We have been in Belfast, Northern Ireland now for a week. I have to admit I was a little reluctant to come here because of “The Troubles” between the Catholics and the Protestants at the end of the 20th century. But peace has been place now for almost 20 years and Belfast is flourishing. They have constructed an excellent tourist exhibit about the Titanic and her sister ships. The ship was built here in the Belfast shipyards in the beginning of the 1900s. It is a modern architectural building that has some excellent exhibits that document this period of human grandiosity and folly, when they believed they had created the unsinkable Titanic. This is a photograph of the ship’s designers hard at work coming up with a truly remarkable ship. But they forgot to add enough lifeboats for all the passengers and crew in case the unthinkable happened. There are complete mock ups of the first class cabins with exact replicas of the luxurious furnishing. It was an intense experience.
It was easy and inexpensive (a weekly bus pass was £15 each) to get around the city on the big, pink buses.We took a different bus to Hillsborough Castle which is 20 minutes outside of Belfast. This is really a large Georgian town house where the queen comes to stay when she visits Belfast. We had an excellent tour given by this lovely guide, Helen. She told us all about the history of the house and how it is still used by the English royal family.Here is the dining room all set for lunch with china and crystal. The extensive gardens and grounds are stunning. Here is a photograph of the garden lake.It rains a lot here and there are lovely flowers everywhere.Tomorrow we are off to Greystones, which is a little below Dublin. We get to take care of 2 wonderful kitty cats and 2 chickens.