Free Derry and Great Hospitality!
Trip Start May 30, 2012
83Trip End Nov 07, 2012
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The next morning Jess and I started our self-guided tour of Derry. It started with a walk along the River Foyle, to the Peace Bridge. Sound familiar? This pedestrian bridge was built to unite the long-time feuding groups of the west bank protestant side of the river, with the catholic east side. Derry has had a rough history of violence that in all reality did not happen too long ago. There was a strong military presence in Derry from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Civil rights protests caused a lot of unrest and lead to numerous clashes between the Irish Catholics and the British Police, including the infamous Bloody Sunday incident, and the Battle of the Bogside. Outside the old city walls on the west side are huge murals on the side of buildings representing different events from these “troubled” times. There are also murals of peace showing that Derry, and Northern Ireland in general, has come a long way since these times. Speaking of city walls, Derry is the only city in Ireland with a completely intact outer wall. It’s amazing! It’s about 1.5km long and can get up to 35 feet high at some points. There are cannons everywhere, and cute little churches that date back as old as the wall to the early 1600s. When Jess and I were walking along the wall, I spotted a guy standing by one of the cannons that looked really familiar. It was Richard, a fellow Aussie hosteller that we met back in Brasov Romania!
It was in this pub that Richard and I had the privilege of experiencing true Irish hospitality. I started talking with two local guys who were brothers and regulars at this pub. Very friendly and welcoming they were. When they found out that I was from Canada and Richard was from Australia, they insisted on buying us a baby Guinness shot. They told us they wouldn’t feel right until we experienced true Irish hospitality and had a baby Guinness on them. Wow, there aren’t any pubs that I have been to, at home or abroad, that show this kind of hospitality. Well done Derry!