United Kingdom
Windsor

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133 travelers at this place
  • Day41

    Belfast

    October 24 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Wir trödeln beim Frühstück und halten noch ein zwei Mal auf dem Weg wegen schöner Spots, und kommen dann erst gegen 14 Uhr an, machen aber das beste draus mit Spaziergang zur City Hall, einem kleinen Abstecher zur Einkaufsstraße und dann dem Titanic Museum, das leider schon geschlossen hat, als wir ankommen. Auf dem Weg am Wasser holen wir uns noch eine vegetarische Poutine bei so einem Food-Truck, sehr lecker!
    Es sieht ziemlich nach Regen aus, also laufen wir schnell zurück und flüchten in eine (überdachte😂) Rooftopbar mit toller Aussicht! Danach gehen wir was essen, wie sich rausstellt ins gleiche Restaurant wie Leo und ich damals, ganz in der Nähe unseres damaligen Hostels! Da kommen Erinnerungen hoch - aber noch mehr im The Points, dem Pub, an dem wir drei damals den legendären Abend erlebt haben. Chrissi und ich sitzen fast am selben Tisch, trinken Guiness und reden. Live Musik war heute leider schon um 16Uhr, so schade! Ich hätte Chrissi gerne auch erleben lassen, was wir damals erlebt haben, bin aber froh, dass ich den Laden doch gleich erkennen konnte und jetzt weiß, welcher Pub es ist ☺️
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  • Day8

    Belfast, Town Centre

    September 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... 🤔
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  • Day8

    Belfast by night

    September 7, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    It's already dusk by the time we start walking back towards our hotel. While crossing the town hall square, we notice a memorial dedicated to the hundreds of victims of the Titanic disaster. On the other side of the road, pubs and restaurants start getting crowded.

    It's now that I see one of the funniest and - at the same time - weirdest things ever: a beer bike. If you don't know what a beer bike is... well, I didn't know either until today. Basically, it's a bike vehicles consisting of a big bar table with people sitting all around it on stools with... pedals! So, basically the guests drink and pedal at the same time, while a "driver" steers a wheel to direct the "drinking bike in the right direction". Interesting... 🍺🍺🍺+🚲 =😂😂😂

    Before dropping us off at the hotel earlier in the afternoon, Sean and the rest of the group decided to meet for dinner at a pub close to our accommodation. When we join them it's already 8.30pm, so we only find Sean, Steven and the two Kiwis there... as usual, it's always the 6 of us. Nathan is unfortunately feeling sick so he will not join. We end up having a lovely evening: great (and conveniently priced) food as well as nice chats.
    I will definitely miss these people... 😥
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  • Day13

    The Dark Hedges & Titanic Belfast

    August 23, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 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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  • Day22

    Day 20 Belfast, Ireland

    August 21, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Really interesting day today. We arrived in Belfast quite early and wanted to go to the Titanic Centre which is (unsurprisingly) in Belfast’s Titanic quarter and was back at the turn of the last century, the world centre of shipbuilding. The centre itself stands on the site of the slipway that launched many ships including the Titanic.

    It is a huge building and the number one tourist destination in Ireland (or Europe if you believe their publicity). We left the ship early to try and beat the masses arriving just after it opened at 8.30. That proved a good decision as when we left about 11 am it was getting pretty packed. It’s very well done and well worth a couple of hours of your time if you are ever here (see some of the photos). There is also a smaller White Star Line Ship, the Normadic, in one of the adjacent slipways that you can walk through, although we didn’t take up that part of the tour as we only had one day in Belfast and many things to do.

    We had been hoping to speak to one of the curators as we had been given copies of letters written by the Titanic’s Quartermaster in the aftermath of the sinking to have looked at with a view to donating the originals (owned by a friend of Christine’s who is his grand daughter). However they were all off site, so the best we could do was get the email address of one of the lead curators and put Dee in direct touch with her.

