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34 minutes ago, Alan said:

Ulster Scots. Utterly ridiculous.

I wouldn't be saying that too loudly to your pals in the DUP.

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If you leave your preconceptions (and football colours!) at home when you visit Belfast, I'm sure you'll have a great  time. I believe that when Scotland played the Republic recently, some of your fans actually stayed in Belfast, and were glad they did.

Anyhow, I always think that Belfast is to Glasgow what Dublin is to Edinburgh. On which point, if you're at all interested in history, esp of the industrial/socio-economic sort, then a visit to The Titanic Centre is a must. (In fact, even if you're not so interested, you should go anyway, imo).

The reason I say so is because in the absence of many exhibits from the ship itself - rich Americans have bought up all that stuff - it concentrates instead on how Belfast went from being a small provincial town by the Lagan, to being an industrial power-house with the largest shipyard in the world, the largest ropeworks, huge engineering factories and the rest, all within little more than half a century. In fact, by the time the Titanic and its two sister ships, Olympic and Britannic, were built around 1912 (3 x biggest ships in the world, I think?), not only was Belfast the largest city in Ireland, but also the wealthiest. Plus the Centre is on the very site where the Titanic was built, including the original drydock, with great views of Belfast Lough and the surrounding hills.

It's a fascinating story all round, and you should appreciate the parallels with, and connections to, Glasgow particularly and Scotland generally. But I would caution one thing - if you're going to do it proper justice, allow at least 3 hours, ideally a half day.

And for all that people mock a museum to a ship which sank on its maiden voyage, just remember that the Captain was an Englishman. And besides, as the yard foreman said at the time: "Sure she was allright when she left here!"  :wave:

http://titanicbelfast.com/

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On 17/02/2018 at 8:58 PM, Dave78 said:

Avoid this place - https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurant_Review-g186470-d1571780-Reviews-Ronnie_Drew_s-Belfast_Northern_Ireland.html

Me and a few other DUBTA lads wandered in there on the way back to Dublin after a game at Hampden. The locals were friendly, and were asking about the game (we had kilts on so it was obvious who we were). One lad told us he'd done time in the 90's and was released under the good friday agreement. I remember thinking 'Did ye, aye?', but it was only when we got back to Dublin one of us discovered the pub is well known for its republicanism, and was the place where Robert McCartney was infamously murdered by the Real IRA.

The barman told us there was no buses to Dublin that late, so another republican guy we'd been talking to said he'd organise a lift for us for "a hunner poun". We waited till he went for a pish, then legged it to the bus station (where of course buses to Dublin run 24hrs).

The guy came back and was calling out something to us as we ran round the corner. As far as i'm aware we're still on the Real IRA's wanted list! :lol:

 

 

On 17/02/2018 at 10:12 PM, Ormond said:

You’ve still not said why it should be avoided though. 

I've was in there years ago. It turned quite nasty. There was two lesbians fighting over a rubber bullet

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Just back from the trip. 

Thoroughly enjoyed it. The city centre itself reminded me of something like a cross between a mini-Dundee/Glasgow and not sound unkind, but Dundee say 2003 - even had a Snappy Snaps shop which I didn't know existed, and when I seen a few folk carrying Tesco bags (with the old logo) I thought it was 2003 but it seems Tesco have brought these bags back (now 80% recyclable or something) Anyhoos, the city itself is very compact and I'd say if you have a good pair of feet you could get around it relatively easy. 

You could see tourists throughout the city, but it still feels like a smaller, 'real' town in a way with mostly locals cutting about going around their daily routine. The City Hall is a pretty impressive site insight and had a wee wander around there looking at the different Mayors of the city (believe it's a rotational thing, year by year). Didn't use the local transport, but there were plenty of buses throughout the day and early evening along with a ton of cabs almost everywhere even more than Del Amitri's every third car is a cab line in the evening. 

Pubs and grub were excellent - esp Sweet Afton (laid-back, after Burns poem: great chilled music too - slow, chill, remixed classics from Toto, and old hip hop, plus Americana folk stuff) ; Fibber McGhees, (excellent trad band on the Sat who did a cover of Caledonia); The Points (a trad bar, but the band were a bit keek - too loud drums are always bad) :and The Crown.- went early afternoon so not too busy ; but looked mobbed at night.  Didn't have any bother or see any bother anywhere around south Belfast and the city centre area. Went to a couple of auld man type boozers too but folk were grand although as someone did say in this thread, you did get a feeling of the ''Aye, but who's your real team over there?" from a lot of folk, and folk immediately assuming/thinking you are a Glaswegian with the accent (then again suppose I couldn't tell a Derry/Belfast accent apart), but one guy said I sounded like I was ''from the Outer Hebrides'' which made me laugh as I sound l most like Christian Dailly e.g polite Dundee. but then again anywhere north of Falkirk is teuchter isn't it?

