The Past is Gone?
When I first traveled the world back in my university days, I visited London after some bombings had happened. At the time, during what were called The Troubles, there had been several bombings in the 1980s and 1990s. I listened to the band U2 and read the papers, tried to understand a situation where the people of Northern Ireland were at odds, where religion divided so strongly. I, along with many, hoped there would be peace. I never envisioned being able to actually visit there someday. I’m so glad that I have an opportunity to see how much this beautiful place has grown and changed over the years. I want to listen to local music and see local arts productions and walk it’s streets.
In the years since, a fierce determination to make Belfast strong and open has made many fruitful changes. I feel now that I can I go visit a place that has started to grow and heal itself over the years, that is fierce and strong. My family background may be from County Cork, but I hope for all of Irelands people to be happy, vibrant and to live life full. So I will go and see how well this country has done in the last 20 years. If you care to join me, here are a few things you can do there.
Always visit the past to appreciate the future. Belfast is home to many museums, and one I must see, The Titanic. This massive tragic ship was built here and I plan to see Belfast shipping past represented. I also am a sucker for transport museums, love looking at all forms of transport, especially European vehicles and ships since we do not see them much in the western US. Like any other city, museums run from large to small. Grand structures or small houses, there is something for everyone to enjoy. I always plan on at least one museum day where I can spend hours just absorbing history and art. Bonus: Most museums are free, donations appreciated. A great way to keep the touring budget down.
Are You a Fan of the Alternative? Like Tours that are a bit different?
Check out Culture Northern Ireland for alternative happenings in the area. Sometimes there are special guided tours. The tour that Terry Hooley, The Godfather of Ulster Punk, gave sounded like a hoot. Keep an eye out for other alternative tours that may happen. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Do you like quirk? I know I certainly do. Feed that out-of-the ordinary need through music, food tours, printshop tours, visit Narnia Gardens, and of course, Game of Thrones Tours.
Food Tours Who can pass on great foodie walks. Huge variety of eats in this is town, so bring a friends and sample the best of traditional and fusion foods.
Don’t forget the parks. Many cities have parks and Belfast has some great ones. Take a day to stroll the parks, see as many as you can in a day, then visit what sites are in between. I often do this after getting off the plane or train to stretch legs out a bit. It’s also a great way to get to know a city and you can see whatever sites are along the way. And think of the people you may meet, and the 4 legged variety as well.
Apps for That
GPS My City has a Belfast App, but GPS my city . However there are some free apps you may want to check out. Search for GaelGo in your App Store.
Understand the Lingo – Belfast Slang
Unique words abound in every vicinity and town of the world. Start with this guide to get on the up so you don’t look like deer in headlights for more than a few seconds. Hey, it’s up there with Liverpudlian. I have had that thrown at me in a pub. Fun!
21 WORDS AND PHRASES YOU’RE GUARANTEED TO HEAR IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Live – Check for what’s on
Visit Belfast – City guide