Belfast Open Top Tours Reviews
Great Way To See The City Feb 15, 2010
One of the few things in, the very rough,plan was to do the bus tour. Tickets were £12.50 for adult and £6 each for the kids. vought our tickets and were advised to ba back a bit before the scheduled departure time if we wanted to be sitting up top.
While the bus was sitting waiting to go the guide,Pat, gave a bit of information about the area we were in. Pointed out that the clock of at the bottom of the street was leaning,by 4ft.Official explanation is an underground river eroding the foundations, but he added the other explanation was this was part of Belfast's red light district and was caused by hookers leaning against it while plying their trade :D
That set the tone for the tour, and there was a lot of historical information and a whole load of humourous stories along the way.
First up was the Titanic Dry Dock and the bus stopped here to allow folk off to take pictures.This was the only time you got to do that, the rest of the pics had to be take as the bus stopped or slowed down at various points along the route.
Headed from there,past Samson and Goliath,the cranes in the shipyard, along the dual carriageway out to Stormont and the government building there before coming back down through East Belfast. All along the way Pat was pointing out various little bits and some of the stories related to them. Pointed out one mural and said it was the Belfast Mona Lisa, because as you moved past it the gun follows you :D also the fact that you would likely be safe from this one as he the wrong eye open :O
Many more I could ad, but wouldn't want to spoil it, any more, for anyone who wants to do it, but the guy must have talked non stop for the whole 1hr and 45m the tour lasted :D. On the way down from Stormont to Newtonards Road a lot of it was about the local connections with C.S.Lewis, writer of the Narnia Chronicles.
Back into the city centre and up past City Hall and out to the University before turning back down and out to the Falls Road.Here you are in a Republican area but you go up past Clonard Cathedral and through the gates in the Peace Fence and straight into the staunchly Loyalist Shankill Road.
Back down Crulin road with it's Court House and Gaol and round past Belfast(St Annes) Cathedral.
Ehat was the route, but it was the guide that made the whole thing, with the local knowledge of the areas and the history.Even a bit of rain didn't dampen the experience.
I would reccomend this as one of the first things to do on a visit to Belfast. it gives you a lot of information and ideas of things you want to go back and see more of,or the inside of. The other benefit of doing this early doors is it gives you a good idea of the geography of the city and what is close to what.For the next two days we were wandering round I was able to follow the route the bus had taken so we could go back to stuff,like the C.S.Lewis statue, though in that instance it was in reverse :D
All in all a great laugh and the kids thouroughly enjoyed it,and had taken in a lot of what was said as they would mention stuff as we were walking about the town,and they had never been here before.
Part of the Belfast Feb 10 - A Rich History travel blog
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