Did the Political Walking Tour which was excellent and well worth the money/time if anyone is in Belfast. It is meant to last 3 hrs but we were just over 4.You start off on the Falls Rd and the first part of the tour, your guide is an ex Republican prisoner/now SF activist giving his side of the debate and then near the peace wall/gate between Falls/Shankhill a Loyalist takes over who then tells you his side of the story and you end up going down the Shankhill Rd and end up near the city centre. Both guides were very interesting, friendly and open to any kind of question. I never caught the Unionists surname, but both were ex-prisoners who were now community workers - whilst there seems to have been a lot of progress it doesn't really strike you until you go there to see a great big fuck off wall and one side is basically 99% Unionists and the other is the same but Nationalist - during the day people drive between the areas then at 7pm the wall is closed until 7am - maybe I'm naive, but seems mental;  the Unionist guide said they were planning to build a school just over the peace wall and knew that the pupils would be 90% protestant but they were hoping for at least a few catholic students with the idea of it being a mixed-school through time and it was quite depressing to hear all the work, consultations, efforts made to encourage even just 1 or 2 pupils to be from the other side yet no one applied and when they managed to set up a meeting with a few families they said they didn't trust the other side. Although this was right where the peace wall is. Although, we got chatting to a group  of lassies, on a night out and as they put it themselves ''we're cross-community'' so I take it things are moving on from the past - they were from somewhere outside Ballymena if I recall though, so maybe outside the areas like west Belfast, it is changing regarding mixed-marriages and inter-community relations?

Belfast also looked quite cosmopolitan, and wondered if migrants 'pick a side' or what. I'd imagine moving in an area which is very loyalist or nationalist would be quite daunting as an outsider!

Fascinating place though and people were very friendly in general.  Definitely wouldn't mind going back and seeing the coastal routes up to Derry/Londonderry and more of the North/Northern Ireland ;)

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16 hours ago, weekevie04 said:

Just back from the trip. 

Thoroughly enjoyed it. The city centre itself reminded me of something like a cross between a mini-Dundee/Glasgow and not sound unkind, but Dundee say 2003 - even had a Snappy Snaps shop which I didn't know existed, and when I seen a few folk carrying Tesco bags (with the old logo) I thought it was 2003 but it seems Tesco have brought these bags back (now 80% recyclable or something) Anyhoos, the city itself is very compact and I'd say if you have a good pair of feet you could get around it relatively easy. 

You could see tourists throughout the city, but it still feels like a smaller, 'real' town in a way with mostly locals cutting about going around their daily routine. The City Hall is a pretty impressive site insight and had a wee wander around there looking at the different Mayors of the city (believe it's a rotational thing, year by year). Didn't use the local transport, but there were plenty of buses throughout the day and early evening along with a ton of cabs almost everywhere even more than Del Amitri's every third car is a cab line in the evening. 

Pubs and grub were excellent - esp Sweet Afton (laid-back, after Burns poem: great chilled music too - slow, chill, remixed classics from Toto, and old hip hop, plus Americana folk stuff) ; Fibber McGhees, (excellent trad band on the Sat who did a cover of Caledonia); The Points (a trad bar, but the band were a bit keek - too loud drums are always bad) :and The Crown.- went early afternoon so not too busy ; but looked mobbed at night.  Didn't have any bother or see any bother anywhere around south Belfast and the city centre area. Went to a couple of auld man type boozers too but folk were grand although as someone did say in this thread, you did get a feeling of the ''Aye, but who's your real team over there?" from a lot of folk, and folk immediately assuming/thinking you are a Glaswegian with the accent (then again suppose I couldn't tell a Derry/Belfast accent apart), but one guy said I sounded like I was ''from the Outer Hebrides'' which made me laugh as I sound l most like Christian Dailly e.g polite Dundee. but then again anywhere north of Falkirk is teuchter isn't it?

Did the Political Walking Tour which was excellent and well worth the money/time if anyone is in Belfast. It is meant to last 3 hrs but we were just over 4.You start off on the Falls Rd and the first part of the tour, your guide is an ex Republican prisoner/now SF activist giving his side of the debate and then near the peace wall/gate between Falls/Shankhill a Loyalist takes over who then tells you his side of the story and you end up going down the Shankhill Rd and end up near the city centre. Both guides were very interesting, friendly and open to any kind of question. I never caught the Unionists surname, but both were ex-prisoners who were now community workers - whilst there seems to have been a lot of progress it doesn't really strike you until you go there to see a great big fuck off wall and one side is basically 99% Unionists and the other is the same but Nationalist - during the day people drive between the areas then at 7pm the wall is closed until 7am - maybe I'm naive, but seems mental;  the Unionist guide said they were planning to build a school just over the peace wall and knew that the pupils would be 90% protestant but they were hoping for at least a few catholic students with the idea of it being a mixed-school through time and it was quite depressing to hear all the work, consultations, efforts made to encourage even just 1 or 2 pupils to be from the other side yet no one applied and when they managed to set up a meeting with a few families they said they didn't trust the other side. Although this was right where the peace wall is. Although, we got chatting to a group  of lassies, on a night out and as they put it themselves ''we're cross-community'' so I take it things are moving on from the past - they were from somewhere outside Ballymena if I recall though, so maybe outside the areas like west Belfast, it is changing regarding mixed-marriages and inter-community relations?

