Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Last Trip of the Year...Belfast!

My final trip over here was up to Belfast. I went with my friend Caroline. We spent a few days up there seeing the sights and having an amazing time!

This is the main Catholic church in the city centre.

Dinner the first night. I got Mediterranean fish soup. Soooo good. Spicy even!

Petit Fours for desert!

This is the place we had dinner at.

Not actually sure where this was. On our first full day we went on a bus tour that took us to the Giant's Causeway, but it stopped at a bunch of other places on the way and this was one of them.

Me on the famous rope bridge! (I would be able to tell you the name of it, except that I packed all of the stuff about it)

On the little island that the rope bridge takes you to. It used to be for the fishermen's use.

Some beautiful Northern Irish coastline!

Next we stopped at the Bushmills Distillery. It is the oldest licensed distillery in the world.

Had to get a taste of it while we were there! It isn't as good to sip as Jameson, but it's smooth and mixes great with a little bit of coke.

The Northern Irish proof of global warming. That is the church steeple of a town that is now completely submerged.

At the Giant's Causeway we were able to order some food at the hotel. I got steak and Guinness was INCREDIBLE!!! Caroline kept stealing bits of it when she thought I wasn't looking.

The Giant's Causeway is a huge special rock formation that was created when lava from a volcano hit the ocean water. Now it consists of these hexagonal shafts of stone. Very interesting and extremely fun to run around and climb on!

I'm at the top of the world!

Me and Caroline. It took the poor person 4 tries to get this picture because of how sad my camera is.

Back in Belfast city we were walking down the main shopping street and noticed that this building is purely a facade. One of our theories is that most of the building was destroyed by a bomb during the troubles and that just this part remains and they left it because of the older style of architecture. Purely a theory, but possible.

The largest celtic cross on the island of Ireland.

On our second day in Belfast we took a Black Cab Tour. In the tour they take you around to the famous murals all over Belfast in the different districts. This is probably one of the most famous murals. It's in a Protestant neighborhood and the guy at the top with the gun and mask is a UFF (Ulster Freedom Fighters) member. It is painted so that no matter where you are standing the gun is always pointed at you.

Another one of the murals in the Protestant district.

This is the "Freedom Wall" or the "Berlin Wall of Belfast." This wall separates the Protestant and Catholic districts in this part of the city. It is still fully functioning as a divider. There are gates at intervals on the wall that are open from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, but at all other times the wall completely separates the districts. This particular section is on the Protestant side and the reliefs are scenes from stories while the silver lines contain quotes from famous people. All are about hope and peace.

Another section of the wall.

This is on the Catholic side of the wall on Bombay Street. This street has been targeted so many times that to this day every window on the street is plastic and there are cages on the backs of the houses that are against the wall to prevent explosives actually hitting the house.

Part of a long mural containing many different scenes about all parts of the world in the Catholic district.

After the tour we were dropped off at the town hall where there was a Spring Fair going on. At this point it was time for lunch and we found something...different. I ate a kangaroo burger!

It was actually quite delicious.

She just had to top me...her burger is penguin! It was good, but we both liked the kangaroo better.

Later I got a roasted hog sandwich.

And then it started to pour, so we spent the rest of the day inside of malls window shopping.

So, there it is, my last trip. I would write more, but I must run. We're hosting one last Spanish/American dinner party here tonight, then going out to grab a couple of pints for my farewell night. I'll have one more update when I get home tonight, then the next time you'll hear from me I'll be in California.

Just 11 hours until my flight leaves from Cork...crazy!

1 comment:

marbea said...

24 hours from now you should have been on US soil for 5 minutes (more by the time I am able to post this)

and do you know how scared I am of rope bridges??? YIKES

but beautiful pictures and in one of them you look like me camping at Death Valley (remind me to show you)

sorry we missed your call

love you