Monday, March 20, 2017

March 19, 2017. A day on the Titanic!

LOCATION:  Belfast, Northern Ireland

WEATHER:  On-and-off sun.  Yeah!  Highs in 50s


Not far from our hotel is the famous Europa Hotel, the most bombed hotel in the world.  It was a massive target during the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland between 1970-1998.  Everything seems quite peaceful now.  

We visited the St. George Market, busy on a Sunday with food and craft vendors.  I bought a wool cap.  The weaver asked me where I was going with a need for a hat and I said Scotland.  She said  I would certainly need it there and said she had Scottish tourists buying hats often.  Uh-oh?


George bought a spiffy rain hat.  Now we are ready for anything....

We walked about 2 miles to the Titanic Quarter.  Similar to the Docklands in London, this formerly grungy port area is being turned in to nice condos, shops, etc with its Titanic Belfast Museum as its crown jewel.

The Titanic Belfast Museum is purportedly one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world.  It is about 3 years old, and really is well-done.

The first floor tells the history of Belfast, home of linen-making and boat-building in the 1800s.  From there, on different floors we saw a series of events about the history of the Titanic.  We saw a replica of the Titanic being built.  From there, we toured areas showing what it looked like inside.  Here I am standing on its bow....

Then, of course, displays about the tragedy with personal stories of many of the passengers.  Very gripping.

It ended with a video of the remains that they have now photographed 12000 feet below the sea.    

After the museum, we wandered back toward the city.  We stumbled upon this pub, built in 1711, where locals were having a Sunday afternoon jam session.

There were about 15 musicians all playing different instruments.  We sat next to the smal sons and daughters of the musicians, playing while waiting for their parents to finish playing. 

It was just a bunch of people playing for their own enjoyment and practice, and not for any tourists.  It was lovely.


Here's another section of the pub, with a fireplace glowing.  George goofing around with an old telephone....
DINNER:  We walked to a pub near our hotel.  It is a part of a chain called Wetherspoons.  We went to a few when we were in England last year.  They serve very reasonably priced food and have a good selection of beer.  I was curious about many tables around us, all with men speaking a different language. The guys next to us all had massive platters of steak, fries, peas and extra bread and butter.  Then, when they were finished, the waiter brought them a second dinner each, this time with fried fish, fries, peas and more bread.  All washed down with several pints.  Later, we laughed with them about the quantity of food they were eating, as compared to the one dish that George and I shared. They told us that they are from Greece working here temporarily in a solar plant.  When we walked back to our hotel, the same group of guys were outside smoking.  We love meeting people from other cultures.  

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