Sunday, April 3, 2011

Belfast, Northern Ireland

After our time in Dublin, we rented a car and drove up to Belfast in Northern Ireland.  We enjoyed our time in Dublin, but were eager to see how Northern Ireland might differ.  The people that we'd spoken to in Dublin said that the mood was a little darker in Belfast, but that there was no real difference between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (part of the UK).  They said, It's all just Ireland.  And they were right.  I was surprised to find that the border wasn't even marked, let alone observed.  The main difference seemed to be the fact that we now needed British Pounds instead of Euros for cash.
The City Hall in Belfast was beautiful.  The picture below shows one part of it with a monument to Queen Victoria in the foreground.  The grounds around the building seemed to be a popular teen hangout, funny enough.  Like we'd heard, the air did seem to be a little heavier in this area.  We didn't have a lot of time to explore the city, but we did quite a bit of walking and discovered, if nothing else, that there isn't a whole lot open on Saturday nights.  When we looked at store hours, they seemed to close earlier on Saturdays and stay open later on Thursdays.  I wish I knew the "why's" on that!
Belfast City Hall
So many places available to rent or buy.
The Irish Breakfast.
This guy never ceases to crack me up.
We arrived in Belfast on Saturday (March 19) and on Sunday (March 20) we drove along the Causeway Coast.  We left Northern Ireland on Monday, so you can see that we really weren't able to really get to know the area at all.  I am glad that we were able to see it, however.  Next post: the incredibly beautiful Causeway Coast.

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