From Ireland to Austria Series: Mystery Tour, Indeed.
This is from a series originally posted on my original blog: Seefahrer Thayer. While I don't recommend it, you can view the original posts here. Because the content had value and useful tips I've decided to repost them here, however, they've since been heavily edited and updated.
Soooooo... went to Derry-Londonderry because it's a historic pretty town that I planned to stay the night in before going to Coleraine to see the Giant's Causeway. Well, I got here about three hours ago. I've been looking for a bed ever since.
I've gotta say, it's a pretty enough town, but whoever put all those hills there should likely flatten them out a wee bit. Absolutely ridiculous. Nothing but hills. With a 60 pound backpack. And many times THE SAME hill. Both ways, 3 times.
Anyway, my impression?
Way too many loud drunk teenagers. And I mean 15 year old girls, in all black, and what looks like dancing shorts way up their butt. Drunk and loud. Guys too. In fact, they were the loudest and most annoying.
Half of everyone I came across, went out of their way to be kind. This included: a woman from Alaska that asked me if I was lost, a lady that walked me all the way up one of those steep hills to show me a hostel, a guy that called his friend to ask if he had room at his place, and a woman that offered to give me a ride. Everyone else? Wouldn't even make eye contact with me.
And of course- what the hell, Londonderry? Why is there nowhere to sleep? You may be thinking to yourself, "what the hell, Arianna? Why didn't you plan ahead of time?" Well. You should probably opt out now while you still can.
I re-met an Israeli guy that apparently remembered me from the Dublin hostel, he was really nice, walked me to the bus stop and offered to carry my bag- which of course I refused (but there was a moment's hesitation).
I had asked what one thing I should see was, and everyone told me the city walls, which were... alright. Nothing that exciting (because if you missed it, they're walls). The best thing they could recommend were WALLS. Even though the town was named city of the year in a billion different magazines and travel guides.... not really impressed. Glad I saw it: at least I got a workout. I also got to hear someone call the trunk a "boot" so that itself was worth it.
Thank God I don't pay for individual train rides.
Which by the way, I'm pretty sure I could have gotten away with photocopying someone's Euro Pass, because NO ONE looks at it. I had to ask to get it stamped to verify it the first time I used it (so they'd know what day it was valid until). That's right, I had to go find someone and request they stamp my pass so I didn't cheat them. No one asked me for a ticket getting on or off at Londonderry.
Anyway, back to Londonderry. I went back to the station and saw a train beginning to take off. Not having enough time to verify where it was even going (but knew it was out of town, and that was good enough for me) I jumped on. The ticket guy on the train I just hopped asked me for my pass, glanced at it, and didn't even take it out of my hand. Seriously? I wonder if the rest Europe is the same? I'm also relatively certain my ticket isn't even valid here, since it's technically UK, but I'm too scared to ask anyone for sure- and they keep taking it. So why not.
Here's some crappy pictures of (and on the way to) somewhere I can't recommend backpacking through.