    After a quick trip back to the ship to drop off the enormous amount of shopping and souvenirs that had been purchased (Christine is mad for the Titanic) we took a couple of hour trip with the taxi driver that had dropped us back there into the Shankhill/Falls Road area of Belfast. Like many drivers in Belfast he specialises in providing independent tours of the area to see and learn about the areas and people that shaped this very divided city.

    He grew up and still lives in Shankhill but nevertheless gave us a rounded overview of both the Protestant (Shankhill) and Catholic (Falls Road) perspectives of the history and key events that still dominate the areas today. It is pretty confronting to see and learn about the atrocities that have been committed by both sides in pursuit of their particular view of how Ireland/Northern Ireland should exist.

    After that we were dropped into the centre of Belfast and that co-incided with the weather packing in. It had been mild and overcast to that point but from about 1 pm it started to rain and get colder and that got progressively worse as the day wore on. After a walk through through the centre of the city we went to the nearby Robinsons Pub for a drink and lunch. Reputationally it is the site of the most bombed pub (it’s actually two pubs joined together) in Belfast and that’s saying something considering the amount of trouble that city has seen over the years.

    We bumped into Dave and Lesley two friends from the ship at the pub (surprising as we were the only non locals there) and had lunch with them before walking to take a look at the Belfast City Hall which is a really impressive building with lots of stained glass marking various Belfast events and information about the many famous people that were born in or lived in the city. By now it was about 3.30, raining and pretty cold so we decided to call it a day and head back to the ship on the double decker buses they had put on to ferry us from the port to the ship and back.

    Photos show... The Titanic Slipway (with our ship in the background...); the main staircase of the ship as depicted in a virtual walk through; a replica Titanic lifeboat; the Titanic Centre; the Normadic; a Protestant memorial wall; our driver and me looking at the exterior of a Shankill house; one of the 47 walls that still separate the Protestant and Catholic areas; Robinsons Pub, downtown Belfast; Belfast city hall
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    Michelle McVie

    I would have enjoyed going to the Titanic Centre like Christine too !!

    8/26/19Reply
     
  • Day10

    Belfast

    September 12, 2016 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 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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  • Day8

    Enough of this for now

    June 8, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    4 Strecken und zu 60% bis 70% laufen, aufgrund von beschissenen und unmöglichen Straßenverhältnissen und das auf teilweise sehr gefährlichen Straßen, haben mich zu dem Schluß gebracht, dass ich vorübergehend mit den Öffentlichen weiterfahre bis die Straßen wieder besser werden, wann immer das sein mag. Die Sehenswürdigkeiten hier in Belfast sind teilweise mit übelsten Preisen verbunden. Ich habe mir das angeschaut was für Lau war, da ich diese Preise nicht bezahlen will. Titanic Experience für 18 Pfund ist etwas übertrieben. Ein Blick auf den Hafen und das Palm House. Morgen werde ich zum Belfast Castle hinaufsteigen.Read more

    Ingo

    Sicherheit geht vor, keine Frage.

    6/8/18Reply
    Ingo

    Einen Kreis mit aufrecht stehenden Steinen hat damals auch 14,50 Pfund gekostet. Aber wenn es auch einige Attraktionen für Lau gibt, na dann mitnehmen.

    6/8/18Reply
     
  • Day22

    Belfast Food Tour

    June 28, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Wir haben es wieder getan, wir haben eine Food tour gebucht. Treffpunkt war der St. Georges Market. Dort gab's schonmal reichlich zu Essen und Trinken. Danach ging's zu einigen kleinen Geschäften quer durch die Stadt, gleich verbunden mit einem kleinen Stadtrundgang.
    Mal sehen, ob ich noch zusammengekommen, was wir alles gegessen und getrunken haben:
    Im Markt gab es
    - Kaffee und Pancakes mit Apfel und Erdbeere
    - Aperitifessige und Fladenbrot mit Frischkäse und Gewürzmischung
    -Tee mit Toffees.
    Dann in der Stadt gab's
    - heiße Schokolade und Brownie
    - Lachsbrote, Baguette mit Ölen und Butter (Hochzeit Harry & Meghan) und Wein von Sawer
    - Blauschimmelkäse, Fladenbrot, Schinken, Salami und Bier
    - Pablos Burger und Belfast Mule (Jawbox Gin, Lime und Ginger beer)
    - Prosecco und drei verschiedene Teller mit Leckereien im The Bullitt Hotel
    Boa, das war eine Menge. Und alles mega lecker und handgemacht.
    Vor lauter Essen habe ich das Fotografieren fast vergessen... .
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    Martina Fritz

    Ooooh, bei Belfast Mule wär ich ja voll dabei gewesen!!!!

