Winging It, Again

Belfast Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
Nuala With The Hula

Without having a properly thought out plan I was having to make it up as we went along,when the kids asked what we were going to do. Had drawn inspiration from doing the bus tour, and I had been facinated by the C.S.Lewis association. First though we had to check out of the hotel, but we were able to store the bag there,which was at least something.

Walked down through the town to the High Court,along to Thanksgiving Square and over the bridge here, more or less retracing the route the tour bus had come down. As you cross the bridge there is a metal sculpture here officially knwn as the Beacon Of Hope, but referred to locally  as the Doll On The Ball,The Thing With The Ring or Nuala With The Hula :D

After a short walk over the bridge there is an area of vacant ground, that had been earmarked for a car park, I think, but when they started digging they discovered the remains of a 17th century settlement and work was stopped and it is now an archaeological site.

UFF Mural
Walking further wou come to a fences off housing area that is the Short Strand, a Republican area   stuck in the mainly Loyalist East Belfast. Carried on up Newtonards Road where again there are many murals, but one of the more interesting ones is one in memory of the Titanic. turned off onto Holywood Road and right away came to the statue of C.S.Lewis looking in the wardrobe. Officially it is titled 'The Searcher' and the three of us were mucking about, having a laugh about it, when a woman came over out of the library. Thought we were going to get a bollocking for being kimd of disrespectful but she went up to my daughter and gave her a 'The Searcher' bookmark.

Walked further up holywod Road and decided if we carried on much further we were going to end up at Stormont or the airport, so were going to get a bus back into town.

titanic Mural
Had just missed one, so we started walking down the road and decided to cut down through a park at the side of the library. Quite quiet and peaceful, even in the middle of a housing estate. Still plenty of murals in this area, but we found a C.S Lewis one . As on previous days, but especially today, the two cranes in the shipyard, Samson & Goliath, kept appearing into view at all sorts of angles, so much so we were joking that someone was moving them about to confuse us. Almost everywhere in belfast you will find a view to the cranes which is why they are now a listed landmark, and will remain long after the engineering has gone.

Walked back down to the riverside and along the Laganside walkway. I was wanting to go to St geaorges market, the first covered market in Ireland,  but kept getting distracted,as is my won't .

Trying To Get Into Narnia
We went up to the railway Central Station, while I tried to figure out where the buildings I had seen earlier that took my fancy were. They were just down the road by the river so we headed on down. By now my boys face was starting to trip him, I put it down to hunger, he goes like that, and said we would get something to eat, but it wasn't it was the last two days walking had taken it's toll on his wee short legs.

came back over the river at the Albert Bridge again, and my daughter was using the maps on her iPhone using current location and it had us in the middle of the river, but no bridge, as this footbridge is attached to the railway, so it just looked like we were walking on water :D. Found St Georges Market, but it is only open on a Friday and Saturday, so there was little to see.

C.S.Lewis Mural
Walked up into town looking for somewhere to eat and headed for a place I'd seen the day before in Fountain Street. Thought the fuel stop might have picked my boy up a bit, but it didn't much, but tough we only had a few more hours to go.

though twe might try and find a few bits of the city centre we hadn't seen and went down and away from City Hall, and into a small side street, that then opened out into a square and there was a church there,St Mary's Chapel, that had a grotto attached to it. Walked along a bit and saw the Divis Tower up the road and decided to head for it and walk up the Falls Road. After a bit we turned left and went down to St Peters Cathedral, but never went in, instead turning back carries on up. Came to the IRA Garden Of Rememberance and then up to the Sinn Fein offices.

Divis Tower
Was taking a picture when a guy came out, and he started looking at us probably trying to suss if and why I was taking his picture, so decided to move on quickly. Followed the same route th bus had gone and went up Clonard Street.

There is a memorial on one of the houses there to four guys that were killed while the bomb they were making detonated prematurely killing them all. Further up came to Clonard Cathedral and went in for a look about. Up further we came to Bombay Street which is where the first houses were burnt down at the start of The Troubles and went down to the Clonard Martyrs Memorial. this backs right onto the Peace Fence, and even with the fence that high the houses next to it have extra protection at the back of them.

