Day 2 of my flying visit to Ireland in April was an interesting one.

I took a day trip to Derry by train. I’d never been to the city before and I’d never taken a train journey in the North either.

City Centre

It started really well. I asked the lady at the ticket desk in Botanic Station for my return ticket. Instead of that (£18 or so) she sold me a day Translink card for £17. It was also valid for the bus to the airport, so she saved me £3.50!

The train was very pleasant too. Modern, clean and comfortable.

Derry was fascinating. It was in the news almost every week for more than 30 years. Since 1999, it has gone back to anonymity (to those of us who live in the rest of the UK, and beyond).


Union Jacks in one half of town and the Irish tricolours in the other give the impression of a divided city. It is historic however, and not just in recent times. It was well worth the day out!


The finale was a quick trip to the Crown Bar in Belfast to kill time between train and airport bus. Well, that’s my story…

Crown Bar

ⓒ iain taylor, 2017

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