We woke up after 5am and took two taxis to the Belfast airport. Before that we enjoyed the lovely hotel breakfast in hurry. Everything went well except Jasmin hurt her finger by packing in a rush. We also had some overweighted luggage but gladly we fixed it by moving stuff from the heaviest bags to one’s that still had room. That would’ve been a good idea but unfortunately they lost Samu’s bag somewhere and there were also some of Jasmin’s things at the bag. One of the guitar bags’ lock also got broken at the transporting. We also had a rush to catch the trains from Tikkurila but despite all of the fuzz everything went well and Samu got his bag to Kajaani the following day. From Tikkurila the rest of the group went by a train to Kajaani and Eerika took a different train to spend her winter holiday in Tampere. Jasmin, Jere and Henna were going to have a gig with Antti Matikainen in Kajaani on the same week. What an amazing journey!
On Monday it was time to go. We packed our bags and visited the college in the morning. It was sad to say goodbye to our friends but gladly a group of them comes to Kajaani in May. We’re sure we will visit Derry again. So, we greeted also the hostel staff and took a bus to Belfast.
In Belfast we checked in to a beautiful hotel in the middle of Belfast center, let our bags to the rooms and went to see the city for the last time. Unfortunately it was already an afternoon so we had only few hours to spend at the center of the city. We saw the City Hall again and visited shops nearby. From Belfast we bought our souvenirs to take home. In the evening we all were quite tired so we just hanged out at the hotel and had for example relaxing baths.
We had very mixed feelings on Sunday morning. We were very excited but still a little bit sad because we knew it was going to be our last day in Derry. Yet again Sofia, Samu, Jere and Eerika had a gig in a café, called The Scullery. The gig went very well although it was a quite quiet Sunday afternoon. Once again the food was delicious and the staff was very lovely and friendly. We had fun and it was a good ending for the week.
After the gig our dear Irish friends drove us to have dinner in a restaurant by the sea. It was relaxing to see once again all the wonderful views on the way and listening music. Milo works in restaurant but this time he sat down and ate with us. The restaurant was also beautiful on the inside and the food was absolutely delicious.
After finishing our meals we drove to the next place which was Milo’s godfather’s stone cottage. It was a beautiful place on a hill where you could see the city lights. We brought our own instruments and started the biggest jam sessions so far. We jammed the whole night and had an amazing time! What a wonderful way to end our unforgettable journey! During the night it snowed a little bit. We weren’t back in Derry until the morning so we headed straight to bed.
On Saturday it was time to hit the road again! The destination was Giant’s Causeway. Our travelling company included Tony and Matthew and Ronan as a driver. Once again we drove with the school’s mini bus. The day was very rainy but sights were still amazing. First we stopped by the beach and saw beautiful rocky mountains. They told us it was one of the filming places of Game of Thrones. We planned to buy a flat there in the summer. Unfortunately it was too rainy to climb the hills so we kept on going.
The next stop was the legendary Giant’s Causeway. It was a bigger tourist attraction than we expected. Views were breath taking of course. We were very extreme to go to the rocks by walking in such a raging storm. Maybe we would’ve enjoyed the sights a little more on a sunny day but we got an experience to remember! After getting back inside we were all wet like dogs so we drank some coffee and headed back to Derry. On Saturday night we wanted to celebrate our last night in Derry so we headed to the city centre together and had a wonderful night.
Friday was a gig day! Samu, Eerika, Sofia and Jere were going to have their second bar gig in an Irish pub called The Gweedore Bar. Before the evening we cooked the lasagna for our guests Milo and Matthew at the hostel. What a lovely dinner it was! The day also included some jamming and playing Pictionary with the guys.
The gig at the Gweedore was amazing! The place was crowded and everybody seemed to have a good time. Especially the staff was very nice and friendly to us. It was good to get to use PA again and just let go! Booking gigs in the new city was not easy but hard work finally paid off. After approximately an hour of playing we stayed at the bar partying.
On Thursday we had a meeting with Basil. He and Willie were very generous to give all of us college’s new hoodies. The hoodies were good because they were so soft and warm. We also chatted on a coffee table and visited Basil’s office. Basil’s wife did a very lovely gesture by cooking us lasagna to take with us to the hostel. We are thankful for all the great and friendly people we’ve met here. After the meeting we stayed at the college to jam with Sean who is a drummer. We had a blast and we did some crazy arrangements. Good thing music doesn’t have to be so serious! We spent the rest of the day by eating and shopping at the mall. Sean also stayed to hang out with us in the evening at our hostel.
Wednesday was a lot of fun. Before noon we were invited for a lunch with Ronan and few students at the school restaurant called Flying Clipper’s. We had a three course meal and the food was delicious. When our stomachs were full we were very lucky to get to go on a little day trip. Matthew, Aidan and Sean drove us around Ireland with their cars and showed us many amazing places and sights. The beauty of Ireland absolutely blew us away. We visited an old castle rock, a beach and the north part of Ireland called Malin Head. To thank them we took the guys for a dinner in a nice restaurant. The day was unforgettable! The pictures tell much more than words ever could.
We were still happy about the last night’s gig on Tuesday morning. We slept a little later and ate a good meal in a restaurant. In the afternoon we went to the college for rehearsals and to prepare our performing. We had a guest performance in Watify event which took place at the school’s theatre. We played two songs and despite some small confusions everything went well. Afterwards we stayed at the theatre listening speeches and enjoying cocktails. In the evening we went back to Bennigans to listen some groups for example a girl group called Borderline and a Danish accordion player. The musicians were good and we had a relaxed evening.
We went to see the college’s Music skills competition on Monday noon. The competition took place at the school’s theatre. We were very impressed by the talented students. The show lasted for more than two hours and there were three categories: the best cover band, original band and a singer-songwriter category. We already knew many of the musicians beforehand and the level was really high! After seeing that, we stayed at the school practicing for our gig at Bennigans.
The Finnish night at Bennigans was great fun. Our set list was based on acoustic songs and we played for two hours. The atmosphere in the bar was very warm and the Irish greeted us with great respect. It was very good to perform with a PA this time. Our Finnish Night was a success!
On Sunday morning it was time to pack our stuff and move from Travelodge to the hostel. Jasmin and Henna did a nice gesture by cooking for everyone including the hostel staff a nice Finnish meal – minced meat and potatoes with salad, bread and red wine. In the evening we had a nice little jamming session with guitars and a ukulele at the hostel lobby by the fireplace. It was good to get to know the hostel employees better and they turned out be very nice fellows! All in all Sunday was a very relaxing day.