Monday, June 26, 2006

Sunday, Bondi Sunday

Drove from Glenties to Londonderry/Derry on Saturday morning under considerably brighter skies than I'd seen in recent days. I stopped before the RoI/NI (unmarked) border to buy petrol using all my remaining Euro currency.

I'd secured a B&B right near the heart of town and managed to park right outside on the street. I dropped off a few things and introduced Bondi to the household & staff.

From there it was a leisurely 5-10 minute walk to old city walls that enclose the central part of town. Within the walls I first succumbed to a second-hand bookstore, and then to coffee at Cafe Nervosa. Unfortunately the latter was a dismal brew, not living up to its namesake's reputation, and I dumped it half a block away after a couple of sips. Fortunately, at the other end of the spectrum was Café Calm, where we were able to sit outside for lunch for both days of our stay. Even with the very long, potentially warm days at these climes, there are very little outdoor eating opportunities in Ireland, unless you are perhaps in a pub's beer garden.

This morning we strolled past the Josef Locke statue and across the River Foyle via the Craigavon Bridge, (which is nothing remarkable, but it is supposedly the only double-decker bridge in Europe ) around to St. Columb's Park. I noticed that the city doesn't take much advantage of the river running through it: on the western side, there is an arterial road running beside it, and the backside of any number of car-parks facing it. On the other side, it's mostly railway line, and the backside of other buildings.

I didn't get out and about much here, partly due to needing a break from days with lots of driving, but also because my hayfever had usually overwhelmed my three-pronged Zirtek/Beconase/Otrivin defences by mid-afternoon.

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