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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 7:30 PM
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Belfast, Northern Ireland - grand and gritty

my wife and i went to Belfast a few weeks ago for the Game of Thrones exhibit. we first went to Dublin and arrived in Belfast late Saturday night. sadly it happened to be the weekend before the G8 conference started, so security was heavy and crowds were thin on Sunday when most these pics were taken.

it was nice to see how far the city has come since my first visit in 2005

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Titanic Museum
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The Game of Thrones exhibit, set up like it was a museum
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after the Titanic museum we walked a few blocks to the dry dock where the Titanic was completed

inside the pump house for the dry dock
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West Belfast is infamous as a flashpoint for The Troubles; although things are much better now there's still a virtual no-man's land between Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, although things are slowly getting better with some of the more inflammatory murals being replaced and housing rebuilt

starting in the Protestant/Loyalist Shankill Road area
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the dirt in the foreground is a traditional bonfire/rally area that's being replaced
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security barrier dividing the two sides
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security gate
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Catholic/Nationalist areas
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back to city centre
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Last edited by LSyd; Jun 30, 2013 at 5:51 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 8:31 PM
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Thanks for the wonderful tour of my mom's hometown. Belfast certainly has matured in the past few years. For a city that was being cast off as a lost cause not that many years ago (due in part to "the troubles"...what the locals called the sectarian violence)...she has definitely come a long way. It's especially cool to see the city finally embrace it's Titanic legacy.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 8:40 PM
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the last half of your photo set - wow, that's some scary sh*t
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 9:24 PM
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^It used to be even scarier. The city really has come a long way in the last few years, especially in the center.

Awesome pics
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 10:24 PM
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You accidentally labeled the Nationalist area the "Unionist" area, just FYI! Anyway, great set. I didn't get to make it to Northern Ireland when I was over there unfortunately. Definitely interesting seeing the murals.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 11:21 PM
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I've recently discovered a TV crime drama set and filmed in Belfast called The Fall. Fascinating -- absolutely fascinating to see so much more of it here. Thanks!
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 11:37 PM
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Thanks!
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2013, 2:21 PM
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Great set. Just wondering how safe you felt in photographing both areas?
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2013, 2:24 PM
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Gorgeous.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2013, 4:25 PM
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thanks for the replies

Quote:
Originally Posted by STL88 View Post
You accidentally labeled the Nationalist area the "Unionist" area, just FYI! Anyway, great set. I didn't get to make it to Northern Ireland when I was over there unfortunately. Definitely interesting seeing the murals.
oops...i need more sleep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by East72nd View Post
Great set. Just wondering how safe you felt in photographing both areas?
i actually did, yes, except when i started walking on shankill at dusk and two drunk guys approached me. i'm not sure what they said but i think they asked for a lighter.

i took a taxi tour on a monday morning; my driver grew up in the catholic area and had a lot of good insight. the tour stopped a few times to go walking. i felt safer in the catholic area but maybe that's because the loyalist murals seemed more aggressive.

the city felt safer than it did in 2005, not just because of the G8 patrols but the city is now more ethnically diverse, something my driver agreed with.

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Old Posted Jun 30, 2013, 6:40 PM
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Fascinating. Marian Price was released on parole on the 30th of May this year.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2013, 6:23 AM
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Great thread. It's history is evident as one would expect, a slightly grimmer version of Atlantic Canada along with some indications of oppression; much of the housing looks like it was constructed by the government during poor economic times. The Titanic associations are also quite interesting, something I might like to see.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2013, 9:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post
the last half of your photo set - wow, that's some scary sh*t
Cool photos, but that was what struck me, too. The murals are so in-your-face/unambiguous, ubiquitous, and unsettling it brings the conflict right to the present, as if it could restart at the drop of a dime. Far be it from me to give advicce, but I would hope as the people involved in this pass away that the murals would come down and/or change, because you can't tell me that having to see this stuff everyday doesn't negatively affect a population's pysche.
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2013, 10:34 PM
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Don't see this place much here. Great tour.......
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2013, 10:58 PM
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^^ maybe they can send some guys to Philly for lessons on more brotherly murals hehe.

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Old Posted Jul 1, 2013, 11:22 PM
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Great thread. I've always found some of those murals amazingly creepy, disturbing, and fascinating.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2013, 4:40 PM
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Fantastic set. Had the pleasure of a quick tour en route to Ballymena some years ago.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2013, 5:08 PM
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love those skies

that orange brutalist building that dominates the skyline is creepy
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  #19  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2013, 8:22 AM
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I did a 2 week driving trip around Ireland 20+ years ago, and I actually enjoyed Belfast more than I did Dublin, as well as Northern Ireland.

I suffer from lack of sunshine (any wonder I'm in the Desert SW?) and these pic's with all that cloudy background depresses me just to look at them!

But I was there in early September, so it was more tolerable, and it was berry season all over Ireland and I stuffed myself with those marionberries? every day of the trip! A nice substitute for the lack of sunshine!

I'm super-careful in choosing a destination to travel to so I don't end up colliding with lots of clouds when I'm going to be there, as I'd end up being a very miserable, cranky tourist!

But I loved those graffiti murals!
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2013, 9:45 AM
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I was in Belfast in 2003, and I marveled at how bustling the city center was. I'm glad that it continues to mature. This may be anecdotal, but I had more fun in Belfast than Dublin!
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