    6/29/19Reply
    Kathrin Krüger

    Wir überlegen schon, wie wir an Ingwerbier kommen 😜

    6/29/19Reply
    Martina Fritz

    Kein Problem, das gibts hier!!!!!

    6/29/19Reply
    Kathrin Krüger

    👍

    6/29/19Reply
     
  • Day58

    Day trip to Belfast

    August 26, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌫 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

    Mary Lou Ryan

    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
     
  • Day134

    Day 134: Exploring Belfast

    June 29, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    Time to check out the city! We had a full day available, and planned to use it! After breakfast, our first stop was to hop in the car and drive around the peace walls district. This area is where most of the trouble is/was, as it's a border area between Unionists and Loyalists and many clashes have taken place in this area.

    The large walls erected (larger than the Berlin Wall, incidentally) are mostly still standing, though big sections of them are covered in peaceful slogans. Visitors are encouraged to bring a marker and add their own message of peace, though we didn't do that. Still a lot of sharply pro-Union and pro-UK murals though! And we drove around the two opposing neighbourhoods with all their flags and bunting. It all seemed a bit provocative, and even though a peace agreement was signed in 1998, things still feel a bit tense.

    It started to rain so we drove into the centre of town to one of the best museums in the UK - the Titanic Belfast museum. This huge new museum is dedicated to the Titanic and although it was pricey, it was actually really well done. It started with the context of the time period, the background of Belfast in the late 19th century converting from agriculture and linen production to shipbuilding, the reasons for building huge liners like Titanic and her sisters Olympic and Britannic, the maiden voyage, the sinking, the aftermath, and then sections on the wreck's discovery too.

    The whole thing was huge and took several hours to go around, and was really well done. Not stuffy and boring like museums can sometimes be, but very well-presented and thoughtful. Good recreations of things like the shipyards, cabins on board, the lifeboats and so on. The museum is built on the site where Titanic was constructed, and the slipway is actually still there. Good view from the point where she was slid down into the sea, and you could see into the adjacent Titanic Studios, where all of the indoor scenes for Game of Thrones are filmed!

    We grabbed some lunch here as well, but it was mid-afternoon by the time we'd finished. Briefly headed across the road to look at the SS Majestic, a small tender that was the only White Star Line ship still afloat. Its claim to fame is that it was one of the tenders used to ferry passengers and cargo from Cherbourg port to Titanic before she departed (I'd forgotten Titanic called at Cherbourg and Queenstown in Ireland before heading off into the Atlantic).

    From here we drove down into the middle of the city, parked up and went exploring. The Victorian-era City Hall was very impressive, and beautiful on the inside. A couple had just gotten married in the registry office and were a little bemused by all the Chinese tourists taking their photograph! Also wandered around outside checking out the street art - one area in particular outside a famous pub had 20-30 murals of famous (northern) Irish like U2, George Best, Liam Neeson and others, plus some political commentary as well. Very interesting.

    Feeling fairly exhausted, we drove back home and dropped into a Thai restaurant around the corner from our house. Hadn't had Thai food for a long time so this felt like a slight taste of home. Food was decent enough, though not the same quality you get in Sydney. Back home where we whiled away the evening on laptops and smartphones as usual!
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    Joel Baldwin

    Pro-Loyalist murals on the wall

    7/1/17Reply
    Joel Baldwin

    Pro-Unionist murals on the other walls

    7/1/17Reply
    Joel Baldwin

    Titanic exhibition building

    7/1/17Reply
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Windsor