Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Northern Ireland Day Four: Derry-Londonderry


Wednesday was the day of our voyage to Derry-Londonderry. Now you might be wondering why this city has two names. Well the unionists (mostly Protestant) call it Londonderry and the republicans (mostly Catholic) call it Derry. To be politically correct we called the city Derry-Londonderry. But when we went to the Catholic school on Friday, the girls there told us to just say "Derry," and the man at the Orange Order (a unionist organization) said "Londonderry." It is another one of those disconnects that separates the two communities.

The train from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry is about two hours. Our train left Belfast at 7:10, so the train ride was a perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep. I was also able to read part of the current book that I am reading called Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography by Meryle Secrest. It is quite interesting so far and I can't wait to finish it!

I don't have any photos from the train ride because it was a foggy and rainy morning, but it is one of the most beautiful train rides ever. Here is a link to some photos from Google. 

Once in Derry-Londonderry we went to Lisneal College, which is a state (Protestant) school. We spent the morning and lunch there learning about their school system, extracurriculars, how they do shared education, and their take on teaching divided histories. 

We then went to the Nerve Centre, which is the organization that we partnered up with. We learned more about their "Teaching Divided Histories" program and other projects that they have going. 

After that was our tourist time. Me and a couple of friends wandered around the walls of Derry-Londonderry looking at the murals in the Bogside and scenic skyline. Here are where the photos come in!

We then went to dinner at a restaurant that we found near city centre. We had to walk across the peace bridge to get to the train station. The peace bridge connects the more Catholic areas to the more Protestant areas. It is looked gorgeous as the sun was setting.

We had a fantastic time in Derry-Londonderry and I would love to go again. We then hopped back on the train back to Belfast. It would hit me then that we would only have three days left in Northern Ireland. I wished that I could stay forever!


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