The City of Derry, a walled city from late Middle Ages, was the backdrop to the Troubles. What began as a peaceful march for Civil Rights for the Catholics of the city in 1968 erupted into a guerrilla war between the Protestants and the Catholics with the British Army thrown in the mix. It ended in 1998 with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. 3,500 people were killed during the conflict: 52% were civilians; 32% were British soldiers and 16% were paramilitaries. Derry has continued to make progress towards easing the tensions between the two sides. Murals depicting the Troubles are powerful. Leading religionious leaders have come together in participating in joint events with powerful words supporting a new era. But at times there is a feeling Derry is its own Game of Thrones.
Speaking of which, on our way to Belfast we stopped at the ruins of Dunluce Castle, the home of the Greyjoys in Game of Thrones. Although much is done with layers of special effects you can feel the Greyjoys, especially Yara, when you look out to sea. Soooooo cool and sooooo fun climbing through the ruins. Better than Disney.
The Great Causeway is a geological wonder with over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns as a result of volcanic activity 60 million years ago. It has also been used as a backdrop in the Games of Thrones.
Just a note on the weather: the hottest June in 8 years. Today it was 91! But we are Chicagoans. We got this!
No sing alongs today on the bus, but some good Irish music provided by Brian our driver.
Putting our heads down tonight in Belfast.