Welcome to part two! (Thank you for all the likes I received for Part 1!)
Map in hand, I made my way towards the Titanic Quarter of Belfast. Although I had my map I still managed to get a bit lost as I am not always great at map reading! However, being ‘lost’ in a city such as Belfast can be a fun positive experience. Its relaxed nature and fascinating history mean that should you take a wrong turn there is always something interesting to look at or discover, or a very nice person to ask!
The weather was also very sunny and warm which made a nice change from all the rain back in England! Whilst I was wandering around finding my way the Orange Order parade was taking place through the city centre, with many marching bands.
The Orange Order parade has a religious and political history and has led to violence in parts of Belfast each year. However, alongside reinventing itself with culture and arts Belfast has also tried to make the parade a family and tourist friendly event renaming it ‘Orangefest’.
It’s very colourful and amazingly noisy, but in a good way! I’m not really a political or religious person so it wasn’t really ‘my thing’. However, as a visitor, I appreciated the tradition and it was good to experience something so ingrained in Irish history, something completely different to what I am used to.
The walk to the Titanic Quarter takes around 20 minutes from the city centre. Belfast encompasses five areas, within those areas are ‘quarters’, one of which is the Titanic Quarter which is centred around the docks area. The Titanic was famously built in Belfast, to coincide with the centenary of the Titanic sinking the docks have undergone (and still undergoing) a huge regeneration project, which includes the Titanic Belfast museum (see pic of building above).
It is a very peaceful area, which I enjoyed walking around whilst taking in the great scenery and reading at all the information points. (in fact Belfast has information points all over the city explaining the historical significance of each bit, which is a fantastic idea and makes it very tourist friendly and welcoming). I have included a few photos of the area below.
As I needed to save most of my money for the second part of my trip I decided not to buy a ticket for the museum. I was more than happy to wander around the area though, it’s a lovely place with parts of it reminding me of Newcastle Quayside. The Titanic building is impressive inside and out, whilst there I enjoyed a very tasty seafood chowder in Bistro 401, which I recommend 🙂
The Titanic Quarter also includes the Titanic Dock and Pump House, The Paint Hall (where ships were painted), Harland and Wolff HQ and drawing offices. The Titanic link can be seen all around Belfast, with public art around the citym there are also boat tours available. If you would like to find out more follow this link.
For everything else Belfast visit te main GotoBelfast website, which is very helpful in general, I used it a lot before going. Also, the excellent Belfast Welcome Centre on Donegall Place is also a great place to start when planning where you want to visit.
Here are some of the pics I took around the Titanic Quarter.
My next post is about my stay in the coastal town of Larne. See you there I hope 🙂