United Kingdom
Queens Island

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    • Day3

      Abfahrt zum Wild Atlantic Way

      July 21, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Nach einer unruhigen Nacht auf der zweiten Fähre (Steffens Sitznachbar hat ordentlich geschnarcht 😅) ging es von Belfast nach Londonderry. Dort gab es erstmal ein Frühstück, einen kleinen Spaziergang und einen zweistündigen NAP, den hatten wir auch bitter nötig und uns dann auf dem Weg des Wild Atlantic Ways gemacht.Read more

      Steffens Schlafposition zu geil 🤣🤣😅 [Kathi]

      7/22/22Reply
       
    • Day7

      Belfast

      July 14, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Zusammen mit dem Zimmerkameraden aus dem Hostel ging es auf eine Walking Tour, die sich auf den Bürgerkrieg konzentrierte. Es war die wahrscheinlich interessanteste Walking Tour an der ich je teilgenommen habe - wirklich empfehlenswert!Read more

    • Day7

      Titanic Belfast

      July 14, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Im Anschluss ging es noch zu einer der bekanntesten Attraktionen von Belfast: die Titanic-Ausstellung. Das Schiff wurde hier gebaut und heute befindet sich dort eine riesige Ausstellung. Der Besuch ist eigentlich sehr interessant, aber der Eintrittspreis ist trotzdem viel zu hoch.Read more

    • Day8

      Belfast, Town Centre

      September 7, 2019 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 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... 🤔
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    • Day13

      The Dark Hedges & Titanic Belfast

      August 23, 2019 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Auf dem Weg nach Dublin gab es noch ein paar weitere Wegpunkte auf unserer To-Do Liste, die wir natürlich nicht verpassen wollten. Als Erstes stand ein Besuch bei den "Dark Hedges" an. Eigentlich handelt es sich hierbei nur um eine Straße, an der zu beiden Seiten Buchen gepflanzt worden sind. Die Bäume wurden schon im 18. Jahrhundert von der hiesigen Familie angelegt und wuchern seitdem am Rande des breiten Weges. Das wilde, düster erscheinende Ästedach der alten Bäume beeindruckte nicht nur damals die Besucher, sondern lockt auch heute noch viele Touristen an. Das liegt nicht weniger daran, dass auch dieses Naturschauspiel von "Game Of Thrones" als Drehort für die aus der Serie bekannte Kingsroad genutzt worden ist. Und genau das wird auch wo man hinsieht angepriesen und hervorragend vermarktet. Es gibt ein Hotel dazu, einen riesigen, gebührenpflichtigen Parkplatz und man kann sogar eine geführte Tour buchen.

      Am Nachmittag besuchten wir das Titanic Museum in Belfast. Wahnsinn wie nah die ganzen Ortschaften zusammenliegen, oder? Hier, in der Werft von Harland & Wolff, wurde die RMS Titanic im März 1909 auf Kiel gelegt und im April 1912 fertiggestellt. Das bis dahin allgemein bekannt als größte Schiff der Welt. Und wer kennt die Geschichte des auf dem Meeresboden liegenden, aber vorher als unsinkbar geltenden Schiffes nicht?
      Das Museum ist aber definitiv nicht nur etwas für Leonardo DiCapro oder Kate Winslet Fans, sondern ist auf jeden Fall eine sehr interessante Nachmittagsbeschäftigung für alle. Sabine hat den Film beispielsweise nie gesehen. Das Gebäude machte schon von außen mit dem riesigen, verrosteten Titanic-Schriftzug einen tollen Eindruck und bot im Inneren ein schönes, gut aufbereitetes Museum zur "Boomtown" Belfast, dem Schiffsbau, der Geschichte des 269 Meter langen Schiffs und dessen Schwesterschiff Olympic. Über vier Stockwerke erstreckte sich die Ausstellung und veranschaulicht jeden einzelnen Schritt, der zum Bau des Riesendampfers benötigt wurde. Geschichten ausgewählter Persönlichkeiten konnten von Anfang bis Ende mitverfolgen werden - Passagiere aus erster, zweiter und dritter Klasse sowie Mitarbeiter auf dem Schiff und Arbeiter beim Bau. Einige Gesichter und Namen kamen uns tatsächlich sehr bekannt vor und wir merken erst jetzt, wie realitätsnah der Film tatsächlich produziert wurde.

