Welcome to Derry, no London Required
DERRY, aka Londonderry, is Northern Ireland’s second city, and best known as the site of resistance to the Unionist government. It dates back to at least the sixth century as a monastic settlement. The old city was walled, the remains of which are one of Europe’s finest—and final—examples of such, and Derry’s most famous tourist attraction, complete with four gates. That’s because it was planned as one of the “Plantations of Ulster” by which British Protestants were “planted” in Ireland to develop it along British lines. It used to be so well-known for shirtmaking that Karl Marx mentioned it in Das Kapital. Then there was partition, which put Derry right on the new borderline. The Catholics were unhappy and oppressed. They organized to air their grievances. On January 30, 1972, thirteen unarmed protesters were gunned down by British paratroopers in an event known as Bloody Sunday, which was the start of years of “troubles.” It’s better now, and Ireland will soon be reunited. You can bank on it, at Lloyd’s of London. There are a couple of good hostels here, bunks starting at $18. The book has full specs and contact details.