17 – 18 June 2016: Downtown and the Titanic
We walked downtown for dinner and a tour the city. City Hall was quite impressive. Belfast is smaller than Dublin but it struck us as more modern. While it does not have the same charm, it felt more comfortable to us.
We had dinner at Bubbaque, an Irish attempt at American BBQ with Memphis, KC, Texas and Carolina sauces. The meats were good, the sides were Irish, and the sweet tea was putrid. The sauces were good except for the Carolina. It wasn’t Down East or Lexington style, but instead SC mustard-based… and not a good version of it. Overall I had two of my favorite meals of the trip today, although that is not saying too much.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and walked to the Belfast Titanic Museum. During our 2010 trip to New England and Eastern Canada, we saw the museum in Halifax that housed Titanic relics near where the ship went down. During our 2015 visit of New York City, we went to Ellis Island where the Titanic was bound. So being in Belfast where the ship was built to some degree completed the circle for us. We agreed the Belfast Titanic Museum was the best interactive museum we had ever been. I was extremely impressed with the integration of technology. They had very few actual artifacts from the ocean floor but the history of the ship from conception through construction and its brief voyage was very well presented.
Before leaving Belfast, we walked back downtown to do some shopping. We were lucky enough to time our walk during their Armed Services Day Parade. The drum and fife bands were energetic and loud. Even though it was not our United States military veterans, we could not help be inspired by our allies show of patriotism and support.
We headed back to Dublin for, yes, a little more shopping, dinner, laundry and to get prepared for our flight to Manchester, England. Tomorrow morning we will fly out and begin our England, Scotland and Wales legs of the trip.