With the start of the second week, it became political: The border with Northern Ireland was crossed and Londonderry, in Ireland one speaks of Derry visited. The Town Hall holds an extensive exhibit on colonization through Britain to the tensions of the recent past.
The former and well-preserved city wall is still recognizable today as a border to the surrounding majority of Irish quarters.
We missed the last tour of the day through the Bushmills distillery by a few minutes, so the walk through the basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway is longer. On the way to dinner, we also go in search of the dark hedges, a centuries-old and film-proven gnarled avenue. The evening sun, however, makes this scenery look completely different from what the films usually aim ...
After a good night's rest, the last stage on the Irish island follows: the route to Belfast.
It stays political too: on a Black Taxi Tour (the only ride on the tour that takes place on wheels, but not those of the SAAB), we learn from a local Irishman details, background and still current effects of the British-Irish conflict. In the meantime, this has largely been shifted from the street to politics, but under the surface unresolved issues of great intensity are also noticeable to the inexperienced visitor.
The fact-based history of the city of Belfast and the important shipyards we will then experience in the Titanic Museum. An impressive modern building with a very revealing, extensive and exciting exhibition around Belfast, the ship of the same name, its downfall and the consequences (for people, seafaring and - I was surprised - the early mass media).
From the evening and overnight, we then go by ferry to the first leg of the return trip: to England, Liverpool to be precise. The SAAB has for the first time a parking space with lake view on deck. Our cabin is at the same height only a few meters ahead. We will dock at 7.30 and try to be reasonably well rested.
At first without breakfast we go to Crewe: We are tempted briefly in the (Bentley) showroom, but the appreciation of the old companion drives us back out and in the direction of Chatsworth House. The route runs through the Peak District, English Central Uplands. A route that - this time surprisingly - is also very pleasant to drive: up, down, curves, sharp turns and every now and then a nice straight. Round hills, a few streams and all kinds of animals decorate the area appealingly.
The abovementioned dwelling now houses a noble family and was probably Jane Austen's inspiration for Pride and Prejudice. The tour of the property, including the garden, took up the afternoon, so that the remaining daily kilometers were consumed as fast food in the evening: on the direct route to the quarter.
To compensate for the female destination the day before, the following day began with a detour to Northampton: 78 Derngate. The last and at the same time the only architectural work by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in England. Largely preserved, restored and can be viewed. The interior construction in the style of early classical modernism can be described as being ahead for the year 1917. Almost Art Déco, a little fading Art Nouveau.
It followed Cambridge. Another goal that I had already addressed 2012. The co-driver was new and I enjoyed the contrast to Oxford: it seems more open, more spacious, less crowded and welcomes the visitor more friendly. The duel for personal preference wins Cambridge. After the city tour, the city did not want to let us go: busy traffic in the late afternoon.
We reach Harwich accordingly late, but have already enjoyed dinner on the way.
Of course, there is still time for a nightcap in the attached pub of the neighborhood. However, the special, local and only barely available beers had been greatly restricted by the consumption of other guests in the variety. We were still looking for and that had to be, it was the last evening on the island, on the left. I like this perceived absurdity: drive left, steer left.
The next morning, the ferry starts again; back to Holland. On Friday evening, we then come for a family visit to my brother in the Ruhr area and on Saturday evenings we finally reach Berlin again. Since Hoek van Holland it is almost 800 km, largely unspectacular.
We are on the road for a total of 15 days, cover around 4.500 km, take the ferry five times and the SAAB 18-212.000, which has run 9 km for 3 years, delivers without complaint. Despite all prophecies of doom, the GM-SAAB puts you in a driving mood and one or the other passerby even had a smile on their lips for the red eccentric from abroad.
The next destinations are already scheduled: See you on the Pre-Tour from Kiel to the SAAB Festival and in August at the IntSAAB in Dinslaken. The red Knut is ready and waiting for the next trip.