More Belfast

So, I woke up this morning feeling like I’m coming down with a cold. I’m not happy about that, but I’m glad it held off so long. It’s going to make the flight home unpleasant, but at least it didn’t really cut in to my trip very much.

I hauled myself out of bed, and got moving with a fair bit of effort. The breakfast put a much nicer light on the day, and I went off to wander Belfast on a last rainy day.

My first stop was the city centre, because I knew where there was a pharmacy, and I needed cold medicine and ibuprofen. While I was down there, I went back to Victoria Square, because it’s a very cool shopping centre.

This shopping centre is attached to the pedestrian shopping area in downtown Belfast. I am fascinated by the way it blends a mall with the outdoor area. That sort of thing wouldn’t really work in Winnipeg with our weather.
In the main court is this pylon that rises up several stories to a viewing platform at the top of the dome. It’s a very cool looking shopping centre.
Only one of the pictures I took in the viewing area at the top of the dome turned out well. This one shows the Belfast skyline with the Albert Memorial Clock.

After that, I headed out to see the Ulster Museum. The bus stop was right in front of Queens University.

I love the look of this building. It reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of Cambridge.
The Ulster Museum is just around the corner from Queens University. I like the blend of styles on the building.
I am fascinated by the carved stones used in the neolithic tombs. Here’s another good example.
This one is really for my nephew, Ryan, who’s started to get interested in knights and kings. This is the inauguration chair of the O’Neills, where the O’Neill kings sat while they were crowned.
A beautiful replica of a celtic cross at the Ulster Museum.

The rain let up for a little while around then, and I took the opportunity to take a wander around the Botanic Gardens that surround the Ulster Museum.

Just inside the gates of the Botanic Gardens.
So much of the garden is very green, even in October. This makes the few trees with leaves that have changed colour really stand out.
The rose garden was still in bloom.
The garden is a neat mix of autumn leaves with blooming flowers. Not something you see in Winnipeg.
The Palm House. Sandy would love this place. It’s hot, humid, full of lush plants…
…with sculptures peeking out through the ferns and foliage…
…and chairs set here and there in the midst of the plants for students to sit and sketch.

I also managed to have lunch at The Crown, the oldest bar in Belfast. It’s a glorious place, full of etched glass, stamped tin roof, gold trim, and actual gaslights. It was way too packed for me to get a picture, but you can see one here.

I also tried walking out to the area where the Titanic was built, but it really started raining again, and I lost my motivation. Sorry, gang.

So, I made it back to the Old Rectory. Tonight is my last night here, and then I’m back to Dublin on the bus. I want to hit Grafton Street one last time to pick up some last-minute gifts for folks back home.

I’m gonna miss the Old Rectory, though.

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