BELFAST, THE CAPITAL OF NORTHERN IRELAND
Population of Belfast - 295,000 (2021)
Currency - GBPound
Ireland, a country that is dear to my heart. My mother's side of the family is from Derry in Northern Ireland. They experienced the troubles first hand, which is why my Grandmother left for the safety of Wales with all her children.
Belfast was a no go area in the '70s, and 80's as the violence was at its worst, with bombings and murders, but in the late '90s, a peace treaty was reached, and to this day, it is still in place but is always fragile.
SOME FACTS ABOUT BELFAST
• The symbol of Belfast is a seahorse
• Led Zeppelin first played Stairway To Heaven here
• C S Lewis was born in Belfast
• Belfast has 3000 acres of parks
• Belfast has 2 sister cities in Nashville in the U.S and Hefei in eastern China
This is the first time we had been to Belfast, but I had been once before, so I thought I would show Donna and our friend Janie around, it was also my birthday 😋.
The flight was from Bristol airport on January 14th 2017, at 11.40 and took 1hr 10 minutes, so we arrived in Belfast by lunchtime. It was only £75 for both of us, so again pretty cheap.
The room was cosy and was in an area called the Filthy Quarter, which we thought sounded awesome 😂.
After getting settled into the hotel, we headed out to grab some food then start the evening early. It was Saturday afternoon, and I was turning 40 a week later !!
After only 2 minutes walk, we came across the local Wetherspoons The Bridge House; now being really hungry and pretty ready to get the birthday weekend started, we thought, "why not" the food is typically Wetherspoons ( which for anyone outside of the U.K, classic pub food at really low prices ). We bought a bottle of "top end" Prosecco each and started the evening, and it started to get really busy, really quickly, so we were lucky to get our seats.
3 Bottles of Prosecco down and ready to move on to see what else we can find and within
15 minutes, we arrived at Commercial Street, its what we call a party street, a narrow street with bars and pubs with a great atmosphere, definitely a place to have a few Guinness and listen to some live music which, in Belfast is not hard to find. We started in The Duke of York.
On leaving various other bars, all of which had a great buzz about them, we headed back to the area we were staying as there were some exciting places we had read about all in the Filthy Quarter or, as the locals say, " The Filty Quarter ".
Just down from our hotel was a place we found to be our favourite bar in Belfast called Filthy Mcnasty, sounds awful but trust us it is such a cool little place, we walked in the main bar. There was again a live band playing loud rock music, we love live music!!
To the right of the band was a door, so being nosey, we ventured through, and surprisingly we came to an outside area; there was another bar, seating and upstairs seating and in the middle was a Dj playing a set, to the left was another door which led into a wine and cocktail bar with pop music playing. What a find this place was. If you are in Belfast, check this awesome place out.
I am obsessed with the titanic and have been since school; I wrote a story for my GCSE about two people falling in love when they meet on the ship, where only one survives, that was in 1993 never saw that piece of work again, but 4 years later a similar film came out starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio, which sounded just like my work, I'm convinced it was my story😂.
The Titanic museum is built on the Harland and Wolff shipyard site where the famous ship was built, and it was opened in March of 2012.
It's in an area now named the Titanic quarter. The area has been redeveloped after the demise of the shipping trade and left derelict for years.
As you [approach the museum, you are immediately are amazed at the architecture of the building; it is made of 4 x 38m replica high pointed hulls of the Titanic.
When you enter the museum again, we were amazed at the place's size,
At the start of the tour, we had a photo taken in the attire of the time, with which you receive a ticket and choose if you want to buy the photo at the end, we did, of course.
Within the museum, there is a ride that will show you around the shipyard of old. There are interactive sections, even virtual reality people in their cabins which we found kind of spooky.
2 hours inside the museum, it still isn't over yet, as berthed outside is the SS Nomadic, which is the last remaining White Star Line ship in the world.
It is a restored 1911 ship which will take you back to the time of some of the smaller ships of the days and is worth the visit, it is an only a small ship so does get crowded, but worth it so take an extra 30 minutes of your day and check it out.
The museum is brilliant for fans like ourselves. For more information, click here; it will take you to the Titanic Belfast museum website.
Belfast is an amazing city that is coming into its own after trying to shake off its terrible past, and it now has a developing vibrant restaurant scene.
We had mussels, chips and a Guinness in the oldest building in the city, Mchughs Bar on Queen's square, which is just across the road from the famous Big Fish sculpture to entering a bar called Granny Annies Kitchen that had furniture on the ceiling and cocktails and lives music.
Go for a walk in the evening and see City hall all lit up or go shopping in the modern malls. Whatever you choose to, don't forget to grab a Guinness and enjoy the vibe in this cool city and make sure you have a good craic.