I’m back from my weekend in Belfast and I’ve found yet another Irish song lyric to suit the theme of my post. Karen can you get this one? No internet cheating!
Anyway. We got there Saturday afternoon after a two hour train ride. We went to the Titanic museum and learned about the Belfast history of shipbuilding and about many of the Irish people boarding the Titanic. Dad you would’ve loved it, but good luck getting me or mom to go with you when you’re here. Belfast is absolutely beautiful. That night we ate dinner at a very well known bar directly across the street from our hotel. The Crown Bar. The man who built and owned it was a Catholic, however his wife was a protestant. She insisted he call it The Crown Bar. Taking the role of the husband of course he was forced to give into his wife’s request, but keeping to his Irish Catholic principals he placed an image of a crown on the floor in the doorway. While the protestants would jump over the crown out of respect, the Catholics were sure to wipe their feet and stomp out their cigarettes on it on their way in. Many movies and television shows were filmed there and I wish I took more pictures of it because on the inside it is so so beautiful.
Well after the crown bar came a karaoke bar that I was forcibly asked to partake in. (Plus singers got a free shot voucher). And since my oh so lovely roommate Ashley already uploaded the video of me singing I guess I’ll upload the other one here. (Susan, clearly we have some work to do this summer.)
The next day was my absolute favorite. We woke up early and were taken on a bus tour around Belfast. We went to city hall, which had a titanic memorial and all the names of the people who didn’t survive. Then we headed to the west. The murals of peace, and the murals of violence, the walls of separation, and the memorials for lives lost were absolutely amazing. It was sad to see a group of people so torn yet beautiful to see their calls and want for peace. Some homes bordering the protestant/catholic walls were forced to install fire proof roofs due to the commonality of bombs being thrown and fires being started from over the opposing walls. The most current protest happened about two weeks ago. The protestants/loyalists aren’t happy with the fact that the british flag will only hang from city hall during important British holidays instead of hanging there everyday. We saw a small protest group standing outside with their british flag umbrellas among other decorated clothing. The protestant/catholic tension in Northern Ireland is terrifying to think about and driving past the homes of people who have to live through that was very moving.
Today was my first day of classes! I’m really looking froward to my Music and Words class which stresses that we go out to the less touristy, more local pubs and start learning and listening to some traditional Irish-folk music. I’m really excited to see what the rest of my week will be like! Miss everyone tons!