Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Sunday started a little different than Ashley's. Mine began with an early morning run with Regina up this mountain, which I later found out is named Black Mountain. Unfortunately, we did not think until afterwards to bring our cameras so that you could share in the spectacular aerial view of the entire city of Belfast and its surrounding areas.I did have my camera for the rest of tours, so I am going to share some pictures with you that will help you to understand what Ashley described.

This is a mural from the Protestant side of the peace wall. There are about 40 walls remaining throughout the city, most of which are lined by murals. What struck me most was that murals not only told the story of past struggles in Belfast, but that many commemorated similar struggles occurring in other parts of the world. The following mural from the Catholic neighborhood relates Northern Ireland's troubles to those in Israel and Palestine.
This is the mural of Bobby Sands that Ashley described to all of you.
After our tour of the murals we headed on to the Titanic District. We were just a year too early to get into the museum, but I was simply amazed by the building. I'd like to take a vote on how many people think that it is a boat, and how many think it is an iceberg.
We had a good time anyway getting to see the ship's final resting place and enormous size(the yellow dot is the size of a person) and acting out scenes from the movie("If you jump I'll jump"). The ship was larger than I had ever imagined.

Liam did an amazing job of walking us through West Belfast, the area in which he grew up and the most fighting took place. Here is a clip in which he will describe the importance of remembrance gardens.

After visiting most of the city's hot spots and tourist attractions we were off for a cultural experience to Fibber Magee's Pub to listen to some live music. It turns out that the band that night was covering American music such as Adele, Mumford and Sons, Flogging Molly, and the songs from Titanic. It was not until we related our entire experience to the receptionist, Joe, that we realized we'd done anything to identify ourselves as Americans. His words were "What? you don't dance at Fibber Magee's, you dance at a night club!" It was one of the best days of my life.

A part of me will remain in the city of Belfast, which we have all come to love and feel at home in. Literally, our names along with the names of thousands from around the world will remain on this wall forever (or at least until another mural is put up).

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