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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Sep 4, 2014 - Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast was the only city in Ireland to experience the full force of the Industrial Revolution. It was known for its ship-building, rope-making, linen and tobacco industries. The well-known RMS Titanic, propelled Belfast on to the global stage in the early 20th century as the biggest and most productive shipyard in the world. Today, Belfast remains a center for industry, as well as the arts, higher education, business, and law, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of conflict called...

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Trip Journal


Ireland 2014

Jul 25, 2014 - Northern Ireland

Back again, After a packed bus ride into Dublin, then a hurried walk through busy Dublin city (a kind person quickly showed us the way to our hotel) we arrived at The Gresham Hotel. Right in the middle of the city centre, which was handy. We had two days here. Our second day started at 5am, picked up our breakfast bags from the hotel, then a short taxi ride to the pick up point for our big trip up north. Today we saw the countryside from a comfortable bus, with a passionate tale of the battle for independence from England by the Irish in...

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Jul 2, 2014 - Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland, was our destination today. We purchased Hop On Hop Off bus tickets ahead of time. We exchanged the e-ticket right away and our tour began! The tour took in the Titanic Quarter, Stormont and Parliament buildings, the Shankill and Falls Roads murals and the Queen's Quarter. We hopped off at the next to last stop and walked a few blocks to the BBC station for a tour of the broadcasting house for BBC2. We saw the television broadcasting area and was surprised how small the sets are. Also met the communications manager...

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Jun 8, 2014 - Giant's Causeway & Northern Ireland

Sunday morning, we had a wake up call for 430 and after getting our stuff together, we caught a taxi to the Dublin Discover Ireland Centre. We swung by the convenience store and got some breakfast and ate it at the steps of the former church. Soon, the tour buses from Irish Day Tours arrived and we got on the one heading to the Giant’s Causeway and Northern Ireland. Our bus driver and tour guide’s name was Matthew and he was a fantastic guide. As we drove north on M1 towards Northern Ireland, Matthew told us about the history of Ireland and...

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Jun 4, 2014 - Ireland Day 4 - St. Patrick

All of our days begin with a traditional style Irish breakfast. Eggs, bangers (sausage), rashers (like Canadian bacon), porridge, black pudding (you don't want to know!), white pudding, potato cakes, grilled tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, brown soda bread, croissants etc, and sometimes fruit and yogurt to keep us tourists happy. Fortunately for us it's usually served buffet style! Today was all about St.Patrick, beginning with a lecture by Erin Hinson, a graduate student with an MA in Irish Studies. St. Patrick was a real person who, as a...

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Trip Journal


Living Our Dream

Jun 3, 2014 - Ireland-Day 3 - A City Divided by Peace Walls

On the surface Belfast seems just like any other modern city, but underneath the pleasant, bustling downtown and hopefulness for the future lurks a shadow.... something called "The Troubles." Our first activity of the day was a lecture by Dr.Bill Rolston, a professor of sociology at the University of Ulster, whose research areas include popular political culture, particular the wall murals of Northern Ireland. This was our introduction to trying to understand the complicated history of this part of the world. My very simplified version is...

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Trip Journal


Living Our Dream

Jun 2, 2014 - Ireland Day 1 & 2 - I'm here!

Yikes.... from daytime temps in the high 90s to 50s in less than a day! Yes, I'm finally in cool, wet Ireland! My first glimpse from the plane was green and misty. I left Panama City yesterday afternoon, changed planes in Atlanta, and arrived in Dublin this morning. Smooth, easy flights... although I can't say that sitting on a plane for that many hours is fun for me. Sarah, our tour leader for the next 18 days, was waiting with a Road Scholar sign and scooted us off to a nearby hotel to wait until the entire group arrived. As soon as we...

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Trip Journal


Living Our Dream

Nov 2, 2013 - A Tale of Two Cities

I thought Belfast might have consisted of a Catholic City and a Protestant City. Instead, I discovered that it consists of a modern, vibrant well-integrated European state capital. The other city is the poor, rough, sectarian neighbourhoods divided by the ironically named "Peace Wall". Protestants in Shankill Road and Catholics in Falls Road, living right beside each other but with a whopping big wall down the guts. Today, being a Sunday, only one of the four gates was open. We toured both of these areas in a "Black Cab Tour" who now make...

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Sep 17, 2013 - All Day in Belfast

Misty morning. Washing laundry, run to Starbucks for breakfast. Very comfortable townhouse, only drawback is one bathroom. John called to make reservations for a Black Cab taxi tour of the city. They do other tours but we wanted the political tour. Our cab driver, Pat, was very informative, knowledgeable, tried to present both sides of the Cathoholic/Protestant issue. He is Catholic, very proud of his heritage and hopes some day Ireland will be a united country. Very sad and depressing the "troubles" on each side. We saw many murals -...

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Sep 16, 2013 - Derry to Belfast and in between

Arrived in Belfast this evening, about 6:30pm after a very satisfying day. We started off this morning in Derry about 8:15 am with a great continental breakfast. We have been so impressed with Premier Inn, the rooms are spacious, bed is ccomfortable, great shower etc. Our rooms were only 29 GBP through Booking.com. I have made several reservations through that website and they are working out well. Rooms are reserved with a credit card but no payment is made until you stay, cancellation policy varies but work very well for a traveller. Back...

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Sep 4, 2013 - Belfast: a city healing

We spent three days in Belfast, Northern Ireland. To be honest, I was somewhat hesitant to go there because of the city's reputation for violence. I was wrong. The city still has its problems but is definitely on its way to healing and becoming a more united community. To get a better understanding of the issues we took a city walking tour titled "A History of Terror". Our guide, Paul, is very qualified as he serves as a negotiator between the Loyalists and the Republicans. He grew up in Belfast during the worst of it and his house was even...

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May 18, 2013 - The Titanic Quarter (Belfast)

On the Saturday morning we boarded the coach and had a tour of the city of Belfast, driving by City Hall, Donegall Square, the Albert Memorial Clock, the Old Cathedral Quarter, the Belfast Peace Wall and other political wall mural sites. We learned more about 'the Troubles' and the hostilities between Northern Ireland and England during the conflict that began in the 1960s and endured through the 1990s. We then had a late morning group booking at the Titanic Experience in the Titanic Quarter adjacent to the Harland & Wolff shipyards where...

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