Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh Belfast, you are more and quite less what I thought you were

Belfast you were beautiful, but a tad scary and the people did not seem very inviting like Dubliners. Belfast was a completely different place than Dublin. It was modern, but in a different way, and they were also very proud of where they are now in society and were they were 8 years ago. They showed their struggles through these amazing murals that are all over the buildings and homes.

We started the day early at 6:30 at the train station, and then arrived in Belfast at around 10:30. We immediately boarded the coach and met Michael, our tour guide. He was very very nice, and pointed out a lot of interesting things in the city including all the McDonald’s, KFC, beautiful murals/churches, and the walls that separated the Protestant from Catholic side of the city.

During the trip we got the chance to stop by the place that the Titanic was built. It was in a huge shipyard that at one time employed over thousands upon thousands, but only now has about 300 employees. I am in love with the movie with Leo Dicaprio and Cate Winslet, but being in the place were it was built is completely different playing field. It was amazing just how massive it was.

At the end of our tour we visited the Belfast Telegraph, and heard from the Director of Digital Development, Gerry Patterson. He really opened my eyes to the many differences in Northern Ireland than the republic. Everyone in Northern Ireland has broadband Internet, unlike the south where many still have dial-up. He also said that they don’t use the Internet like we do. They use it, but are not attached at the hip to their iPhones and laptops like many Americans.

I liked Belfast, it was an experience, but it’s just not the kind of place. All the murals of men with ski masks intimidated me, and the atmosphere was just not what it is here in Dublin. I love the people here, and will dearly miss it when we leave in Sunday. Tomorrow, I have a full day to go do whatever I please, which will be everything I have wanted to but never got the chance. On a side note, I will miss our tour guide Rachel. She will be leaving to go back to the states because of a family emergency. I will really miss her!

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