Belfast, Town CentreSeptember 7, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C
The drive to Belfast is shorter than expected and by 3.30pm we are in the capital of this detached State of the UK. As we were the last ones to book the tour, the hotel where the rest of the group is staying was already full by the time we joined, so we will have to stay in a different one.
After a short rest, we start exploring the town. Our hotel turns out to be very close to the botanic garden, which funnily contains weird statues made with rubbish (I guess as a way to raise public awareness of the environmental issues)... 🙄 Just a few metres away stands the Queen's University of Belfast, a beautiful complex of Victorian-style red-brick buildings in the green.
After walking through the campus, we proceed towards the town centre, about 20 minutes away. I was expecting a medium-sized town similar to Derry, but I couldn't be more wrong: modern glass-buildings alternate to historical and monumental constructions, separated by multi-lane trafficked streets with pink double-decker buses. If I didn't know we were in Ireland, I would have guessed this was a London District. 😳
The most prominent element in the area is a majestic neoclassical white-marble building topped by a dome. It definitely looks like a cathedral, but Google Maps reveals that it's actually the town hall!
We get to see the real cathedral a few minutes later (after a warm-up stop at Starbucks). The building is quite classical, but it has a sort of huge needle popping out of the roof!!! What's that???!!! 🙄
Our best guesses are:
1) a lightning rod
2) a giant bird spike
3) a symbol for man's tension towards God
4) none of the above
It's actually not the only hard-to-interpret thing we see today: in a very central square just beyond the town hall there is a statue (?) consisting of intertwined metal rings. Maybe it's just a prank of some artist with a weird sense of humour... or maybe it's actually a masterpiece of art. Just in case, we take a picture of it... 🤔Read more