Went round and through the security gate in Lanark Way and turne immediately right and followed the fence down the road.

IRA Garden Of Rememberance
Down a bit on it there is a section where people from all over the world have scribbled messages of peace and hope on the wall, and it has been visited by the likes of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and the Dali Lama. Think it was at this bit that my daughter fianlly clocked the reallity of the situation, as she remarked that the houses down the other side of the road wouldn't be out of place in our own area or other parts of Glasgow, but yet they sat facing a 40ft security barrier directly across the road. we reached another gate, less substantial than the one we had come through, but one that would be shut at 6pm, and then further down a place where the road was just blocked off by a permanent section of fence.
Messages On Wall

Further down there was another gate, but this time on the Shankill side was a mural painted jsut beside the gate. Cut through the park in Dover Street and back up onto the main road, as it was about time we were collecting our bag. Arrived back at the hotel just after 4-30 and sat for a few minutes as there was a queue at reception before getting our stuff and ordering a taxi to take us to the airport. 

Africancrab says:
What is it good for? absolutely nothing, WAR! have you heard that song?
Posted on: Mar 03, 2010
torontobee says:
Great blog as always Ian - amazing sense of history past and current coming together in Belfast - must be few other places in the world like that.
Posted on: Feb 20, 2010
huibdos says:
In every war there are only losers
Posted on: Feb 17, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Nuala With The Hula
Nuala With The Hula
UFF Mural
UFF Mural
titanic Mural
titanic Mural
Trying To Get Into Narnia
Trying To Get Into Narnia
C.S.Lewis Mural
C.S.Lewis Mural
Divis Tower
Divis Tower
IRA Garden Of Rememberance
IRA Garden Of Rememberance
Messages On Wall
Messages On Wall
Academical Institution
Academical Institution
Lampost
Lampost
High Court
High Court
Reamians Of 17th Century Settlement
Reamians Of 17th Century Settlement
Enterance To Short Strand Area
Enterance To Short Strand Area
Welcome To East Belfast
Welcome To East Belfast
UDA Memorial
UDA Memorial
Loyalist East Belfast
Loyalist East Belfast
C.S.Lewis Statue
C.S.Lewis Statue
Take A Seat
Take A Seat
Bridge End
Bridge End
The Thing With The Ring Across The…
The Thing With The Ring Across Th…
Across The River To Samson And Gol…
Across The River To Samson And Go…
belfast Central Station
belfast Central Station
Riverside Apartments
Riverside Apartments
Trains Crossing The Bridge
Trains Crossing The Bridge
St. Georges Market
St. Georges Market
St Marys Chapel
St Mary's Chapel
Grotto
Grotto
Maddens Bar
Maddens Bar
Gateway To West Belfast
Gateway To West Belfast
falls Road Political Murals
falls Road Political Murals
St peters Cathedral
St peters Cathedral
Sinn Fein Office
Sinn Fein Office
Clonard Street Memorial
Clonard Street Memorial
Clonard Cathedral
Clonard Cathedral
Clonard Monestary
Clonard Monestary
Inside Clonard Cathedral
Inside Clonard Cathedral
Shrine
Shrine
View To Altar In Clonard
View To Altar In Clonard
Bombay Street
Bombay Street
Clonard Mratyrs
Clonard Mratyrs
Bombay Street Poster
Bombay Street Poster
Clonard Martyrs Cross
Clonard Martyr's Cross
Extra Protection At Back Of Houses
Extra Protection At Back Of Houses
Security Gates
Security Gates
Crossing Point
Crossing Point
Divisions Around The World
Divisions Around The World
Section Of Peace Fence
Section Of Peace Fence
Wall And Two Fences Built Up
Wall And Two Fences Built Up
Set The Heather On Fire
Set The Heather On Fire
Another Crossing Point
Another Crossing Point
Welcome At The Gates
Welcome At The Gates
Divis Tower Over The Fence
Divis Tower Over The Fence
Belfast
photo by: vulindlela