Thursday, June 16, 2016

Belfast Rest Day June 16, 2016

Today was the first of two rest days in Belfast.  It has been a long and exhausting tour. While the rides average only 100 kms per day the climbs and the rough roads have taken their toll.  So a couple of rest days to see what is a very interesting and historic city is just what everyone needed. 

First thing on the agenda was to see Titanic museum.  The Titanic was built right here in Belfast by the Harland and Wolff.  Ship building was the heart and soul of Belfast. The city of Belfast built everything which went into the ship from the steel plates and fittings to the furniture and fine linens.  So the Titanic tragedy was a real blow to the city whose soul was so tied to the ship. The new Titanic museum is built on the same ground that the Titanic and her two sister ships were built.  The place is an amazing piece of architecture. It is shaped in a three pointed star and covered with these aluminum sheets which when viewed from a distance look like the ocean.  Inside the museum there are nine separate galleries which take you through the history of Belfast, all the way through to the sinking and final discovery of the wreck years later.  Then there is a walking tour which takes you around the yard where Titanic was built. Finally the historical society has rebuild the Nomadic which was Titanic’s tender for loading passengers in Cherbourg and is on display.  We arrived just before the museum opened at 9:00am and exited through the gift shop just after 3:00PM. You have great views of the two giant H&W gantry cranes Samson and Goliath are still in use today and dominate the Belfast skyline.  They have done an absolutely amazing job. 

Agnes wanted to do laundry, Jos want to go to Chain Reaction Cycle.  We loaded up the car and dropped Agnes at the coin laundry and Jos, Patrick, and I continued on over to Chain Reaction.  Chain Reaction Cycle is one of the largest on line cycle shops and their only brick and mortar store is here in Belfast.  Who can pass up the opportunity to go into one of the largest cycle shops in the world?  They did have a huge selection of just about everything cycle related. My luggage is already bursting at the seams so I held my temptations in check.  However I did find an excellent Stella Italia seat for only 14 Pounds.  

Back at the hotel Agnes and I meet up with Ken and Sally and the four of us went for and excellent steak supper at a bistro across the square from the hotel.

Tomorrow we are planning on doing the Hop-on-Hop-Off bus tour.  Looking at the weather forecast it will be a bring your umbrella day. 



Riona Freeman said...

So nice to live this vicariously, Terry. I loved Belfast when I was there many years ago ('97? - they still had 'the Troubles') but it was a very pretty city. And safe with all the police around. :)
I am super jealous you made it to the Giant's Causeway. I haven't been yet. It was nice to hear that it isn't the most spectacular columnar basalt but it IS pretty famous so I still want to see it.

Gail said...

Wow, the museum sounds fantastic! Wish I could see that and to make it even better - you went to Chain Reaction Bike store. Oh, my I am feeling a bit of envy. Enjoy your two days off and your well earned rest. Best to Agnes, I bet she did not have as much fun doing laundry as you did at Chain Reaction. You are one lucky guy to be married to her.

Margaret Kavanagh said...

The Titanic museum was not finished when I was last in Ireland but it is on my list for my next trip. The Irish have a saying about the Titanic, the ship was fine when it left Belfast. Have fun.