      Interessante Info am Rande: Harland & Wolff beschäftigte zeitweise über 30.000 Mitarbeiter. Auch nach dem Sinken der Titanic machte der Schiffsbauer große Gewinne. In den 60er und 70er Jahren begannen die wirtschaftlichen Probleme. Letztlich waren es noch 123 Mitarbeiter und gerade erst am 5. August dieses Jahres meldete der Schiffsbauer Insolvenz an.

      Der Nachmittag verging wie im Flug und schnell war es Zeit wieder loszudüsen, damit wir das Auto noch zur rechten Zeit am Dubliner Airport abgeben konnten. Ganze 2.217 Kilometer haben wir in den 13 Tagen unserer Rundreise geschafft! Die Route auf der Karte kann sich auf alle Fälle sehen lassen.

      Nach einer längeren Fahrt mit einem Shuttlebus, dem Airlink Express, in die Innenstadt von Dublin und einem kurzen Fußmarsch mit unseren Koffern, erreichten wir das zentral gelegene AirBnB. Wenn man es genau nimmt, besuchten wir allerdings erst das Casino-Sportsbar-Keycafé mit zwei aufgeblasenen, glatzköpfigen Türstehern, in dem der Schlüssel von unserem Host hinterlegt worden ist. Heute war nur noch auf dem Plan, sich mit ein paar Dubliner Eindrücken berieseln zu lassen, etwas zu Essen zu finden (Burger!) und dann ab ins Bett. Morgen wird dann Dublin genauer erkundet.
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    • Day56

      In Titanic's Wake.

      July 18, 2021 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      We were heading up to Belfast and when we called up the port authorities, they were very helpful as we made our way up the busy shipping channel and kept us notified of all shipping movements. The safety of all vessels no matter how small was paramount.

      We motored up past the Harland & Wolff shipyard with its famous cranes, past HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the battle of Jutland, past the slip where the Titanic slipped into the water for the first time and soon we were turning into the Abercorn Basin with its small but lovely marina.

      We were soon berthed and felt a bit like one of the animals in a zoo.
      We were in the middle of the Titanic Quarter and many of the locals and tourists taking a Sunday stroll were looking down at us from the surrounding quays.

      Jim & Angela were heading up to the city centre while I was meeting a friend from Cobh and her family some of whom are now living in Belfast.
      As they headed away I tidied Eureka to receive visitors.
      Later I explored the Titanic Quarter and the slipways with the Smiths and was invited for dinner at their home before getting a lift back to the marina.

      Jim & Angela had a pleasant day in Belfast and we organised leaving in the morning before I headed back to Eureka.
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    • Day9

      SOS

      September 10, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ 🌙 55 °F

      We thoroughly enjoyed our last day, packing in lots of walking. We left Glarryford before lunch and eventually found the walking trail that was completely mismarked on the map. We took a walk along the Maine River that flows through the wee village of Culleybacky. It has that same boggy brown color, flowing at a nice clip along gentle river banks. It sets a quiet tone for the wooded path, with an occasional babbling sound, as it meets a few rocks in its way. The air was cool, as the canopy held the sun’s warmth at bay. Every rock was enveloped in moss, and I’m sure that I didn’t have the names for all the tones of green that I saw. At the end of the path, we veered away front the river and onto the Galgrom Wood trail. We circumambulated a pond filled with ducks and coots, stopping frequently to watch them paddle across the water. The trail then ducked back into the woods, where we walked among alder, oak, and hazel trees. Eventually, the path led back to the Maine, and we returned to our car.

      We drove a short distance into Ballymena for a coffee break. The coffee shop was so busy, we got our drinks to go and walked around the town center. We were tempted to pop into Poundland, which is similar to the Dollar Store, except the exchange rate makes it a little more expensive. Deciding to pass, we strolled the main street . Like so many European cities, the downtown is a mix of old (one building was built in 1648) and new (the shopping center with food court). We cut our walk short, as we wanted to spend some time in Belfast.

      While I was researching our trip, I discovered that the Titanic was actually built in Belfast, though it departed from Southampton in England. Along the harbor sits the Titanic Quarter, an area of town filled with Titanic history. We pulled out the guidebook one last time and followed Rick Steve’s directions. We started across the Lagan Weir, a pedestrian bridge over the River Lagan that connects the Quarter with the downtown. Standing proudly up the street is the Albert Memorial Clock tower, built in the 1860’s to honor Prince Albert. Unfortunately, it was built on an old river bank and leans noticeably to the right. Hopefully it doesn’t meet the same fate as the Titanic any time soon.

