Northern Ireland

(22/05/10) - Three pages

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Bridge and I went over to Ireland the end of April to do a Paddy Wagon tour. We did a Northern Ireland tour and Ken and Bec's who came over as well did the Southern Ireland tour.

We arrived in Dublin in the evening and went for a wander:

Straight off to an Irish pub, of course :-)

The next day, we jumped in to our Paddy Wagon bus and off we went!

Here's a church we stopped off at:

Bridge on a bridge, bah ha ha ha!!!

Here's some guys's mansion. Every year he holds a concert down by the river:

Here's ruins of a monastery:

Bridge looking cross, sorry, AT a cross ;-)

Now it was around this stage, where we crossed over from Ireland to Northern Ireland. You wouldn't know it as there's no signs, passport control, nothing except a stream that was pointed out by our guide! But you change over from Euros to pounds, our phones flicked back over from roaming to home networks, the road signs went from km to miles the car rego plates changes to UK format and all the road signs now no longer include the Irish translation. The difference is more pronounced than going to oz from nz!

I felt right at home wandering around some of the wee towns we went to:

Here's Derry city hall:

Here's Northern Ireland biggest organ, inside Derry city hall:

Also where they had lots of stained glass windows, showing all the wars the Irish participated in and who they fought with. You can see at the bottom of the windows on the right, New Zealand!

Here's a statue that was blown up by an IRA bomb and put back together again:

You can see the shrapnel holes from the explosion:

I decided to take the time to declare a few new laws while I was there:

Derry is known as a walled city and is one of the few cities in the world that still has an original wall running around it:

We got to walk around the length of it:

Now, here's a pic below showing just how crazy things still are in Northern Ireland. On the left side of the fence below are Protestants, many of who will have never met anyone on the Catholic side of the fence to the right!

Derry is divided by a river that runs through it, with 20% of the population, being Protestants on one side and 80% on the other side of the river, apart from a few hundred in the fenced off area in the pic below. Again, there are people on both sides of the river that have never visited the other side.

Here's a pic of the Catholic side of Derry. Our guide said to us that there are IRA members in the houses below, plotting to blow up cops as we were looking down:

and here's a zoomed in section of the photo above, just in case you don't believe that:

Here's a famous wall. Basically showing support for wanting Northern Ireland to be free of the UK and become part of Ireland as a whole:

Read on to see some more cool pics!

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By Tony Baker: email