Thankfully, Derry is (mostly) peaceful today. There was only one hotel firebombing the week we visited. Only one! Our hostel host still recommended that we avoid taking any routes near police stations.
Just after this cryptic warning, we walked across the beautiful (and ironic) Peace Bridge from the historically (Republican) Catholic Bogside to historically (British Unionist) Protestant Riverside.
|Derry Peace Bridge|
There was a festival on in the park across the river, the Festival of Colours. It was mostly a family festival, but fun to check out. I even ran into my friend Lord Stilton at the park. What are the odds!? We picked up some fried dough and some olives for a cloudy-day riverside snack. We could see the famous Guildhall from across the river and watched the amazed tourists and locals on the Peace Bridge marvel at a jetski pulling a tuber in the River Foyle.
|Donuts and Olives|
|Jetski Pulling a Tuber|
One of Derry's most notable structures is the old city wall. Unlike so many other walled cities (including Dublin) most of the original wall is still totally intact. The narrow gates sometimes create traffic snarls going into the small heart of the city today, but I think traffic problems are a small price to pay for preserving such important city landmarks.
|Derry City Wall Gate|
After a cursory walk around town (we were planning a more thorough tour the next morning), we stopped by a pub near the city wall. There we met a very nice Derry resident who celebrated our holiday with us. He told us to remember that Protestants could be nice, too.
After dinner at the best-known Chinese takeout in town, we headed to our hostel at the top of the steep hill. From our room window, we could see over the river to the distant hill of Donegal (in the Republic) and Co. Derry (in the North).
|The Hills of Donegal|
The next day, we were off for a much bigger walk around this beautiful city.