Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Discovering Derry

Travelling is what runs through my brain pretty much 23/7 (the other hour being about food). I am so ready to give up everything I own to travel the world but realistically I'm going to finish college first and try and have some form of traveling money to my name. So while we wait to explore other countries, we're exploring as much as we can of our own, Ireland.
Since I got my full license I don't think we have stayed at home more than two days in a row as the traveling bug just doesn't stop itching us to find new places. And this week Derry was that new place.
Neither of us has ever been there before and since moving up North we actually haven't been to a lot of places nearby so it's been exciting to take off for the day not knowing what we'll come across.
Turns out Derry is only 25 minutes drive from us so it was a must on our list to explore and that we did.
We arrived into the city completely lost and not knowing where to go so we pulled up at a car park by the river and from there explored on foot. It being a Sunday, we expected shops to be shut (and also neither of us really like browsing shops) so we aimed at discovering the streets and outdoor attractions. First, we came across the city wall which really amazed us both as surprisingly we don't hear about this in Irish history (at least I didn't) and couldn't believe the size of it stretching most of the city and in such good condition with cannons placed throughout the walk along it. Not only was the city wall amazing, the views from on top of it were even more breathtaking. We walked along the wall for ages, being blown away around every corner until we decided to come off it at a stairway and take some old cobbled streets.

There we did give in to the window shopping curse and browsed some huge shopping centers that were so Christmassy with the snow outside, Christmas songs playing inside and ques of children waiting to see Santa (who had an incredible Ice castle I must add). With a book for my brother and some games for himself (and me too) bought, we grabbed some food as it was starting to get dark and made our way back to the car.

Some distractions later and it was nightfall. We came across the most beautiful building called Guildhall and had to pop inside to check it out. Outside it was all of the Autumn/Winter feels with the deep red of the building and leaves with snow on the ground and inside it was golden and warm with the colorful windows and green Christmas decorations wrapped beautifully around the staircases.  After meeting a lovely man that told us we had to see what was upstairs we found the most breathtaking grand hall with a huge organ. What was really exciting about this was we were the only people there so it felt even bigger and special to us.
We also found a council chamber although we're still not sure if we were meant to be in there.

Outside we did what we said we would do from the moment we saw it, walk across the Peace Bridge. It is such a unique shape and absolutely ginormous we couldn't miss it and it was the first thing we saw as we arrived in Derry and Rich said "we're crossing that", so that we did. It was dark now and chilly but so peaceful crossing the calm water along with lots of people and their dogs. After strolling across halfway (well we did have to come back) we finally got to the car and headed home, this time taking a different route than we came which was one thing I loved as a kid, my dad would always take 'the long way home'.

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