Black Cabs of Belfast
Belfast Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
Today we were up fairly early as to go on our Black Cab Tours of Belfast. These tours are becoming popular and highly recommended to the tourists of Belfast, to gain an understanding of what the city has been through. Our taxi driver was an elderly Irish man who wouldnt comment on wether he was Protestant or Catholic, he simply didn't see that all the blood shed for either party was in any way worth it. As we rode in the back of his black cab, hearing the stories and viewing the city, we came to understand why.
Belfast feels like a city, balanced delicately on the point of a knife, anything could tip it and fuel another wave of hostility. The barb wire adorning thick, high cement walls separating two sections of the city is a sad and sorry sight in modern day Ireland.
It was coming up to some kind of English holiday and you had some nutty supporters out painting the pavements in English colours. It was an amazing site, that to this day on the passion runs so deep. I suppose those young adults had parents or grandparents, who died or were jailed for their loyalty. And so the disease of hate continues into antoher generation.
The murals in Belfast are just as beautiful as the murals of Derry, and paint equally as sad pictures. From tributes to the 10 men who died of a hunger strike in Prison, to re-creating myths and legends that are bound tight in Irish history, many bricks bare a story. We even spotted a painter of many of the murals. An old, weary looking man who is poor as they come, yet dedicates his life to painting the buildings of Belfast. The tour went for about and hour and was about 15quid. It was very insightful and informative. More than that, you can feel it in the air, old hostilities and lives desperate to move on.
From Belfast we were to head back to Derry to spend another night. On the way we stopped in at Donegal National Park, which is beautiful.
That night we went to a Restaurant for dinner, I wish I could remember its name!!! It was beautiful, lovely views of Derry and a great menu. I think for 25 quid we got to startes, mains and a bottle of wine! We enjoyed our dinner and were going to keep going out on the town that night, but Alyce had a back wound which started to bleed so we went back to the hostel and watched Sex in the City re-runs instead! Still a great night!