Thursday, September 19, 2019

Derry, Belfast and the Giant's Causeway

The two merge together in some ways in my mind. Your trivia point for today is that everyone calls Londonderry as such, excpt for Irish Nationalists who call it Derry, excluding the London such is the hatred towards the English. Historically there are very good reasons for such hatred.

I've not seen these trees in Australia. Monkey Puzzle?


Mural of tv show Derry Girls. I don't believe it has been shown here and perhaps we should be grateful.



Londonderry has one of the most complete city walls in Europe. We didn't walk too far.


 Electricical generation.


Between Londonderry and Belfast we stopped to see the Giant's Causeway, a volcanic rock formation. It was manic with tourists. A crowded shuttle bus took us from the car park to the rocks. The rocks themselves are quite fascinating, if you can a look in. The more adventurous and fitter Marie in London has subsequently visited the Giant's Causeway and you can read her post with some history and detail here.

However, she did not explain the legend of why it was called Giant's Causeway, kindly but probably unintentionally leaving it to me. We heard it umpteen times from different sources with some variations, and it is quite amusing.

The legend has it the rock columns are the remains of a causeway between Ireland and Scotland and an Irish giant was challenged to a fight by a Scottish giant. The Scottish giant used the causeway to get to Ireland but the Irish giant's wife had dressed her husband as a baby. When the Scottish giant saw the size of the 'baby', he reckoned the baby's father must be a giant among giants and fled back to Scotland, destroying the causeway so the Irish giant could not follow him and only the columns of rock remain. (I don't want to here rumours that this legend was invented by the Northern Ireland Tourist Bureau)









My ability to have no people in photos of crowded areas is unmatched.


The hexagonal shapes were rather amazing.






While we stopped at the Belfast Titanic Museum, we barely had time to photograph, never mind seeing the museum. It had been highly recommended to us.


Quite stunning modern architecture. Better photo here.



It's a working port at the museum.


The very handsome Parliament building.



Closer to where the Stormont sits.


Stunning vista.


I felt a little uncomfortable in Belfast as we visited areas where 'the troubles' happened. The street names from the 70s and 80s where rioting, killings and house burning all came back to me as I heard them mentioned. If you think it is all peaceful now, it is not. 

Yes, still trouble. From the BBC, 2019:

bomb was found in the Creggan area of Londonderry after police searches in the area on Monday 9 September.
The device was found in a parked car and was described by detectives as in "an advanced state of readiness" and was made safe by Army technical officers.
It contained commercial explosives which could have been triggered by a command wire.
A mortar bomb was left near a police station in Church View, Strabane, on Saturday 7 September. Local homes were evacuated and Army technical officers made the device safe.
---
Police said the device had been an attempt to target police officers but that it could have killed or seriously injured anyone in the vicinity.
----
A bomb explodes near Wattlebridge in County Fermanagh, on Monday 19 August.
Police say it was an attempt to lure officers to their deaths. Initially, a report received by police suggested that a device had been left on the Wattlebridge Road.
Police believe that a hoax device was used to lure police and soldiers into the area in order to catch them by surprise with a real bomb on the Cavan Road.
It goes on and on.






It looks like a sculpture of hope.


Nice building.




Never let religion get in the way of commercial advertising.


That was interesting reading as I 'researched' for this post.


Well, I agree with that.


Catholics one side of the wall and protestants the other. Pretty shocking to see really.




You can get some perspective as to how high the wall is, to stop things being thrown over. I think we were on the protestant side.


Nevertheless there are some very attractive buildings in Belfast.


Later edit: You may like to see more photos and some detail about Belfast at Marie's blog.

32 comments:

  1. Oh my.
    Some truly beautiful scenes - and a reminder that 'The Troubles' continue. Ouch. We really are a species of slow learners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, yes indeed we are slow learners. Thanks.

