Tackling the Titanic

  • License plates are yellow instead of white in Northern Ireland.
  • Northern Ireland uses British pounds instead of Euros (this is not something I learned today, but it’s interesting).
  • You can thank Katie for the fact that these posts still have catchy titles.

We drove from Drumree to Belfast today, where we will be staying at the Fitzwilliam hotel for the weekend. We checked in around noon and it is amazing. The room that Katie and I share has a king size bed with a ton of pillows, a couch, mirrors everywhere, a huge bathtub separate from the shower, bathrobes to use, all sorts of stuff. It doesn’t sound as impressive as it is.

We decided to walk from our hotel to the Titanic Museum. It was estimated to take about a half hour if we walked quickly. Instead though, we stopped for lunch at George’s Market, which is a huge indoor market selling everything from freshly caught fish to crafts to the kind of odd things I’d expect to find at a flea market back home. Barb, John and Katie each tried a different kind of crepe, and I had coconut chicken curry.

By the time we were done eating, we really had to book it to make it to the Museum on time for our 2:30pm tour. We got there just on time, and the tour was amazing. It started with a history of Belfast and why it was chosen as the location to build the Titanic, a short ride taking you through how the Titanic was built, and replicas of what everything from the dinner plates to the bedrooms would have looked like in the Titanic. Then there was a big window looking out over where the Titanic launched from, and a video showing the different stops the Titanic made before heading out into the open ocean. Then came a dark room with video simulations of the ship sinking projected on the walls, overlaid with audio from interviews with survivors. There were biographies on the wall in the next room of some of those who did not survive, and finally a huge room with a video screen on the wall and floor from the point of view of a submarine examining the wreckage. The whole thing was incredibly cool.

On our walk back to the hotel we had more time to explore the city, and we ended up stopping for dinner at a place called Granny Annie’s Kitchen. It was the strangest place, in the sense that it didn’t seem to have any idea what it wanted to be; it had live music, animal heads on the walls, classy drinks, tasty food, an upside down miniature living room set on the ceiling…but it was so much fun. 
After dinner and drinks there, we walked back to our hotel, and on the way saw the City Hall building lit up in support of France. 

When we got back to our rooms we sat around and relaxed. I tried out the giant bathtub. Tomorrow we drive up the coast to see the Giant’s Causeway!


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