Last month, I spent a week on the Emerald Isle -- one day in Dublin and the rest visiting friends near Derry, in the north of Northern Ireland. This was my first visit, and it was absolutely wonderful. In Dublin, we went to the archaeology exhibits of the National Museum of Ireland, with its collection of Bronze Age gold objects, Celtic metalwork, Viking artifacts...wow. I was jet-lagged and sleepy, so I missed some exhibits I'm longing to see. I hope to return and see more of the attractions of Dublin.
Here is the view from a hill near where we stayed in Northern Ireland -- so peaceful and pastoral. The air was incredibly fresh, cool, and pure.
We spent a day in Derry (aka Londonderry), which was the site of Bloody Sunday, also known as the Bogside Massacre, in 1972. The old city wall of Derry is still intact. We walked all the way around it, taking pictures and getting history lessons from the various placards. Much of it was familiar to me, but being in Derry made it all the more real. Here is a photo from the wall of Derry. This photo -- the cannon, the wall, and the houses crowded below -- makes my stomach knot up. There's a lot of very unhappy history here.
We walked across the beautiful new Peace Bridge, which spans the River Foyle and both literally and symbolically connects the Catholic and Protestant communities in peace.
Ireland is an astonishing place. I hope to blog about it again soon -- hopefully with a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.