We were up bright and early Saturday morning and found that after a cold, cold rain that beat on us Friday night, it had snowed. We all jumped onto our Party-Bus-For-The-Day, and headed north. After a quick and clever tour through the streets of Dublin, we were off to Northern Ireland and Belfast.
As soon as we arrived, we headed down to the docks where we boarded the Mona Belfast and took a tour of the river and dockyards where the Titanic, as well as many other ships were built. We learned a lot about the area, as well as the fact that although Belfast was the birthplace of the Titanic, there are no memorials or monuments in the entire city.
Potential dry humor aside, it was really interesting to see the dry docks and cranes that were used to build such massive ships.
After our first tour was complete, we had a quick lunch and boarded one of Belfast’s many double-decker buses (which are bright pink for some reason) for a bus tour of Belfast. We heard about the interesting history of the city, its buildings, and many famous murals from an entertaining, and surprisingly neutral guide.
Our next and final stop was at the Belfast City Hall. Keep in mind that this is not the capital building of Northern Ireland, it is the city hall where the city council meets.
The building itself was commissioned by Queen Victoria when Belfast was promoted to City-State status in the British Empire. Since it was financed by the people it is considered to be owned by the people, which means access and tours are completely free. It is an absolutely gorgeous building, and was the perfect way to end our first day trip.