Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 9 Derry in the Mists

Day 9 dawned misty and a bit drear.... but I was actually loving it... it wasnt too cool and it seemed like a more typical Irish morn. An Irish mist has an appeal of its own.We had an early morning out to the bus where we met our Derry guide...... I can not imagine a more wonderful young man.. certainly one who held his own very nonpartisan side in the trouble-some conflict that had ravaged Derry's history... a brilliant young man named Roland... a true Irishman through and through.. His Gaelic and broguish accent strong and sure... yet his own background was more than Irish alone.... His father, Irish, his mother, Chinese, and he, an avid student and teacher, and father of young children for whom his deepest desire is a free and peaceful future home in NI.

His story of Derry began here with the renderings of past peoples and events

For Derry wants their story told and not forgotten.. yet the under girdings echo resounding peace and healing...Murals in Northern Ireland have become symbols of Northern Ireland, depicting the region's past and present political and religious divisions.

Belfast and Derry contain arguably the most famous political murals in Europe. It´s believed that almost 2,000 murals have been documented since the 1970s. In 2014, the book, The Belfast Mural Guide estimated that, in Belfast, there were on display. approximately 300 quality murals, with many more in varying degrees of age and decay. Murals commemorate, communicate and show display aspects of culture and history. The themes of murals often reflect what is important to a particular community. A mural therefore exists to express an idea or message and could generally be seen as reflecting values held dear to that community.

In Irish republican areas the themes of murals can range from the 1981 hunger strikes, with particular emphasis on strike leader Bobby sands; murals of international solidarity with revolutionary groups are equally common, as are those which highlight a particular issue, for example the Ballymurphy Massacre. or theMcGurks bar bombing. In working class Unionist communities, murals are used to promote ulster loyalist paramilitary groups.

We saw murals in both cities... I came to Ni not fully understanding the problem and truthfully I still dont fully understand.... but I do know now it is NOT a religious problem.... It boils down to Northern Ireland is ruled by Great Britain because the loyalists out weighed with in power, numbers, or influence... They a re the Unionists.. and are typically anglican.. while the smaller party in NI is made up of the rebel group, like the majority in the Republic of Ireland who were successful in breaking free from Britain a century ago. This party in NI is known as the Republican party are not sympathetic with Britain,, and are typically Catholic like the republic of Ireland is mainly catholic; and they still strive through peaceful political means to regain strength... This is a very poor representation of the history , but is my very poor explanation.... All I know is that the country of NI was very gracious to us, Americans, they were decidedly pleased that we were feeling good about visiting their beautiful country and we felt wonderful being there... 

Our guide told of exciting events that occurred in this walled part of the city over the decades

we passed through several gates , each of which had a particular significance to the city..

There was remaining evidence of a war torn city

YOU can see our morning suited the tone of the day

Looking out over the battlements of the walls at a sleepy Derry.

This beautiful Anglican church

all recall of times so much more ancient that what we experience her in our babe of a nation, the US.

As we came down off of the walled part of Derry we entered a lovely shopping district.

I like how these two obviously differing birds ( of a color, anyway,) perch happy as larks side by side.... that is how I see the folks of NI!

This last gate brought us out at Quayside... and very near our hotel!

There opposite you see the Peace Bridge

later the day cleared up and we were back to the gate side to the Guild hall that we heard such great things about...

The Guildhall in Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is a building in which the elected members of Derry City Council meet. It was built in 1890.The Guildhall houses a large hall where many events of social and political nature have been held. It has been home to the Feis Doire Colmcille – an event which celebrates Irish culture – and the now-discontinued Londonderry Feis.[citation needed] It was also home to the Saville Inquiry into the events ofBloody Sunday 30 January 1972 in Derry.

The Guildhall is a beautiful building and is well worth taking time to see. It is located in the heart of the city, just outside the city walls and close to the Peace Bridge.
Fashioned in neo-gothic style, the Guildhall is one of the most striking buildings in the North West and was originally built in 1887 by The Honourable The Irish Society. The red sandstone building is of neo-gothic architecture, with Tudor overtones. The Guildhall contains stunning examples of stained glass windows and visitors will be intrigued by its unique history and appeal. The staircase, main hall organ and corridors give a fascinating insight into this distinctive building.

This statue dedicated to Queen Victoria.

The stained glass inside the great hall is absolutely stunning and they a re huge even though you cant tell in this photo.. and they extend all around 3 sides of the hall itself.

The door entering into the great hall

some of the exquisite craftsmanship in the woodwork around the base of the walls

an awesome pipe organ with 30,000 pipes

Looking from the Guild hall back up toward the walled city... we were looking for a place to dine...

We decided to eat here at The Exchange... a very modern building tucked in between much older vintage buildings... was just opening its doors and it looked great to us!.

exuding various moods inside we were seated and decided we'd order something a bit different .. south of the border, actually! This huge appetizer was delish but our quesadesas wer,e hard to handle afterward... our eyes were bigger than our tummies! good thing we could way a walks back to our hotel...But hey, I got ahead of myself.. the next post will tell about our lovely afternoon!

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