      Crossing back over the river, we walked along the harbor, past the event center (where hockey is featured) to the boat dock. Several slips were filled with beautiful boats. An older wooden sailboat caught my eye. It was well-kept and I imagined the journeys it must have taken in its lifetime. I mentioned that wouldn’t mind sailing for a few months on something like that, but Kim made it clear I would be alone. My dreams were dashed, so I settled for a cup of tea instead. We ducked into a place called The Dock. It is run by church volunteers from all religions, in an effort to promote unity, and patrons pay what they like. The artwork hanging on the walls from local artists was incredible. One of the sculptures was a 15 (?) foot metal Titanic, made with scrap tools, such as pliers, hammers, and wedges. It kept drawing my eyes back to it; there was so much to see in it. Outside the coffee shop, there was another Titanic piece of art, hanging vertically in the plaza. That, too, caught my attention and required me to stop and observe.

      As we walked down the harbor, there were stops along the way commemorating the Game of Thrones. The Titanic Studios, located just off to the right, is where much of the show was filmed. It is just across the way from the Titanic Museum and the slip, where the ship was built. A large open space has short and long benches arranged in the same manner as the dots and dashes of Morse code, spelling out the final pleas for help that the radio operator dutifully tapped out on that fateful night. I don’t know Morse code, but I think it basically said “SOS.”

      We wrapped up our time in the Titanic Quarter with a quick peak at the HMS Caroline. This Royal Navy ship fought in WWI and is only one of three still floating from that era. Additionally, it is the second oldest boat in the Royal Navy, though it was decommissioned in 2011. It’s docked in the harbor and can be toured, but we decided it was time to call it a day. We maneuvered the clown car up the hill to our apartment and flipped on the TV for another dose of the BBC’s coverage of the Queen.
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    • Day10

      Belfast

      September 12, 2016 in Northern Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      It didn't occur to us how Belfast in Northern Ireland was a city with such recent history that is still evident in everyday life. Northern Ireland which is its own country is full of modern day religious/political tension dividing the city of Belfast between the Protestants who support British rule and the Catholics who support the traditional Irish culture. We took a black cab taxi tour to the various parts of town and saw murals that depicted the history and even saw the gates that are still closed every night between the two parts of town. The craziest thing for us was to learn that not many people are religious anymore but still practice this hatred for each other. Almost 90% of schools there are still segregated in 2016!

      Our favorite quote from our taxi driver was "these Protestants are more British than the Brits!" He did a great job giving us insight into the traditions still held including the annual bonfires by the Protestants which are quite massive and held right in the center of town and showed us the steel walls put up to divide the two sides which now a days has messages of peace and love written on it from tourists, as well as dents from rocks and burn marks from molotov cocktails. We got to leave our little mark as well!
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    • Day35

      Letste nacht in nordirland

      September 3, 2022 in Northern Ireland ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

      Habe die letzten tage nicht mehr so viel unternommen brauchte mal ruhe.
      Nun bin ich in Belfast und am sonntag abend geht's rüber nach schottland.

      Weiter super und die Landschaft leider sehr weit für uns. Gute Fahrt nach Schottland und weitere tolle Entdeckungen 😘😘😘 [Françoise Barbey]

      9/3/22Reply
      Traveler

      Wonderschöni Bilder 👍👌

      9/5/22Reply
       
    • Day58

      Day trip to Belfast

      August 26, 2018 in Northern Ireland ⋅ 🌫 13 °C

      Today we hopped the train from Newry to Belfast. In Belfast we caught the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour around the city. It was rainy and wet, but we made the best of it. At one of our stops the boys signed the 'Peace Wall' which was erected in the mid-70s to segregate Protestants from Catholics. After the tour we visited White's Tavern, the oldest tavern in Belfast for some lunch. Back in Newry we visited Ashling and Stephen’s house for some evening fun.Read more

      Traveler

      OMG, the places you have seen, the amazing things you are doing but most of all the people you have shared this journey with. Life will never be the same for you all. Love you.

      8/29/18Reply
       

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    Queens Island

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