Day 4 and County 4

Trip Start May 13, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Monday, May 4, 2009

Day 4 in Northern Ireland and a welcome gift from BMI, who changed the time of our original flight home from stupid oclock in the morning to around 5pm, meaning we had virtually another whole day here. This day was completely minus all plans, except Mum wanted to go for another forest walk somewhere. That was a bit of a problem really considering as our luck with the weather had run out, and there was fog, cloud and rain for as far as we could see. So our "scenic drive" to Derry turned out to be not quite so scenic.

When we made it to Derry we parked up and went for a wander round. Its supposedly the "last walled city in Europe", and the walls were probably the best thing about it. First we went to see the Guildhall and then we entered the city centre through one of the many gates, and straight up the main street (tres steep!) to the "diamond" and a war memorial. It was literally about two mins walk to the gate on the other side, so the walls didn't encompass very much at all really. From the gate you could climb up to the top of the walls and walk round them, where there were cannons, unspectactular views of housing estates and an awful lot of wind!

Derry Guildhall Derry City Walls Derry War Memorial

The weather definitely did for Derry I'm afraid. But on the plus side it was the closest we got to Ireland :) We took the road down the border in search of a foresty type place for a bit of a walk. Along the way we were held up by a massive convoy of bikers - one was cheating by holding onto a car for a lift, and we saw another come down a hill and literally go flying right into a ditch! So that held us up for a while, but we did make it to Gortin Glen Forest Park just north of Omagh in time for a little stroll. This was our fourth county of NI in four days - County Tyrone - pretty good going on the driving front.

Rain gear was certainly donned for the walk, and again there was noone else about - for good reason this time! Anyway, scenery was v. similar to our previous walks, possibly with more moss and greenery here (obscure trees - one of my favourite things to take pictures of), and also more Christmas tree esque trees. We took the river walk for about 30-40 mins or so.

Gortin Glen Gortin Glen

Gortin Glen Gortin Glen

I thought I was going to keep up my tremendous habit of being sick whenever we go away as we drove through the winding roads back to Belfast. Fortunately I fell asleep so avoided the dubious honour of chundering yet again. I woke up in Antrim, where we stopped at Tesco to buy goodies to take home - soda and wheaten bread, yey :)

Then we rocked up at the airport - returned our car in the same dreary weather as which we first collected it, and boom, we were home in no time - I was even back in Loughborough by about 10... that was a bit weird.

My one word for Northern Ireland is just... quality. I could expand but I don't really need to, you should just go yourself (but order sunshine!)... :)
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