We arrived this morning in Belfast… and of course, it was raining. Here’s my first view from the ship.
Yes, it was a little disappointing at first but we managed to deal with the weather – it was, however, much better than what we experienced in Edinburgh. Our first excursion was Panoramic Belfast and showed us much of the city and its highlights. Here are a few photos about the city.
It was fascinating to hear about the “Troubles” Northern Ireland and particularly Belfast faced for almost 30 years – the hostility between the Catholics and the Protestants. Our tour guide was extremely funny and made light of many things, but the “Troubles” was a very emotional topic. We toured through the Protestant area and then also the Catholic area. It was interesting to see the graffiti and poster art that highlighted some of the struggles.
You could see the art throughout the city. Today, Belfast is seeing a large revival with new construction, new hotels, and greater tourism. It is a very charming city with a lot of personality. It was home to the building of the Titanic and there is a very large museum dedicated to it. There is also a memorial for the 1,514 souls who were lost in the maiden voyage. It too is the home of Game of Thrones where it is produced.
We left our first excursion in the center of the city and ventured out on our own in order to have lunch at a nearby pub – Kelly’s Cellars. Bessie, Lauren, Rich and I all had Irish Stew and an Irish beer at Kelly’s before returning for our next excursion.
Our next excursion was the Pub Crawl. We went to two old, old pubs in Belfast – one, the oldest licensed pub, and the other, the oldest building and non-licensed pub in Belfast. Although some of the tour guide information was repetitive, we very much enjoyed the actual time in the pubs… and of course, the beer.
All in all it was a great, fun-filled day that really gave us a good feeling for Ireland. I know that there’s a big difference between Northern Ireland and Ireland but the people seem to be so proud to be Irish, no matter where they live. We’re now looking forward to Dublin and all that it has to offer.
Please check back tomorrow for more stories.