Blogs from Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Antrim » Belfast October 3rd 2019

We arrived late at night in Belfast, a city made famous because of it's turbulent past referred to by it’s people as “The Troubles.” Dennis had visited Belfast in the mid 90's and didn't have a chance to stay because of a car bombing that had occurred that day that scared off his travel companions, so he looked forward to finally returning. The troubles were primarily from 1968-1998 when bombings and assassinations occurred between the Protestant “Loyalists,” who were supportive of a British controlled Northern Ireland, and the Catholic IRA “Republicans,” who were supportive of an independent and unified Ireland. There had been religious conflict between the Protestants and Catholics well before this time, but this is the period when armed conflict escalated and British troops were deployed to Northern Ireland and over 300 miles of ... read more
Loyalist neighborhood in Derry
Dunluce castle.

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland September 13th 2019

A new day and onwards to Northern Ireland and the city of Belfast. Train windows frame the beautifully kept homes, fertile fields, and miles of dry stone walls. The Titanic was built in Belfast, and so one must visit the multi-senses Titanic Experience. A rotating ride takes visitors through the shipyard where you feel the heat of the welding, and hear the rivets being installed. As you walk, there are constant vibrations in the floor, and it is like walking within a ship. Then you experience a 3-D tour of each floor, and the sounds of the Hartley band playing. As well, after the ship hits the iceberg, the temperature drops, and darkness falls. Amazing that it took a year to build the Titanic, and it was only three days before it sank. An enormous tragedy. ... read more
The Irish love their shoes!
The Titanic Campus
The Titanic Buildings & display are remarkable!

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Antrim » Belfast August 29th 2019

Up at 6:45. Another terrific buffet breakfast at the hotel. The hotel breakfasts are mostly in line with similar offerings around the world, but there are a few different things. "Black and white pudding" consists of hard salty cakes, some black, some white; not a favourite. "Scuffins" are a cross between scones and muffins, and they are delicious. The bread is fabulous. At the porridge station proudly stands a bottle of Bushmill's for garnishing your cereal. How civilized. We board the coach for a city tour of Belfast and meet our new driver, David. (Darius was assigned to another tour.) Our first stop is Belfast City Hall. This turns out to be the grandest, most opulent city hall I have ever seen. Built in 1906 to celebrate the city's new prosperity stemming from the industrial revolution, ... read more
Looking down the grand staircase
Stained-glass window
Mayor for a day!

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Antrim » Belfast August 28th 2019

We're up at what the Irish call "half seven"; i.e., 7:30. Excellent buffet breakfast at the hotel, then on to the coach. (Tony is very insistent that we are riding on a coach, not a bus.) We met our driver, Darius, briefly yesterday. He's Polish and seems to enjoy our ability to carry out simple conversations in Polish. We head north, paralleling the Irish coast, although the sea is not often in sight. It's about 20ºC and overcast but the forecasted rain has happily not materialized. The Irish countryside is beautiful, a patchwork quilt of various shades of green that mark the boundaries between farms, crops, and mountainous areas. The rolling hills in the distance are reminiscent of the Gatineau. Stucco and brick houses predominant. Many of the homes boast lovingly planned and maintained gardens. Tony ... read more
Exhibit in D'Arcy McGee Museum
Irish countryside
Cemetery where St. Patrick is buried with town in distance

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Down » Belfast August 23rd 2019

August 20, 2019 – Belfast, Northern Ireland – Weather: 61°F/16°C, sunny with clear skies in am, cloudy with scattered showers in pm, wind 10 mph, humidity 66° Belfast, which today is Northern Ireland’s largest city, has occupied this area since the Bronze Age. The community remained a relatively small throughout the middle ages until the 17thcentury when it began to blossom into an industrial center in the 19th& 20thcenturies. Today the city continues to be an industrial hub with tentacles in the high-tech area. Belfast holds a special place in modern history as the “birthplace” of the ill-fated RMS Titanic which was designed and built in the Harland & Wolff shipyards, along with her sisters Olympic and Britannic. Today the shipyard is quiet excect for the throngs of tourists who make their way to th... read more
2_Antlers over front door
3_Part of the Living room
4_Throne room

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland » County Antrim » Belfast August 20th 2019

We hopped a train from Dublin with an Irishman named David and headed north today. What a gloriously, delicious day it was, Again we were pretty lucky, because like a ding-dong I had purchased the tickets with the intention of trying to get the right weather day to do this tour. Duh, there is no right weather day in Ireland, it rains, the sun shines, it rains, and the glorious sun shines. So, I prompted Kerry to get on with it and we grabbed a taxi and headed to the train station at 6:15 a.m. 😳 only to find out when we met David, our tour guide, that I had made the reservation for the following day...yep. Luckily, David was able to squeeze us in with new friends, Kaylynn and her daughter Samma (Samantha) from Utah, ... read more
Carrickfergus Castle and King Kerry :)
Carrickfergus Castle
The Causeway.

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland August 11th 2019

We arrived in Canterbury after a taxi and 2 train rides from Lindisfarne - 5 hour trip Canterbury is another "Holy Place". Pilgrims have been flocking here for 1600 years. So we are travelling on well worn pavement. Indeed some of the paving stones in the Cathedral are amazingly worn down, especially on the steps. The chancel area of this Cathedral is quite unique, with many sets of stairs going up and up and up. The final destination was the martyrdom of Thomas a Becket, way behind the great altar. Quite a journey for a weary pilgrim to reach this final destination. We got to go to 11am worship in the Quire this morning. The Cathedral has massive renovations going on outside and inside. Thus the pipe organ is out for restoration and no worship in ... read more
Canterbury Cathedral out our room window
Canterbury Cathedral
North side Canterbury Cathedral

On a visit to Belfast, we visited the Titanic Building and the Titanic Studios Belfast where Game of thrones series segments are produced. Also shown the World Residence cruise ship and HMS Caroline. We are expecting 150 cruise ships into Belfast port this year.... read more

Hillsborough Co Down in Northern Ireland dates from 1661 and named after Sir Arthur Hill. Hillsborough Castle is a two-storey Georgian mansion and is the Queen's official residence in Northern Ireland.... read more

Je prendrai l'avion pour la ville. Je visiterai la ville et la mairie. Je visiterai le musée titanique. Je visiterai la première place d'une attaque de l'IRA.... read more
 Musée Titanique

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