Friday, September 2, 2016

Belfast - Thursday 1st September, 2016

After a lovely sleep and no real pressure to get going we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the restaurant on the ground floor – we being on the 5th floor.
Doug made some enquiries as to what would suit us to fill in part of the day – the hop on, hop off bus option seemed to be the way to go.  We were picked up at 9.30 and shuttled to the place where the double decker bus started its journey.  Initially we sat upstairs in the open part, but chilly stuff.  However, we were getting off at the Titanic Experience so didn’t really matter. 
This “experience” was amazing, truly!!  I really don’t know where to start but I will try.  The building exterior itself is a show piece.  Extremely modern, trying to replicate ice and seen from above is the shape of a star.  The inside, incredible also.  The displays are very well done, taking us through Irish history incorporating the ship building.  Moving through to the Titanic story, no a stone left unturned.  We even were transported in cable car through the hull replica, mind boggling stuff and very interesting.  Then to the launching and the maiden voyage and the tragedy that unfolded.  Spine tingling stuff.  Lots of reading, amazing black & white photos, voices from some of the survivors, theatres, 3D shows…..I could go on and on.  The experience incorporated many floors but the cable car took us around, up and down.  We emerged after 2 ½ hours, ready for lunch.
Back out to the street to catch the bus and didn’t have to wait too long.  We were then happy to sit back for the next hour and listen to the commentary about the Belfast troubles as they took us through the protestant and catholic areas, the gates, the walls, the murals…..oh hell, what a terrible time it was.  But, they have come out the other side now and living in harmony.   We drove into the Parliament Buildings, now that is impressive entrance with a mile long drive lines with beautiful trees, all very beautiful.  All those photos are taken out the bus window – there were so many to choose from, so have got a bit carried away.
We were dropped off at one of the stops nearest to our hotel, a pleasant walk just as it started to drizzle.  That didn’t last long and the sun came out again.
We have been downstairs for a lovely dinner – 8oz sirloin steak, (cooked to perfection), with a mushroom and cherry tomatoes on top, red wine sauce in a tiny container to pour over.  Served with a delicious green salad.  Doug chose the 10oz rib eye steak.

The entrance to the Titanic Experience

These two were chatting away about the proposed building of the Titanic, so natural and done very cleverly.

Doug in front of the design room - all hard at work, then the design was on the floor
 as you can see reflected up his legs and shorts.

One of the many huge displays as we walked through.

I really liked these words, chilling

This one took up two huge walls, with the rails made it seem like we were at sea

An inside looking out photo!

A upstairs looking down photo !

Parliament Buildings - showing a small section of the one mile drive in.
This and the following photos taken out the bus window as we travelled along. 

I'll have to google who she is :)

Bobby Sands MP was an Irish member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who died on hunger strike while imprisoned at HM Prison Maze.

These are the gates that were shut when the violence started.

Anna from NZ visited !!

A zoomed in view from our 5th floor window

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