passing through Belfast
Belfast Travel Blog› entry 33 of 68 › view all entries
I took a drive-by look at Ballygalley Castle, now a hotel, and carried on through Larne into Northern Irelandâ€™s capital city. I first drove through a rough-looking neighborhood on the outskirts of the city to see the murals and British flags. Approaching downtown, the metropolitan streets of Belfast proved difficult to navigate, particularly for an American accustomed to driving on the right. I was fortunate that another driver, of whom I asked directions while stopped in traffic, was willing to lead me to Queenâ€™s University, for I surely would have been lost trying to find it otherwise. Unsure why it was on my itinerary, I simply took a picture of the Lanyon Building, an imposing monument of higher education, and moved on.
I then drove around City Hall to Great Victoria Street in search of The Crown Liquor Saloon. Great Victoria Street is home to some other notable Belfast landmarks such as the Grand Opera House and the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church. The door attendant at the Europa Hotel took a photo of me affront famous public house, one of the oldest pubs in Ireland (established 1849) and renowned for its restored traditional styling. Having seen what I had come to see, I took my leave of the starkly contrasting urban jungle. With no obvious suburbia, the city ended as suddenly as the farms resumed.