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dixiecupdrinking

Belfast, Northern Ireland

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I'm wrapping up four and a half months spent in Ireland and seeing as there's hardly ever been any photos of Irish cities in this forum, I thought I'd share some of the pictures I've taken. I haven't posted any photos before so I hope this all works out. First up is Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland. I spent a couple of days here and found it to be more of an "interesting" place than a "nice" one, but it is worth visiting because it's so enigmatic. It manages to be both intensely Irish and British, though rarely at the same time. Enter one pub and you'd swear you were in London; go to one across the street and you may find a traditional music session and Irish on the restroom doors instead of "Ladies" and "Gents." As you can see from the pics, it also manages to be both immaculate and decrepit, though I guess what city doesn't.

Starting with around the city centre..

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Around Queen's University and south Belfast:

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All peaceful enough, until you enter the divided neighborhoods of West Belfast. This is the stuff you hear about on the news. The murals are really fascinating.

The Shankill, the Protestant area:

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The British army used that tower on the right to keep lookout over the whole city during the Troubles.

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Cromwell? Still? Come on guys, it's 2006...

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Have you noticed there's something of a.. militaristic theme here?

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If I'm not mistaken, this is a memorial to a guy who walked into a Catholic convenience store and shot an innocent woman several times through the chest.

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The euphemistically-titled "Peace Wall" dividing the Shankill from the Catholic area of the Falls.

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And on to the Falls...

A memorial to Catholics killed in the violence.

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Note the colors of the Irish flag in this wreath. Everything is political here. While I was there, a holiday was coming up to honor military veterans. They wear poppies for the occasion, just like we do. But only Protestants wear poppies in Northern Ireland, because Catholics refuse to honor the memory of Irish soldiers who fought for the British. I've heard that families have gone so far as to deny that ancestors died in the first world war simply because they fought for the British at a time that Irish nationalism was peaking.

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Bobby Sands, a Catholic who died on hunger strike in prison.

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A little moment of beauty in the midst of all this.

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Doesn't stop with Irish politics...

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That's it. I hope that you guys enjoyed the pictures. :D Hopefully soon I'll post some of Cork and Dublin if you're interested.

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The city centre is very beautiful. Is that big white building with the green copper domes the government building? It's too bad about all the violence the city has seen. While seeing all the murals was interesting it's a shame about the reason why many of them were put up. And yes I'd very much like to see some more pics. Dublin of course would be great. But I'd also like to see Cork too. I've heard about Cork but can't recall seeing any pics of it before. :D Thanks for sharing your pics, very interesting.

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Interesting pics of an interesting city.

There were two murals that I disagree with though:

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Looks like their painters did know know the meaning of Freedom. The US is the largest democracy in the world and Israel is the only democracy in the middle east. Unfortunately, the painters of these murals failed to understand that.

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Have recently come to Belfast to stay for a year - am taking a lot of photos of the place - you may be interested in these that I took on Christmas Day - the town deserted - I was the only one prowling around! :-)

http://lettertoamerica.blogs.com/letter_to..._omega_man.html

Those are nice too. it does seems a little odd to see it so deserted like that.

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Have recently come to Belfast to stay for a year - am taking a lot of photos of the place - you may be interested in these that I took on Christmas Day - the town deserted - I was the only one prowling around! :-)

http://lettertoamerica.blogs.com/letter_to..._omega_man.html

:lol: When I was there the centre seemed fairly dead but it was nothing in comparison to these pictures. I like that it was quiet enough for you to apparently stand in the middle of the street for most of these. :D

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:lol: When I was there the centre seemed fairly dead but it was nothing in comparison to these pictures. I like that it was quiet enough for you to apparently stand in the middle of the street for most of these. :D

Yeah it was like I was in an end of the world movie. If I had known it was going to be like that I would have brought a video camera and tripod and made some sort of 5min. 'Last Man on Earth' kind of thing!

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^that would have been cool :)

Belfast looks really deserted in your pics, kind of like that movie, '28 days later'.

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great pics. Belfast was nothing like i expected it to be when i visited.

-

glad you liked the pics

- just interested - what were you expecting? :-)

cheers,

jt.

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glad you liked the pics

- just interested - what were you expecting? :-)

cheers,

jt.

i was expecting it to be smaller, not as ornate, more run down, and not have as much street life. i was also expecting to see the IRA towers and maybe an armed patrol. now that i think about it, i feel stupid for expecting that.

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