giant's Causeway


Sunday 26thApril. Happy Birthday to me… The US Postal Service talks about rain, hail, sleet and snow. Well, today I had three of those (no snow), but also plenty of sunshine, as well as a freezing cold wind (especially on the coast). It was really cold today! I spent the day touring Donegal, in particular the Glenveagh National Park and the Rosguill Peninsula on the coast. It seems that touring Ireland in a clockwise direction – south to north along the west coast – is the way to do it, because every day the scenery becomes more staggering than the day before. Each day one thinks “can the scenery get any better than this?”, and the next day it does. In Donegal, the combination of barren mountains, which in some cases plunge straight into the ocean, ... read more
Rosguill Peninsula Scenery
Lough Barra
Valley & Lough Barra


Some highlights of the past week: Monday morning, the Principia Consortium (the program that I am a part of while studying at the University of Glasgow) organized a field trip to the Old Govan Church. It was a very cool building and grounds; we got a personalized tour for our group and got to explore everything. The site has a very interesting history; it has been a church for an incredible amount of time. The current building is the fifth church to be built in this location. Tuesday evening, Sabrina, Henriette, Ashlee and I went to the Royal Theatre to see the opera Cinderella by Rossini. While we were all a bit underwhelmed by the costumes, the general performance was very great and the experience was quite a lot of fun. There were some interesting variations ... read more
The Walls Around Londonderry
The Cathedral
Views from the Walls


Geo: 55.1874, -6.71985I planned for us to take Paddy Campbell's Belfast Famous Black Cab Tour a long time ago by emailing Paddy and setting up the time and location. He sent Ciaran to be our driver and guide who picked us up a few minutes earlier than expected in the lobby of the Hilton. We had already eaten breakfast, checked out of the hotel and stored our luggage in the rental car by then.Ciaran started off by explaining the basics of the history of The Troubles, then he drove us to a number of sites that played an important part in them. He knows a lot of history and was able to answer every one of our questions. We went to see murals that are painted in tribute to fallen war heroes, the gates between the ... read more
Mural in Belfast
Mural in Belfast
Mural in Belfast




Tot: 1.464s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 11; qc: 85; dbt: 0.0689s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.6mb