Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Northern Ireland Day One: Arrival and Belfast Black Cab Tour

Well it has been a long time since I have written here. Second semester of college has been just as busy as the first one. I have also joined a service fraternity here on campus called Alpha Phi Omega (APO). All the pledge requirements have been taking up a lot of my time. But I will try to write more often!

Last week was our spring break and I was fortunate enough to go to Northern Ireland as part of a research class. We are researching how schools in Northern Ireland teach the Irish Civil Rights Movement and the Troubles. The trip was amazing and I learned so much from it.

On this blog I will be writing more about the experiences, food and touristy stuff, but our class has a blog that will probably be more about the research aspect of the trip. Without further ado here is Northern Ireland day one!!

On Saturday March 7, our group left campus at 2:00 p.m. to start our long journey to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Our flight to London Heathrow Airport left Dulles at 6:30 p.m. and we arrived before 7:00 a.m. GMT Sunday. I watched two movies (The Imitation Game and Paddington) that I will talk about in a future post.

After a short layover we boarded our flight to Belfast City Airport. Needless to say by the time we got to our hotel at noon on Sunday, we were all pretty tired. We crashed for two hours before our Belfast Black Cab tour.

This tour takes you through Belfast showing you the famous murals, Milltown Cemetery, and places where people were killed during the Troubles. Here are some photos from the tour.

Some of the curbs are painted to show allegiance. 

This stands for Ulster Freedom Fighters, a loyalist (protestant) paramilitary organization

Peace wall
The next few photos from Milltown Cemetery, which is a Catholic cemetery. While walking through the cemetery, our tour guy would casually point to graves and say "I knew him." It was definitely a sobering start to the week.

Grave of Bobby Sands, hunger striker who died in 1981.
We then passed tons and tons of murals on the sides of buildings and along the peace walls.

After the tour we went to the Home Restaurant near city centre. Most of us went for the two course prix-fixe plan. I got the traditional roast for my main and then sticky toffee pudding for dessert. A pretty traditional meal for my first day in Belfast. 

See you soon!


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