Derry celebrates Peace with a statue of bronze.
June 21st-22nd, 1999:
We woke up at a friends house on summer solstice morning and decided to seek out an ancient site.
Our map led us to Grianan of Aileagh which is a the site of a 2,000 year old stone circle fort.
But as Henry here discovered, this site turns out to be a reconstruction (a bit over a hundred years old). So it doesn't seem to rate with the Druids and Pagans. The only folks here were retirees, who wanted to know if we'd found any skeletons or buried gold during our journey under the stone walls.
(The exciting place to be that day was Stonehenge. Marauding New-Age thugs pushed down the fences and stormed the site, shutting out the other Druids and Pagans who had planned their celebrations around the stones.)
Partaking of more earthly pursuits, we tried out "Table Quiz" with some friends in Derry.
Us Stateside folks were pitiful help. We were absolutely out of practice answering British trivia questions late at night after a round of Guinness.
And these trivia questions were no joke. There's three different sections to the quiz. In one section we had 20 anagrams to decode and had to figure out the connection between 'em. We proudly put down 'Countries.' Then the guy told the bar to 'get real and not put down the obvious.' Turned out all the countries had in common was their tri-colored flags.
We went on a dramatic introduction to the history and culture of the Celts. This audio/visual event, the Fifth Province, was held at the Calgach Center (named after an ancient Celtic Warrior). They invested over a million pounds putting together this presentation on how Ireland has a mystical connection with 70 million Irish Diaspora worldwide. (Our favorite part was the spaceship time travel.)
To the right is Saint Columb's cathedral. He was a local hero from the sixth century who helped to safeguard Christian learning in the Dark Ages. But he had a falling out with the local kings and was exiled and ended up establishing an abbey on the island of Iona (Scotland) "never to walk on Irish soil again." But he returned in defiance by wearing plugs of Iona sod tied to the bottom of his shoes.
You sure get a notion of the fightin' Irish from their history.
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