Belfast also looked quite cosmopolitan, and wondered if migrants 'pick a side' or what. I'd imagine moving in an area which is very loyalist or nationalist would be quite daunting as an outsider!

Fascinating place though and people were very friendly in general.  Definitely wouldn't mind going back and seeing the coastal routes up to Derry/Londonderry and more of the North/Northern Ireland ;)

Coastal route is great but I found Derry quite boring, a walk along the walls is interesting but that was about it.

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On 13/03/2018 at 5:11 PM, weekevie04 said:

Just back from the trip. 

Thoroughly enjoyed it. The city centre itself reminded me of something like a cross between a mini-Dundee/Glasgow and not sound unkind, but Dundee say 2003 - even had a Snappy Snaps shop which I didn't know existed, and when I seen a few folk carrying Tesco bags (with the old logo) I thought it was 2003 but it seems Tesco have brought these bags back (now 80% recyclable or something) Anyhoos, the city itself is very compact and I'd say if you have a good pair of feet you could get around it relatively easy. 

You could see tourists throughout the city, but it still feels like a smaller, 'real' town in a way with mostly locals cutting about going around their daily routine. The City Hall is a pretty impressive site insight and had a wee wander around there looking at the different Mayors of the city (believe it's a rotational thing, year by year). Didn't use the local transport, but there were plenty of buses throughout the day and early evening along with a ton of cabs almost everywhere even more than Del Amitri's every third car is a cab line in the evening. 

Pubs and grub were excellent - esp Sweet Afton (laid-back, after Burns poem: great chilled music too - slow, chill, remixed classics from Toto, and old hip hop, plus Americana folk stuff) ; Fibber McGhees, (excellent trad band on the Sat who did a cover of Caledonia); The Points (a trad bar, but the band were a bit keek - too loud drums are always bad) :and The Crown.- went early afternoon so not too busy ; but looked mobbed at night.  Didn't have any bother or see any bother anywhere around south Belfast and the city centre area. Went to a couple of auld man type boozers too but folk were grand although as someone did say in this thread, you did get a feeling of the ''Aye, but who's your real team over there?" from a lot of folk, and folk immediately assuming/thinking you are a Glaswegian with the accent (then again suppose I couldn't tell a Derry/Belfast accent apart), but one guy said I sounded like I was ''from the Outer Hebrides'' which made me laugh as I sound l most like Christian Dailly e.g polite Dundee. but then again anywhere north of Falkirk is teuchter isn't it?

Did the Political Walking Tour which was excellent and well worth the money/time if anyone is in Belfast. It is meant to last 3 hrs but we were just over 4.You start off on the Falls Rd and the first part of the tour, your guide is an ex Republican prisoner/now SF activist giving his side of the debate and then near the peace wall/gate between Falls/Shankhill a Loyalist takes over who then tells you his side of the story and you end up going down the Shankhill Rd and end up near the city centre. Both guides were very interesting, friendly and open to any kind of question. I never caught the Unionists surname, but both were ex-prisoners who were now community workers - whilst there seems to have been a lot of progress it doesn't really strike you until you go there to see a great big fuck off wall and one side is basically 99% Unionists and the other is the same but Nationalist - during the day people drive between the areas then at 7pm the wall is closed until 7am - maybe I'm naive, but seems mental;  the Unionist guide said they were planning to build a school just over the peace wall and knew that the pupils would be 90% protestant but they were hoping for at least a few catholic students with the idea of it being a mixed-school through time and it was quite depressing to hear all the work, consultations, efforts made to encourage even just 1 or 2 pupils to be from the other side yet no one applied and when they managed to set up a meeting with a few families they said they didn't trust the other side. Although this was right where the peace wall is. Although, we got chatting to a group  of lassies, on a night out and as they put it themselves ''we're cross-community'' so I take it things are moving on from the past - they were from somewhere outside Ballymena if I recall though, so maybe outside the areas like west Belfast, it is changing regarding mixed-marriages and inter-community relations?

Belfast also looked quite cosmopolitan, and wondered if migrants 'pick a side' or what. I'd imagine moving in an area which is very loyalist or nationalist would be quite daunting as an outsider!

Fascinating place though and people were very friendly in general.  Definitely wouldn't mind going back and seeing the coastal routes up to Derry/Londonderry and more of the North/Northern Ireland ;)

When I was in my teens in the 1970’s. I read 2 books about Belfast , The Twelth Day of July and Across the Barricades. They were books about a young boy and girl from opposite sides of the divide who fell in love.

At that same time I supported Rangers and went to ibrox. My best friend was a Catholic. The  books were just a teenage love story but they made me think how sad the whole situation was.

 I stopped going to Ibrox and through time stopped supporting Rangers. I suddenly realised what was being sung by , in those days, the vast majority of the crowd about catholics. There was no way I was paying money to listen to that . 

40 years on my best friend is still my best friend. I do not miss the singing or what went with it . I made the right decision.

It is good to hear that  efforts are being made and things may be slowly changing in Belfast. How many people have needlessly spent their lives in bitterness and hatred . 

Thanks for your post, I might go back over at some point and this time see more than the inside of pubs. 

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