Belfast, Northern Ireland – April 2014

Edinburgh to Belfast
Edinburgh to Belfast

From Edinburgh we flew easyjet to Belfast International Airport, an almost one-hour flying with a ticket as low as 30 GBP one-way.  The airport is located about 30km northwest of Belfast from which we took a taxi to Premier Inn Belfast City Cathedral Quarter.  The strategic location of the hotel means that we are basically within walking distances to many of the Belfast point of interests such as Belfast City Hall, Albert Memorial Clock, The Big Fish, Cathedral Quarter and Victoria Square Shopping Centre. Belfast City Sightseeing Bus Tour starting point is also located within 300m from the hotel.

Although we checked-in quite early (around 9am), the hotel could accommodate us hence we could start early exploring Belfast. Within minutes we’re already onboard the sightseeing bus. The first stop is Titanic Belfast located at Titanic Quarter. Home to Titanic Museum, Titanic Belfast is also sited very close to launching site of Titanic, back in 1912.

As time is limited, we did not opt to visit the museum but instead checking surroundings, and then heading to Titanic’s Dock and Pump-house, passing Samson and Goliath Cranes and Titanic Drawing Offices. A visit to bottom of Titanic’s Dock gave us dramatic impressions on sheer size of Titanic when it was built and last sat on dry ground.

Continuing on the bus tour, guided by a humorous yet knowledgeable guide, we visited or passed through many areas of Belfast, from Parliament Buildings,  George Best Belfast City Airport, conflict areas (between Nationalist and Unionist), troubled past scenes, the one-and-only bullet proof CCTV, universities, touristic areas to Belfast City Hall.

After quick nap in our hotel, we continued exploring the city by walking around the hotel, starting from Cathedral Quarter, Albert Memorial Clock, to the Big Fish and finishing at Victoria Square. That afternoon/evening walk concluded our short visit to Belfast, a city we had never imagined we would step on it.

This capital city of Northern Ireland, the birthplace of Titanic, keeps the scars of Belfast’s troubled past (1969 – 1997), while starts celebrating awakening moment as an intriguing destination. The friendly people we met also adds easy justification why a visit to Belfat might be a rewarding one.

 

Flying easyjet, our favorite to Belfast
Flying easyjet, our favorite to Belfast

 

Belfast City Sightseeing Bus Tour
Belfast City Sightseeing Bus Tour

 

Bridges over River Lagan that connect Belfast to Titanic Quarter
Bridges over River Lagan that connect Belfast to Titanic Quarter

 

Titanic Belfast which houses Titanic Museum
Titanic Belfast which houses Titanic Museum

 

SS Nomadic, a steamship of the White Star Lane, which was used to ferry passengers from/to Titanic
SS Nomadic, a steamship of the White Star Lane, which was used to ferry passengers from/to Titanic

 

Titanic
Titanic

 

The launch site of Titanic, behind Titanic Belfast (Museum)
The launch site of Titanic, behind Titanic Belfast (Museum)

 

A closer look to Titanic Launch Site
A closer look to Titanic Launch Site

 

Samson and Goliath Cranes - landmarks of Belfast
Samson and Goliath Cranes – landmarks of Belfast

 

Let's visit a place where Titanic was built and last sat on dry ground
Let’s visit a place where Titanic was built and last sat on dry ground

 

Ready for self-guided Titanic's Dock and Pump-House Tour
Ready for self-guided Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House Tour

 

The dock (left) and Pump-house (right)
The dock (left) and Pump-house (right)

 

Inside Titanic's Pump-house
Inside Titanic’s Pump-house

 

Used to be a control panel for the pumps
Used to be a control panel for the pumps

 

Inside the dock, 44 feet under
Inside the dock, 44 feet under. Feeling the size of Titanic when it was built here

 

Bird eye view of the 900-foot dock
Bird eye view of the 900-foot dock

 

Titanic: Built by Irishmen, Sunk by an Englishman
Titanic: Built by Irishmen, Sunk by an Englishman

 

Belfast's Parliament Buildings or Stormont
Belfast’s Parliament Buildings or Stormont

 

Crumlin Road Courth House, opposite the Gaol
Crumlin Road Courth House, opposite the Gaol

 

The scars from long rivalry between Nationalist and Unionist is obvious here
The scars from long rivalry between Nationalist and Unionist is obvious here

 

At International Peace Wall Belfast
At International Peace Wall Belfast

 

At International Peace Walls Belfast
At International Peace Walls Belfast

 

At International Peace Walls Belfast
At International Peace Walls Belfast

 

Another scene at Crumlin Road area
Another scene at Crumlin Road area

 

Chichester Street on the way to Belfast City Hall
Chichester Street on the way to Belfast City Hall

 

At Belfast City Hall
At Belfast City Hall

 

Belfast City Hall
Belfast City Hall

 

In front of Belfast City Hall with Centra Donegal Square background
In front of Belfast City Hall with Centra Donegal Square background

 

Like father like son ;)
Like father like son 😉

 

Belfast City Hall from Donegall Place
Belfast City Hall from Donegall Place

 

At Writer's Square -  Cathedral Quarter
At Writer’s Square – Cathedral Quarter

 

St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast
St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast

 

"I think we should go this way", Fathan
“I think we should go this way”, Fathan

 

Art installation at Cathedral Quarter
Art installation at Cathedral Quarter

 

Albert Memorial Clock, Belfast
Albert Memorial Clock, Belfast

 

Albert Memorial Clock
Albert Memorial Clock

 

Pedestrian Underpass on the way to Big Fish
Pedestrian Underpass on the way to Big Fish

 

Big Fish, Belfast
Big Fish, Belfast

 

Fathan and The Big Fish, with Samson and Goliath Cranes and River Lagan (backgrounds)
Fathan and The Big Fish, with Samson and Goliath Cranes and River Lagan (backgrounds)

 

Somewhere near Victoria Square Shopping Centre
Somewhere near Victoria Square Shopping Centre

 

Near Victoria Square Shopping Centre
Near Victoria Square Shopping Centre

 

Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast
Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast

 

Inside Victoria Square Shopping Centre go to the top under the dome for view of Belfast
Inside Victoria Square Shopping Centre go to the top under the dome for view of Belfast

 

View from the dome, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast
View from the dome, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast

 

Under the Dome of Victoria Square Shopping Centre Belfast
Under the Dome of Victoria Square Shopping Centre Belfast

 

Near Victoria Square Shopping Centre
Near Victoria Square Shopping Centre

 

Near Victoria Square Shopping Centre
Near Victoria Square Shopping Centre

 

Castle Court Shopping Centre Belfast
Castle Court Shopping Centre Belfast
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