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Belfast

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 24 June 2014 | Views [430]

Titanic Dock and Pump House, Belfast

Titanic Dock and Pump House, Belfast

WE COULD HAVE FLOWN, OF COURSE, BUT THE FERRY to Belfast, including three buses, cost only a third as much as airfare.  Never mind that we spent most of the day in transit or waiting for the next leg.  Not insignificantly the final bus deposited us 100 meters from our hotel.

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    Connie charms the bus driver

It’s easy to get around Belfast.  City Hall is a ten-minute stroll from our hotel where you can catch a convenient bus to wherever you might want to go for only £3.40 for the whole day.  Traffic was a bit heavy, Queen Elizabeth is in town.  This is Northern Ireland, after all, still part of Great Britain.  But the “Troubles” have been over for a while and things are peaceful for the moment.  Marching season begins in a few weeks, a time when the Protestant Ulstermen strut their stuff and light gigantic bonfires fueled by wooden pallets and old tires.

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     Olympic, Titanic's sister ship

The city’s other claim to fame is the Titanic, the ill-fated ocean liner that was built and sailed on its infamous one-way voyage from Belfast.  The Titanic is gone but the Thompson Dock and Pump House where it was built has become a tourist attraction.  

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     Herself, or at least her hat

Maybe it was the Queen’s visit - she was just next door, so to speak - but we were the only visitors to the Pump House and dry dock this morning.  We timed it perfectly, too.  We got a peek at Her Majesty as her motorcade was departing and a candid photo of her hat.

 

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