After spending a few days with Roibeard's family in Belfast we packed up our things and starting traveling along the coast. Even though catching the buses and locating our b&bs could be stressful at times I absolutely loved this part of our trip.
I grew up with a family that always "did things" on vacation. We never traveled just to sit by a pool and soak in the sun. What's the point of leaving your home town if that's all you are going to do? So even though we slept very little over this part of the trip we managed to get from Belfast up along the coast to Derry and down to Donegal, Bundoran, Galway, Cong, and Doolin.
The first place on our little adventure was Derry. For those of you who may not know, along with Belfast, Derry was one of the hardest hit cities during the Troubles. The sculpture in the photo above represents peace between the Catholics and Protestants, but walking around the streets of Derry you can just feel the pain oozing from this walled city.
The wall was built by the British to keep the Catholics out of the city. Walking it is very eerie and when passing the cannons on top it was just so difficult to think about the amount of hatred that once took hold over the people of the town.
All over the city you'll see the unionist colors and markings that tell any outsiders very clearly what type of neighborhood they are entering.
As you can see from above the Irish also mark their territories. I'll try not to get too into the politics on here, but when visiting a town like Derry it's something you can't just completely ignore. These images are powerful and these streets are hard to walk.
Roibeard grew up during the tail end of the troubles and experienced a lot of the violence first hand, so much of this hit very close to home. I am saddened when any group of people are denied their freedom, their basic rights, and their own land.
(I'll cover the murals in my next post!)