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IRELAND PART D - DONEGAL to DUBLIN

The Northern Jewels of Ireland Tour - the northern coast to Belfast and down the east coast to Dublin

The last part of our journey around Ireland.

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On Monday 3 November, we said goodbye to Donegal and travelled north into Northern Ireland to Derry (Londonderry). We took a walking tour with a local guide to see Derry’s medieval walls, the Diamond and St. Columb’s Cathedral.

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Peace Monument
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The City Walls
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Plaque on the wall -King James 11 put the city under siege in 1689 and did not breach the walls.
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The gate built in 1789 to commemorate King James failure to take the city.
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Bloody Sunday in 1972 when 13 people died when fired on by soldiers
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Monument to those who died
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Mural showing a school girl who was shot to death on this spot
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The wall built during "The Troubles" to separate Catholic and Protestant communities.
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St Columb's Cathedral built 1633
After lunch we visited the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. The day was rather cold at 4 degrees Celsius and some light rain.
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The scenery on the way to the Giant's Causeway
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The Little, Middle and Grand Causeways
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The Little Causeway
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The Middle Causeway
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The Giant's Causeway
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Rather inclement weather
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The Giant's Organ Pipes
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Giant's Gate
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The Centre is built to integrate with the environment
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The Irish Sea with the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland in the background some 24 miles distant

Next was an overnight stay in Belfast. We had a drive around the city centre and other areas such as Falls Road and Shankill Rd. There is still a high wall separating these areas which saw much conflict during "the troubles".

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Street view in central Belfast
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University
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Student accommodation near the university

Falls Rd and Shankill area is now a quiet neighbourhood but has many memorials, murals, the wall separating communities itself and an air of how terrible things must have been for the inhabitants for a thirty year period.
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Memorial Garden
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Mural
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Bobby Sands MP died through a hunger strike when he was elected MP but not allowed to take his seat.
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Bombay Rd was a long street that was cut off by the wall.
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Checkpoints which were manned by British soldiers over the thirty years of "the troubles".

Later we visited the Titanic Centre and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Titanic Belfast was a wonderful display showing us this famous liner through state-of-the-art displays.
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Titanic Belfast centre
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The statue - Titanic outside the centre
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Inside the centre
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The White Star Line crockery
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Displays
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Display
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Display

In the afternoon we learnt about Ireland’s patron saint in the St. Patrick Centre before driving to Kingscourt to Cabra Castle hotel, built in 1760.
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The Cathedral of Down
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Display inside the cathedral
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St Patrick's grave also has two other saints- St Brigid and St Columb
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Marker for St Patrick's grave
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Beautiful scenery between Belfast and Down
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Scenery between Down and Kingscourt
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Cabra Castle at Kingscourt built in 1670 was our accommodation for the night.
Our Tour Director Joe with Oscar the castle mascot. Oscar is an Irish Wolfhound
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Inside the castle
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Inside the castle
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On Wednesday 5 November, we left the Cabra Castle and travelled the short distance to the Battle of the Boyne Centre to learn about the 1690 conflict between King William III and King James II. It is also called the battle of the 3 kings as William 111 and James 11 were present on the battlefield while Louis XIV of France provided troops.
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Map of the Battle of the Boyne
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Mansion built by a supporter of William 111 who was granted these lands. It now houses the Battle of the Boyne Centre and was built 30 years after the battle.
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Our small group (17 people) gazing over the battlefield
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the Three Kings
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One of many displays
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Cannon from the era
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President of Ireland Bernie Ahern receives a flintlock musket from Former First Minister of Northern Ireland, Reverend Ian Paisley
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Aussies on tour

In the afternoon we had a city walking tour around the historic town of Drogheda.
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Former Franciscan Monastery is now an art gallery
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This is the Barbican or Foreworks built in early Norman times to defend the inner city gates
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Catholic Cathedral in Drogheda
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Beautiful stained glass window and pipe organ

For our final night in Ireland we enjoyed dinner in the Wm Cairnes Gastropub with live musical entertainment.
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Irish entertainment on our last night

Tomorrow we leave our hotel at 5.45am for our flight to Paris then a fast train to Amiens for our battlefield tour.

Posted by Kangatraveller 09:16

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