By Morgan Lauer
Belfast is the city where the Titanic was built and launched. Our first stop today was the Titanic museum. The Titanic is celebrated here not because of the tragedy, but because the successful shipping industry that was and still is a major part of Belfast.
The museum consists of an extraordinary exhibit that uncovers the legend of the ship and what it means to the city. We were able to experience the shipyard, the deck, inside the ship and so much more through special effects and recreations.
1,503 people died from the tragedy, but because of lack of information, there were conflicting rumors that were spread after the ship sunk. Carpathia was the first ship to reach the disaster scene and was able to retrieve 713 survivors. The radio operator on the Carpathia only relayed names of survivors and information to families while ignoring all press enquiries. Rumors began to spread when radio enthusiasts listened in to the exchange of information.Some newspapers began to report the ship was sinking but others reported that everyone was safe. These rumors were not settled until several days after the ship had sunk. It is surprising to me how slowly and inaccurately the news traveled. With today’s media, news of a disaster to this extreme would travel around the world within hours.
After the museum, we decided to hop back on our city bus tour (only valid for 48 hours but naturally we extended that to 60. Sorry friendly bus people.) to see a few castles. We were only allowed to enter one, but they were both beautiful and had awesome views. The ride along water wasn’t too shabby either.
Overall, our last day in Belfast was pretty solid with only one lost phone (eventually retrieved) and a short sprint through the rain at the end of the day. Tomorrow morning we begin our three day tour through West Ireland. Now off to the pub!