Friday, November 02, 2012
A city break in Belfast with the family
The Titanic Belfast visitor attraction is brilliant. It is one of the best of its kind I have seen. It manages to span a huge range of touching points that the Titanic opens - starting with the history of the city itself, to the empire, trade, maritime engineering right through to emigration and social class when the exhibits got to the maiden voyage.
In the city centre we enjoyed Linen Hall Library and the City Hall and compared how it is so similar to Stockport Town Hall! We looked around the new Victoria Square centre, which was very pleasant. It was fascinating how Halloween is so enthusiastically supported, probably as the Guy Fawkes celebration of the next week - with all its burning parliaments and Catholics is a little too raw.
The open top bus tour in the rain wasn't such a hit. It gave the kids a perspective on the city, but the sights of armoured cars, peace walls and derelict buildings were hard to take in as we were rather rushed from one place to the next. As one of them commented as we wound our way up the Shankill Road - "it's like Brinnington with murals".
We left with a sense that we'd had a good old look around and were still left with a few more things we could have done. But Belfast is a city with a lot of energy and the Titantic may have been a tragedy 100 years ago, it's an opportunity now.