Day 20: Trip to Derry in Northern Ireland

After waking up at 6.00 this morning and packing the rest of the things four our trip to Northern Island, my roommate and I were on our way out the door to the designated "bust stop."  We were greeted by Dr. Lehman and John Nolan and were finally on the road to Northern Ireland around 7.00.

The first stop of the day was at Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan for breakfast.  The food was great and we had a lot of choices!  Afterwards we then got back on the road and made our way to Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh.

The tour started with a little background about ourselves followed by a PowerPoint that pertained to Butler County - The General Butler was actually Irish!  After about an hour talk with two professors, we then made our way outside to walk around the area.  We were able to visit several huts and village houses while also talking with several tour guides.  The one room we specifically spent most time at was the Mellon household - more specifically where Thomas Mellon was born and raised.  (For those who do not know, Thomas Mellon aka Mellon Arena or Carnegie Mellon University, etc.!).  We also discovered how Mellon and Carnegie had gotten together in Western Pennsylvania and how the Mellon family moved to Pennsylvania for farming.

We continued our way around the park to a place that involved a small village or port where people leaving Ireland and heading to the states would take ships across the sea.  This was a very neat tour - we were able to actually sit in a replica ship they had built to show what the living arrangements looked like while also explaining the travel process.  Finally, we made our way to New World or the look of what was Western Pennsylvania - wood cabins and wood barns.

After finishing the tour, we made our way back in for lunch where we were given a bowl of soup.  The next stop of the day involved a bus ride to the Ramada Da Vinci Hotel in Derry.  John Nolan explained that the area of Northern Ireland, even though less of an issue now, still has some tension or shall we say visual wear and tear of what had occurred several years ago involving "Bloody Sunday."

When reaching the hotel, we quickly checked in and took showers before dinner.  Dinner consisted of salmon, cream vegetable soup, and a dessert of Vanilla and Oreo Cheesecake - so good!

The rest of the evening was to ourselves where most students decided to head back to the rooms to watch movies, relax, and eventually get some sleep.

Tomorrow we head off to Giants Causeway after a group tour of Derry.  Cannot believe it's almost Saturday already!