The second day was not so amazing, for some reason most of the talks were a bit bland and boring. My highlights though were an introduction to the simplicity of an Arduino (basically a chip, an oscillator, a power supply and a USB connector) and a talk by Raul Krauthausen, a physically disabled founder of a Verein to support handicapped people. He gave a great insight in the struggles of being in a wheelchair while maintaining mobility.
I am really tired now. It was a very interesting day on a very relaxed conference. I heard a great talk, some good talks and learned how to build an universal phone charger. Up next are some pictures of the day.
After ten days in Derry we kind of had the feeling that we did everything that was accessible to us without a bike or car. We did some stuff even several times already (Castlerock!). And when we first went to Belfast, the weather was shitty and the city was just too big to be conquered in just one day. So we packed our stuff, said farewell to our host and took the morning train to Belfast, which is nearly as fast as the bus and way more comfortable.
This is a short one.
The night before we had our farewell dinner with our host at nice grill box restaurant that served really good Irish steak.
The next day we went to see Coleraine together with Valentina, as it is easy to get there by bus or train from Derry. We strolled around and had a relaxed day looking at the city. And we went to a small forest.
In this forest were the remains of a pre-medieval fort. Basically just a funny shaped hill. We strolled around and went back to the city.
We soon went home, as we had to pack and be excited about our upcoming plans: going to Belfast and being there! Woo!
After the exhausting pedaling the day before we decided to do something quiet, slow and indoors. So we headed to Bushmills, the place where the famous distillery is located.
They had a lot of these Potemkin facades with painted on shops and stuff. I read that the government put these up during the G8 summit to give the impression of a living town while in fact the whole area is breaking apart, no more jobs are available and a lot of house just stay empty and rot.
We headed for the Distillery tour. There were no photos allowed due to security reasons – electric appliance might ignite the faint ethanol aerosols and blow up the whole distillery. But honestly there was not much to take picture of. The interesting bits were just opened for the tourists, the real deal was going on in endless stainless steel tanks, fully automated. A single guy was checking on a dozen of distilleries at the same time.
We saw the big casks their ethanol is stored in to give a bit of flavor. We heard a lot on the benefits of not having actual flavor. Sort of.
In the end there was some tasting for everyone, one whiskey free with every admission.
Doro got the special whiskey they only sell at their gift shop. It’s supposed to taste of honey and sweetness.
I think it did not taste that much of honey.
I had the regular one, to check if it’s worth buying. Although I’m smiling, it is not great.
The guide spent a lot of time to tell us that in fact the scotch is better. Where the scots burn peat to use its smoke to get flavor into the raw mixture, the Irish use dry heat. Flavorless. Where the Scots distill only twice to preserve the taste, the Irish distill it three times to get rid of all flavor, then water it down, then put in bourbon casks to mask everything with vanilla flavor.
And the resulting taste is just boring. I might be harsh on the Irish whiskey, I only visited the big mainstream distillery. It is like judging German beer after visiting the Beck’s brewery. But still – the famous Bushmills whiskey is only okay with Cola.
We then took again the Rambler Tour Bus to get away and to the next stop. Dunluce Castle. But first: Cows.
The Castle is an old ruin, just clinging to a piece of rock over the sea. Half of it broke away, taking some servants with it. It is now a museum for its history.
Did I mention I don’t like tourists?
The castle is situated on a beautiful piece of coastline. It must have looked spectacular when it was still fully functional.
You could climb down a slippery flight of stairs and check out the castle from below.
There was also this cave of unknown function. It headed directly to the sea.
As you might notice, the weather quickly got foggier and foggier.
I turned into spider man. Obviously.
Soon we couldn’t see anymore for 50 meters. The horizon vanished in gradient from sea to clouds. Beautiful.
I have tons and tons of pictures of basically nothing. I love this feeling so much. All the sunshine in the world does not amaze as much as a cloudy foggy day at the sea.
We then got back to Derry using the bus. I think we were happy that this day was a rather relaxed and short day. And I was so happy because fog.
We soon realised, that we won’t get to the good places on foot or by just relying on public transport. I stumbled across a website on the interwebs promising a bike tour for „Derry Day Trippers“. It sounded just right for us, inexperienced tourists, a simple day tour on bikes to see Ireland’s most northern point. Some 40 km of flat lands. Or so we thought.
We went to Ireland.
We just felt like getting too much sun in Berlin. We needed to act fast. So we booked flights to visit our acquaintance Valentina in Derry/Londonderry. But as most of you, unknown readers of this site, know, every trip you’ll ever do has to begin in Amsterdam.
Cops and wooden shoes. Amsterdam!