We booked a private tour today which took us not only through the city, but also to Hillsborough, where Queen Elizabeth and family frequent when traveling in Northern Ireland. Hillsborough Castle is a beautiful example of royal living.
There was a time when the name Belfast raised an immediate red flag to visitors, but these days, political unrest or “the troubles” have greatly subsided. We found elaborate murals and other relics from those times as our driver drove us through those neighborhoods, but for the most part, Belfast is now seems as safe as any other European capital, and its new image is one of both progress and hospitality.
If you’ve been to Dublin, the differences between that city and Belfast may seem striking. Belfast, of course, is part of Northern Ireland, which itself is part of the United Kingdom; the Republic of Ireland is part of… just the Republic of Ireland.
The city has come a long way since the days of security checkpoints and armored patrols, and Belfast now appears poised to shed its unfortunate past and take its place among Europe’s new hot spots.
Another highlight of this day was the impressive “Titanic-Belfast” – a museum dedicated to the building, launch and ultimate demise of this famous ship.