From Bushmills we were headed to Lough Eske but we had a few stops to make along the way. We stopped in Colerane to pick up a new allen-wrench for the camera gear and a new shirt for Keltin – one of his ended up with a hole in it. I loved how walkable all the Irish cities and towns are. The US could learn a thing or two.
Our next goal was Derry/Londonderry for lunch and to visit the Derry Craft Village which is inside the walls of Derry. We learned quickly that it is not easy to find a parking spot outside of these ancient walls. We did not have time but there are walking tours that visitors can take of the Derry Walls. Derry is one of the few remaining intact walled cities. Given the time I would love to go back and explore more of this city’s history.
The Craft Village and the restaurant we visited for lunch were suggested by Wilderness Ireland. More on the food there this Friday. The Craft Village has a number of artisan shops, Foyle Books, and the Irish Shop. The Irish Shop is very much a tourist stop but it’s tucked away, thus is not as busy, and the lady working there was very nice and chatty. We stopped in to pickup some post cards to send home and the shop had a wonderful collection to choose from.
From the walls of Derry we headed on to our next road trip stop: Glenveagh National Park. The drive there was beautiful and we crossed from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland just a little ways outside of Derry. The countries have a soft border and the only real way to know you have crossed is that the speed limit goes from miles per hour to kilometers per hour and the road signs go from only English to English and Irish.
Also, roundabouts are everywhere. Some are massive and decorated like the one above while we drove around some in cities that were only marked as a roundabout by paint on the road. Irish M and N roads have more roundabouts than exits and they do take a little getting used to if you aren’t accustomed to driving them. One of my ridiculous goals in Ireland was to be delayed by sheep in the road and somehow that actually happened. We were not delayed long but it was so unexpected that I had to take a picture of the event.
The drive from Bushmills to Derry to Glenveagh was a long way but we had fun along the way. What silly things do you look for on road trips? Let me know in the comments. Remember to leave no trace and safe travels!
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