Sunday, November 30, 2014


Belfast is the capital and largest city in Northern Ireland. We were familiar with it's history concerning the "troubles", but had no idea how grand a city it was. We spent about 36 hours in Belfast and were continually being surprised, always a good thing.

After finding The Rectory, our B&B, we set out to explore....
First stop was St George's Market, one of Belfast's oldest attractions. It was built in 1890 and is one of the best markets in the UK. We were feeling peckish so it was an excellent lunch stop and I think we all have a regret for that "item" we should have purchased.

One of the special treats were the on sight artists.

This guy looks like he's sculpting with chocolate, he's not.

 We walked from the city center to the Crumlin Road Goal. Along the way we saw some resplendent architecture...City Hall with the Presbyterian church in the distance

re-purposing with an edge

City Hall
Metallic Street Art

Sunset trash burning
Another beautiful sunset

This is Harry, our tour guide at the Crumlin Road Goal, this tour was both gruesome and fascinating!

Gorgeous Victorian Prison

Cell art

prison courtyard

Chick-fil-a eat your heart out! Yummy supper!

On the advice of a friend of Allana's (a Belfast boy), we went to the Dirty Onion to hear some session music and enjoy a few craft pints. We made friends, witnessed a proposal(?), and had more fun than we expected.

First time I've see a bike in a church, we walked in on choir practice being recorded for the was another delightful moment in Belfast.

love these hand made kneelers

Belfast endured 40 years of virtual war, known as The Troubles. The IRA and other Catholic paramilitary groups used bombings, kidnappings and murder.
They wanted to end British rule of Northern Ireland and join the Republic of Ireland to the south. Violent Protestant paramilitary groups fought back.
And even though The Troubles officially ended in 1998, today many people still say they don't want the walls to come down.
So surprised that this wall is still up and the gate is locked at night.

Shankill Road(Unionists)area of West Belfast

The famous "Black" cab!
Our guide John was a Catholic from Scotland married to a Protestant from Belfast. He was interesting!

Remembering WWI

 The Peace Wall
They were built as temporary structures meant to last only six months, but due to their effective nature they have become wider, longer and more permanent. Originally few in number, they have multiplied and now stretch over 21 miles (34 km), with most located in Belfast. They have been increased in both height and number since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

Peace Wall on the Falls Road (Nationalists) side, you can see how they have increased the height of the wall. The caged in area at the back of the house had a picnic table and grill in it.

Ironically the churches on either side of this wall were not bombed.

The Christmas Market had just opened

Last stop before we headed to the airport was City Hall.
One of Belfast's most iconic buildings, Belfast City Hall first opened its doors in August 1906.  It's located in Donegall Square, in the heart of Belfast city center and is beautiful.

So much more to see and do in this fascinating city made leaving was difficult. I'm thankful for how much we experienced in our 36 hour visit.

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