Yes, Derry and Londonderry are the same thing. Thanks to our lovely tour guide Antoinette, we’ve learned that there are many (too long for me to go into it right now… you’ll see why after I recall the events of the very long day today) political reasons that Northern Ireland (where we are now) is actually a different country than the rest of the island. Also – when you hear a person refer to Derry as Derry or Londonderry as Londonderry, or Derry as Londonderry, etc. etc. etc., it can be seen as a reflection of the political stance the person who is saying it feels about the situation, that apparently is much more diffused than we think it is.
Anyway – it seems like we are all calling it DERRY. Nothing political of course – it’s just shorter and that’s how it was introduced to us.
SO – a quick recap with some photos. I will give a more in-depth analysis of today’s events. Also just so the world knows- we do not have free wifi in this hotel. There is a 5 pound (about $10USD) charge per person per device per day (yup), so if you don’t hear from us – that’s why!
1. We woke up very early and departed for Derry around 9am. It was a very sleepy trip. Along the way, we stopped at rest area so we could all stretch our legs and buy junk food (woohoo)!
2. We drove for about 2 hours more and stopped at the Ulster American Folk Park which was an interactive display of the way life was in Ireland in the 1800s, right after the American Revolution. They had locals dressed and acting as locals from that time period, explaining different things to us about the lifestyle. It was an amazingly authentic experience with many amazing views along the way. I highly recommend it if you ever end up in Ulster… Here are some photos!
3. Afterwards, we drove to Derry, which is the only remaining walled city in Ireland. We had a few hours of free time then we all met for dinner.
4. Dinner – it was yummy!
5. There’s a pirate festival going on in Derry and the last night was tonight. We went to the riverfront where there were some food and souvenir tents, then they had fireworks!
6. We all headed home and to sleep.
I apologize for the lack of photos in the 2nd half of this post. I will post more in-depth and with more photos tomorrow. The internet here is extremely weak and is not properly uploading photos. There might be some on our Facebook page so please check them out there.
Tomorrow is a long day – 2 concerts: 1 chamber music concert and 1 full ensemble concert. More to come on today’s events and tomorrow’s!
Also – if you have any questions please feel free to comment below and we’ll respond ASAP!
Yours in Ireland,