Day 3 in Ireland

After escaping the crazy man in Longford we headed to the train station to catch our train to Belfast.  Today was to be a long day of travel.  It was a 2 hour train ride back to Dublin, then a 3 hour train ride up to Belfast.   We were able to get seats on the train to Dublin but shortly after we got on, the train started filling up  – then filled up some more – then it overflowed.  It was so crowded that people were sitting in the aisle – one girl joked she would have to go and just sit on the toilet in order to find a place to sit.  It was sooo crowded.  They made an announcement that they would be bringing a bus down and that people who couldn’t find a place to sit could take the bus service to Dublin.  Hardly anyone moved….so Keith and I decided to give up our seats and take the bus.   It was actually a fairly pleasant ride and we got to see a lot more of the countryside than you can see from the train.  We arrived in Dublin and decided that the bus wasn’t too bad, so we decided to take the bus up to Belfast.  Wrong choice.   The trip to Belfast is a long one, and I was soooo car sick winding through the little town and up and down hills.   Ugh.  I told Keith no more busses.  

We arrived in Belfast in the early evening and proceeded to find our hostel.  We stayed at the International Youth Hostel in Belfast.   It was pretty nice – but we weren’t able to get a double room, so we ended up in a twin.  It is tiinnnny.  And the bathrooms (all shared with a bunch of other people) were really gross.  But – for $50 a night, right downtown, it was worth it.  There were no hotels close-by that could even come close to that price in Belfast.  We were able to walk the city and look around.  It was a very busy and neat city. 

We found a restaurant downtown (Tony Roma’s) – and met the Texan owner.  We had never heard of Tony Romas but she told us it is a chain the US.  Funny that we chose to eat at a Texan restaurant in Belfast.   We weren’t too impressed but that’s OK.  After dinner we were walking around the city and saw a sign that said something like “Belfast Tours” and a taxi was parked beside it.  We said, what the heck….and asked for a tour.  I am SO glad we did.  Our taxi driver was so nice and gave us an awesome political tour of Belfast.  We learned so much about what has happened in Northern Ireland, and what is still happening.   You can google it to get more information or check out this link:  http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/index.html    We had no idea what a divided city Belfast still was and how much violence and fighting is still going on.  Here are some pictures:

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One of the many scary murals painted in the Protestant part of town.  We visited what I can only describe as the projects of Belfast where there is a lot of violence.

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Another mural. This one not so scary.

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House that was burned out.  From what our guide was telling us, this is a fairly common form of “punishment”.

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The wall in the middle of the city that seperates the protestant side of the city and the catholic side of the city.

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 The “Peace Wall”

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Keith signing the peace wall.  I signed too, a little further down the wall.

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Families who live along side the fence built these cages on the backs of their homes to keep the fire bombs and other things from getting into their house when launched from the other side.  This picture was taken on the Catholic side of the fence.

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One Comment to “”

  1. we have a tony roma’s here every 10 blocks..funny that it’s in Ireland..

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