Loose lips

Lately we’ve been running into nice little parkups only having to slam on the brakes when trying to enter due to height restrictions in the form of a heavy pipe suspended at about 2 meters across an entrance gate. Marce found a rare golden parkup in the center of downtown Derry, a level park-like setting within spitting distance of the River Foyle, including a nice cafe, all for a couple of quid a day, paid by a proprietary phone app which I left in the capable hands of our IT department. There’s even an aire for full RV service; that’ll cost you, but good to know it’s there. In this idyllic setting it was sobering to look out the windscreen and see three large block letters of painted out graffiti on three stone pillars right in front of us.

As a matter of fact I’ve been warned that my habit of calling this location Derry may elicit something less than the friendly response in which it was given. Some prefer Derry/Londonderry (“Derry stroke Londonderry”) or some waggish blokes just call it Stroke City. I’m not ready for that but point taken: mind yer P’s and Q’s. There’s simply no avoiding politics around here. We opted for a pleasant afternoon walk along the Foyle.

Before long we had another brush with fame. I haven’t a clue what purpose this thing served but the Derry Girls frequently hung out here hatching their next hair-brained scheme.

In the morning we decided to walk the city wall. Derry (just find it in your hearts to forgive me but I’m not typing all that out) is a walled city. Built in 1613-1618, it’s the last remaining completely walled city in Europe. Not far from our parkup we ran into this popular crew. If it’s not GoT it’s the Derry Girls.

It’s easier to find the stairs up to the wall from inside the gate.

This is a well armed medieval city wall.

Roaring Meg siege cannon

The walled inner city has maintained its medieval layout.

Some things are universal

The Royal Bastion featured a 100 foot tall pillar with the 9 foot heroic visage of the Reverend George Walker on top until 1972 when the IRA put paid to the monument with a 100 lb bomb. The plinth was restored and left to represent in a less conspicuous fashion.

A large war memorial dominates the square in the center of the old city. All four main gates can be seen from this square.

By this point my feet were telling me that our adventure ought to be over but I felt that they still had a walk across the Peace Bridge left in them. Just think of it as a structural handshake.

Well they say there’s always room for one more hopeful gesture and this handshake was spotted on the way home.

Like my grandfather always used to say, “there and back in the same day.” I never knew what he meant by that.

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