Sunday, 25 October 2009

Walking around Belfast

The boys and I had a great time touring Belfast, and thankfully the boys have a great sense of direction, when I got a bit lost every now and again. They knew exactly where we were!
The Belfast Wheel is situated right next to the City Hall. The locals call it the 'Belfast Aye'. Here we are waiting for our turn.

City Hall with the Belfast Wheel behind.

The view from the top, facing north

Cameron at the very top of the wheel.

Alexander at the very top. We stopped at the top for 13 minutes, Alexander wasn't so keen about being so high!

The Robinson & Cleaver Building was built in 1888, was originally the Irish Linen Warehouse, and then a department store. Currently, it has been sudivided for commercial businesses.

Next to the Belfast Wheel is the Titanic Memorial, dedicated to the victims of the Titanic.

The City Hall was completed in 1906, and has recently just been renovated. Very impressive. Many people use the gardens at the front as a meeting place. While we were in Belfast, it was school holidays. It must have been Emo day in Belfast. Around the statue were heaps of Emo kids meeting up with their emo friends! :)

The Grand Opera House was opened in 1895. It suffered a lot of damage during the time of the "Troubles" as it is situated right next to the Europa Hotel which was the home of journalists at the time. History of the Grand Opera House, link here...
Queen' Arcade. Cameron has been studying the Roman's at school. He is fascinated with mosaics!

Main Bus Station Sculpture.

Detail of the bus station mosaic.

The Linen Hall Library was established in 1788 to 'improve the mind and excite a spirit of general inquiry'. The floor to the library is made of small mosaic tiles.

The library has over 260,000 books. At least half of the collection is devoted to local history and Irish books, with a strong political collection of books and pamphlets from both sides of the fence.

Queen's University main building is a stunning red bricked and yellow sandstone building. It was founded in 1845 by Queen Victoria. It currently has over 25,000 students.

Next door to the University is the Botanic Gardens The Palm House was built from 1839-1852.
It was lovely inside.
Another mosaic that Cameron found!

Next to the Botanic Gardens is the Ulster Museum. The museum has been closed for the past 3 years due to renovation, and had only been open for 4 days when we visited. School holidays, grand opening, free admission and a grey day meant the museum was packed. We arrived just after opening time at 10am, and not too many people around. Here are the kids playing on the sculpture outside the museum.

Inside we saw a Tasmanian Tiger.

A Dodo

A very large Amethsyt (the name of the boys house team at school)

A squirrel. he was unbelievable soft to hold....think we might try and catch one back in Berlin for a pet!!!

Cameron is studying 'Space" as well, so he was really excited to see a piece of the moon!

A quilt for me. The quilt is thought to be made from dead soldiers uniforms from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815
The Ulster Museum also has an Egyptian Mummy, Takabuti, who lived around c660BC. A great video link here! There were interesting displays from the Iron Age, Stone Age and Irish History. We were there for over 4 hours, and could have spent plenty more time there!

The last stop of the day was Aunt Sandra's Candy Store . An old fashioned candy store, where we bought some handmade "puff candy" a mix between Violet Crumble and Crunchie. The staff were busy in the back of the factory making chocolate coated apples "Candy Apples". They make over 90,000 Candy apples for Halloween. We didn't realise Halloween was so big in Ireland, but seeing all the shops and homes decked out in pumpkins and skeletons we were proved wrong! Here are the kids holding a giant lollypop......30,000 licks worth we were told! I'm not sure how impressed Dentist Bill would be!

No comments: