Day Three - Belfast and Meeting the Tour Group

A combination of crappy internet and little spare time means I am way behind in my blog! So a condensed version. Today saw us visiting the Ulster museum, which was only a ten minute walk from our Air B&B. It is free and has an amazing display of artifacts. We spent the most time in the history section, where they had a most informative exhibit about the Troubles. As well an interesting exhibit about the Spanish Armada’s presence in this part of the world. They also have a number of feature items, such as a Stegosaurus skeleton, an Edmontosaurus, a wolfhound, a meteorite from Russia, to name but a few. The art floor has paintings from prominent Irish artists, along with a display of woodcuts, which were all done by women which is unusual, because women were not typically evident in the art world several hundred years ago. There was also a photographic display by Frank Quinn, who has had an ongoing project of capturing the Peace Walls in Belfast. The plan is to have these walls torn down by 2023, and he wanted to capture them for posterity. As it happened, he was in the gallery making some minor adjustments, so I got to talk with him.

On to the HOHO with a stop in central Belfast where we wandered around a bit and saw some of the sights there, including St. Anne’s church, the largest Celtic cross in Northern Ireland, the Albert Memorial clock, a sculpture called ‘The Calling’, and the Salmon of Knowledge.

We lucked into the free tour of City Hall, which is a most impressive building, reminiscent of our Legislative building. Much more opulent than our city hall in YEG. Mayor Iveson would be green with envy!

After that we headed back to the Air B&B to collect our luggage, which our host, Ruairi, kindly let us leave for the day. We were able to walk over to the hotel where the tour starts and got settled in just in time for our meeting with our fellow travellers. We are 7 Canadian couples, along with two young women one from St. Louis, the other from Dallas. They seem like a good bunch, very well-travelled! After our meet and greet, we headed out to the Barking Dog for dinner.