Whatever you call it, Londonderry is a great stop on any Emerald Isle holiday
LONDONDERRY or Derry. Don’t be confused by the names, as we were. It’s the same place, with a complicated history resulting in two names.
This is a tricky subject best explained in references from Google, but the shorter form (Derry) seems to be in common usage and it’s easier if you’re hashtagging on Instagram.
In fact, Derry is a story in its own right but it is most certainly a highlight as well as the finishing point of the Causeway Coastal Route.
It’s the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and a walking tour around the 17th century walls is an absolute must.
Tour guide Charlene McCrossan explains the long and somewhat tortured history of the city, including more recent events known as “the troubles”, which still linger.
On a positive note, McCrossan points to the new forwardlooking spirit of the townspeople, particularly the emphasis on tourism. A newly opened modern restaurant called the Walled City Brewery is a prime example of that.
One evening, we head to a local pub desperate to find a genuine Irish stew. Greeted by a bunch of locals at the bar, “where ye coming from?”, we inevitably end up discussing rugby.
Given the current record of the Wallabies, we change the subject and ask about the stew.
The barman produces a ladle and dips it into a big tureen behind the bar. A huge bowl filled to the lip emerges. “That will be five Euro, including a pint of Guinness,” he says.
A memorable evening, including a well-known troubadour with guitar, is typical of even the most modest of pubs, and a fitting way to end what has been at the top end of road trips … at the top end of Ireland.
HIGHLIGHT: Londonderry's Peace Bridge.