A Walk On The Bogside...to...Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Derry Travel Blog› entry 46 of 49 › view all entries
January 3rd, 2008 – by: TRE69
Mar and I and a few other Paddywagon riders opted for the walking tour. Our docent, Colin?, had a very thick accent but it gave his commentary an air of authenticity. We started atop the West Wall toward Guildhall Square at the North-East Wall. I was impressed by the extensive use of stained glass and the intricate ornamentation in the architecture of the Guildhall.
Just around to the East Wall we walked past the Millennium Forum, a modern building which houses the largest theatrical stage in Ireland. We did not go inside but a cool and kinda creepy cast- iron sculpture resided next to it. The sculpture was a double-sided human-like figure in a cruciform pose. Possibly a stylistic version of Jesus' crucifixtion or maybe to symbolize the political, religious, or socioeconomic struggles of the city? Anyways...
Our tour headed towards St. Columb's Cathedral, adjacent to Church Wall. We didn't look inside though, probably because it was being restored or it was closed to viewing.
Past the cathedral, we walked in the shadow of the South Wall, through Bishop's Gate, and along the path outside of the Derry City Walls for a view of the Bogside.
From the city walls, Colin lead us down back to the Bogside and Free Derry Corner, an area which experienced much violence in the late 1960s to the mid 1970s including the Battle of the Bogside (a community riot between Bogside residents and Royal Ulter Constabulary) and Bloody Sunday (an incident in which 13 civil rights protesters were killed by a British Army regiment).
The walk from Free Derry Corner to the Bloody Sunday Memorial was much like an art walk. Adorning the neighborhood buildings were colorful murals commonly called the Bogside murals or the People's Gallery. The series of murals commemorate the community's civil unrest and political strife.
At the Bloody Sunday Memorial, we gathered around solemnly while Colin briefly described the atmosphere of those times, what had occurred on that infamous Sunday, and the steps the community took to heal and spread peace.
We drove back to Guildhall Square where we were to rendezvous with the rest of the Paddywagon riders. Mar and I took a brief moment to peer inside the Guildhall, to get a closer look at the stained glass windows, and to use the facilities because it was going to be a long ride back to Belfast. Later I found out that the windows were replicas because the building was the target of several terrorist attacks during the Troubles.
The ride back to Belfast was not exciting because we took the express way back along the major highway.
Our swift return to Dublin was thwarted by an unexpected snowstorm which left our bus inching along the highway in heavy traffic. In addition to the traffic, we had to make all the stops along the bus route. We were suppose to return to Dublin between 8 and 9pm. However, with the weather delays, we arrived in Dublin at almost midnight!
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