      Delete
  2. Really interesting photos now that I have visited that part of the UK. I heard the legend of the causeway but couldn't be bothered to write about it so am delighted that you did. I felt quite comfortable walking around Belfast including the Falls Road and Shankill Road. Not sure I would feel the same in Derry/Londonderry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie, I was the opposite. I felt fine in Londonderry. Belfast did my head in a bit.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous7:33 am

    Derry Girls in on Netflix in Australia. It is a really funny series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon, I thought it might have been.

      Delete
  4. I well remember news reports of bombings in Ireland in my younger years. I didn't realize there were still such issues. No wonder folks are concerned about the effect of Brexit there - adding fuel to the flames.

    What wonderful photos, Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, you astutely add a whole new dimension to the the area, Brexit. Thanks.

      Delete
  5. I grew up in the 50s and 60s in a very Catholic neighborhood. Here we were in good old USA and there was such dissent between the two. Of course it was much worse in Ireland.
    I just never understood it.
    Then I married a Catholic and my Grandmother nearly died. She was outraged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maribeth, it was the same here but it all seemed to disappear in 70s. My maternal grandmother would have said the same.

      Delete
  6. Yes..."Derry Girls" is streaming on Netflix. I'll get around to having a look at it. I've got a few series on the go at present. I love to binge...I use the streaming services, as there is very little worthwhile watching on free-to-air TV.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant%27s_Causeway

    The site above should sort you out re Giant's Causeway, Andrew. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being very careful with your comment Lee. I can't agree. We don't have any pay tv and there is not shortage of things to watch on ABC and SBS, even at times commercial tv. Thanks for the link.

      Delete
    2. I don't understand what you mean by "being very careful with your comment Lee", Andrew.

      I don't watch a lot of ABC...they are too Left-wing for my liking. I don't think their comedians are funny, either. There are some dramatised series on the ABC at various times I watch, but none of their current affair shows...too biased, in my opinion. I've never been a Leftie or a Greenie...and never will be.

      I do watch some SBS....but I enjoy having access to streaming services...and I enjoy having a wide choice of series and documentaries to watch...at my leisure...when I feel like doing so. I also record...to be free to watch whatever whenever.

      Delete
    3. I meant after accidently deleting your comment on another post.

      I don't watch much tv now and I've said to R to sign up to Netflix or Stan if he wants, but he doesn't seem fussed. What we would like is a channel called UK TV, but as far as I can see it is expensive. I think Foxtel has it.

      Delete
  7. I've heard of the Giant's Causeway, I think the rocks there are amazing. I don't want to ever go to Belfast though, I don't fancy coming home in pieces because of some random bombing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, it can happen anywhere but I think you are quite safe in your city.

      Delete
  8. Silly religions have a lot to answer for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, and aren't they are silly.

      Delete
  9. I LOVED the Giant's Causeway.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I note the mural indicating solidarity with Catalonia. When we visited Belfast in 1999, we noticed this Aboriginal mural, also in solidarity. https://jamesobrien.blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/belfmural.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks James. That is fascinating and so cool.

      Delete
  11. The Titanic museum looks fascinating,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Travel, by Marie's description it sounds like it was.

      Delete
  12. Loved the story and pics of what's left of the 'Giant's Causeway' Andrew, but so shocking to see the wall, religion sure has a lot to answer for. Although sometimes I think it's just an excuse for violence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, I agree, and excuse for violence. Thanks.

      Delete
  13. I had heard of the Giant's causeway but had never heard the
    story behind it. I can still remember the problems in Northern Ireland too, they were always on the news when we lived in Germany during the early 1980's. How sad that bombings are still taking place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sami, it is very sad indeed, in such a beautiful country.

      Delete
  14. I'm not sure there's anywhere that is peaceful these days, which is heartbreaking.
    Looks like a wonderful place to visit. Love the sculpture of hope. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, I really wish I could remember the details about the sculpture. Thanks.

      Delete
  15. I didn't like Londonderry very much, I hope with the Brexit the fights will not start again ! I loved the Giants and their legend and the whole area !
    The people travelling with me were so nice that we are still in contact via Facebook and we are still publishing on our Facebook page !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gattina, I rather wish we had such a good travelling group.

      Delete