A Stop in Slash City and Hitting Up High Places
Trip Start Aug 28, 2011
63Trip End Jun 30, 2012
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After Belfast, we made our way farther north and we were told about an opportunity to cross the Carrick a Rede rope bridge. Our fearless tour guide, Fitzy, said he needed a head count of how many people wanted to cross and didn't give us time to actually look at the bridge. Reader, I am not fond of heights, but my Dad's voice was ringing in my head. "Whitney," he said before I left for Germany, "if you get the choice to do something or not...do it." I raised my hand for the head count and paid 4 pounds, 50 pence without having seen the bridge. In my mind was a picture of an rickety, old rope bridge with thin planks and ample space between each plank, to naturally allow the intrepid traveler to fall to a watery and rocky grave (my vivid imagination did NOT help the situation).
After a hike to the bridge, I thankfully saw there was no space between the planks and ventured out
After the Carrick a Rede bridge, we headed off to The Giant's Causeway. There are two explanations of how it was formed - the myth and the scientific explanation. The myth goes something like this: Ireland's friendly giant (not green in color) Finn McCool built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight Scotland's not-so-friendly giant, Bernandonner. When Finn saw Bernandonner, he saw how big Bernandonner was, got cold feet, and ran back home. Before Bernandonner arrived, Finn's wife dressed him up as a baby. Bernandonner finally showed up, saw the baby, and Finn's wife said "That's Finn McCool's little boy." Bernandonner freaked out, imagining how big Finn must be to have a baby of that size, got cold feet and ran back home.
The actual explanation involves no giants. Discoverireland.net explains that it all started 65 million years ago, when lava of molten basalt rose through a chalk bed, cracked, and then cooled to form the columns of the causeway
But time waits for no traveler and we had to beat feet to our next destination, Derry, or Londonderry, or Slash City, depending on whom you ask. The earliest reference to Derry dates back to the 6th Century and was the home of Irish Catholics. Things started getting tense when the city was rocked by attacks during the Tutor came to Ireland, set on conquest. The situation didn't improve when English Protestants showed up and took land to create plantations. Not only did they take land, they also re-named the area Londonderry, in appreciation of the support from England. Not to step on any toes, journalists identify the city as Derry Slash Londonderry, earning the nickname "Slash City." The Troubles were also rough for Derry/Londonderry, which was the site of many riots, as well as Bloody Sunday.
Given the history of the city, I found myself in a tense situation that evening in a pub
Aside from the drunk man in the pub, I found the people of Derry/Londonderry to be very friendly. Since the troubles, the city hasn’t exactly been tourist spot number 1. One woman saw our tour group from across the street, yelled “Yooo-hooo” and proceeded to wave. And wave. And wave. Clearly, folks here aren’t used to tourists, but perhaps that will change in the future. This little city was named a UK City of Culture for 2013. It is a charming city with friendly, curious locals. And while Will Shakespeare posed the question “What’s in a name,” I would still encourage you to be careful which name you use in Derry…or Londonderry…
Large Fry Breakfast - Behold, the artery-clogging plate of sausage, egg, ..
Chicken BBQ Melt and Vitamine G - A chicken melt and getting my dose of Guinness
Highs and Lows
Highs - Successfully battling a fear of heights at the Carrick a Rede bridge and feeling like a mountain goat at the Giant's Causeway
Lows - The panic of trying not to stick my foot in my mouth with the drunken man at the pub
Lebe lang und erfolgreich,