A Walk On The Bogside...to...Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Derry Travel Blog

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An almost replica of Pablo Picasso's Guernica on the outside wall of the Museum of Free Derry
Sometime in the afternoon, we reached Derry, the only completely walled city still standing in the British Isles. Joseph gave us the option of roaming the city on our own or taking a guided walking tour of the 16th century Derry city walls with a docent from the Museum of Free Derry in Glenfada Park, Bogside, for a minimal fee of course. The guided walking tour cost 5 pounds, I think.

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.
View of Magazine Gate, North-East Wall, and the Guildhall from the former Coward's Bastion


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.
Cast-iron sculpture by Antony Gormley by the Millennium Forum near the East Wall


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.
Petrol Bomber - Battle of the Bogside
  We lingered around the memorial...it was so sad that several of those killed we so young in their teens. We all headed back to the museum where Joseph was waiting to pick us up.

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.
Spreading peace at Free Derry
I think everyone fell asleep. When we got into Belfast, Mar and I and the two other couples were quickly taken to the Busarus station to catch the bus back to Dublin.

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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An almost replica of Pablo Picasso…
An almost replica of Pablo Picass…
View of Magazine Gate, North-East …
View of Magazine Gate, North-East…
Cast-iron sculpture by Antony Gorm…
Cast-iron sculpture by Antony Gor…
Petrol Bomber - Battle of the Bogs…
Petrol Bomber - Battle of the Bog…
Spreading peace at Free Derry
Spreading peace at Free Derry
The Saturday Matinee - The Rioter
The Saturday Matinee - The Rioter
The Civil Rights - The beginning
The Civil Rights - The beginning
Cannon aimed at Guildhall
Cannon aimed at Guildhall
Cannons in line on the city walls …
Cannons in line on the city walls…
Our tour guide Colin with the faca…
Our tour guide Colin with the fac…
Cannon on the New Gate Bastion of …
Cannon on the New Gate Bastion of…
Carlisle Road Londonderry from the…
Carlisle Road Londonderry from th…
View from Church Wall
View from Church Wall
St Columbs Cathedral, Derry/Londo…
St Columb's Cathedral, Derry/Lond…
Bishops Gate
Bishop's Gate
View of the Bogside from the City …
View of the Bogside from the City…
St. Eugenes dominates the skyline…
St. Eugene's dominates the skylin…
Seán Keenan Memorial (Celtic Cros…
Seán Keenan Memorial (Celtic Cro…
View of the City Walls from the Bo…
View of the City Walls from the B…
Colin, Seán Keenan Memorial, and …
Colin, Seán Keenan Memorial, and…
Petrol Bomber - Battle of the Bogs…
Petrol Bomber - Battle of the Bog…
Bernadette - Battle of the Bogside
Bernadette - Battle of the Bogside
Bloody Sunday Mural - January 30th…
Bloody Sunday Mural - January 30t…
Operation Motorman - The Summer In…
Operation Motorman - The Summer I…
The Runner
The Runner
Free Derry Corner
Free Derry Corner
The Peace Mural
The Peace Mural
The Civil Rights Mural - The Begin…
The Civil Rights Mural - The Begi…
Hunger Strike - Raymond McCartney …
Hunger Strike - Raymond McCartney…
Bernadette - Battle of the Bogside
Bernadette - Battle of the Bogside
Bloody Sunday Memorial
Bloody Sunday Memorial
Placard at the Bloody Sunday Memor…
Placard at the Bloody Sunday Memo…
Bloody Sunday Memorial, Bogside, D…
Bloody Sunday Memorial, Bogside, …
Bloody Sunday Memorial
Bloody Sunday Memorial
Mar in Free Derry
Mar in Free Derry
Derry Guildhalls stained glass wi…
Derry Guildhall's stained glass w…
Derry
photo by: Nzelvis