Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday and Saturday

We have had a ridiculously busy, but extremely fun, two days. Friday morning was our last day in the classroom and before we started we got a tour of the Wesley Historical Society which is housed in the basement of Edgehill Theological Seminary.

To all my nerdy Methodist friends: guess who's hair this is? That's right, Charles Wesley. One thing I guess Bridwell DOESN'T have...

In the afternoon we went to the Saint Patrick Centre which details the life of St. Patrick. It is also very close to the church where he is supposedly buried.

The stone placed over his grave. It simply says, "Patrick".

We ended the day at "The Old Inn". A lot of great history to this place but also a very renowned restaurant and hotel-one of only two hotel/restaurants in Northern Ireland to receive the "double rosette" rating, and they've done so for the past 10 years. We had a wonderful meal here-the second-best I've ever had in my life (although the absolutely best soup ever!).

It's hard to tell because it was dark, but they have a thatched roof! While many great writers have stayed here, the one I absolutely remember is C.S. Lewis who enjoyed a honeymoon here with his wife Joy.

On Saturday we left in the morning and visited three sites. The first was a waterfall (called "Waterfoot) next to a great little cafe/hotel where we had tea and scones. The pictures don't do it justice but here's one anyway:

Then we headed to the Giant's Causeway. I have a ridiculous amount of pictures from there but it is an amazing geographical feature. There is also a great legend about how it was formed.

They think that this is all the result of a volcanic eruption though aren't sure why everything has settled into these hexagonal shapes and columns. It really is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

From there we headed to Derry (Londonderry, depending on who you ask and their political affiliation!). There seemed to be a LOT more tension here surrounding the sectarian issues-and a stronger IRA presence (this is a much more Catholic area). We saw another peace wall and walked the walls of Derry (look it up on wikipedia or something-I don't have enough time to explain the historical significance but it is an amazing city with an amazing history).

Here is a shot of a section of the walled city with Derry in the background.

An example of graffiti that was all over. This was on a garbage can on the walls-don't know if you can tell or not but there is a crest on the other side of the city-very British. Hence the tension.

This morning we are headed to services at St. Anne's, an Anglican (Church of Ireland) church. Afterwards, we are having a Sunday Feast and headed to tour Crumlin Road prison. then this evening, the festivities begin for the 12th of July (a Protestant celebration, celebrated heavily by the Orange Order). we'll see what we can safely observe!!

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