After a day exploring The Giant’s Causeway and crossing the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge in Antrim on our Paddywagon adventure, we settled in our hostel in Derry for the night. Part of the Paddy’s Palace family, the Derry hostel has a really homely feel with big leather armchairs and a cosy dining room, so it was a great place to chill out after a big day of sightseeing. I particularly loved the Mark Twain quote above the door- “Travel is fatal to hatred, bigotry and prejudice.”
Here’s a group photo of us eating a family dinner in the hostel…some friends in our group decided to cook Irish Stew, and although it took HOURS we forgave them since it tasted so good!
The following morning we went on a walking tour of historic Derry with our tour guide Steve, Paddywagon’s marketing chieftain, who showed us the political murals and explained all about Derry’s history and the events that happened here. The Bogside area of Derry was the scene for the Bloody Sunday tragedy and the Battle of the Bogside, and many of the murals here depict these events. Here you can see a series of twelve murals called the People’s Gallery, created by a trio of painters called the Bogside artists.
Perhaps the most recognizable mural in Northern Ireland is the sign stating ”You Are Now Entering Free Derry” in Free Derry Corner, which was painted by a local activist called John ‘Caker’ Casey in 1969.
We then walked up the hill to the city walls, where we got a great view of the city from up high.
Next year is going to be an exciting year for the people of Derry since it has been named the UK City of Culture 2013. Below is a photo of the Guildhall, which has a clock that is modelled on Big Ben in London. Each of the four clock faces measure 13ft 6in in diameter and use the Cambridge Quarter and Westminster chime.