Today is our third day in Belfast and it has been an absolute blast so far. This morning we had plans to visit the Titanic Museum. I am a bit of a history buff, so I was really excited to learn more about the Titanic and how it relates to Belfast. I had no idea that the Titanic actually had ties in Ireland.
On our walk to the museum, and there is a lot of walking back and forth in Belfast, we got to see a beautiful clocktower. We also had to cross over the river on our way to the museum which let us see a different part of the city as well as the shipyard near the museum.
The museum takes you through several stages in the the making and journey of the Titanic. I learned that the Titanic was built right here in Belfast along with a lot of other famous ships such as the Olympic and the S.S. Nomadic. The building of the Titanic was the source of most men’s jobs in this area at that time and an attraction inside the museum even takes you around and tells you the story of one man’s hard labour in building the Titanic.
After teaching you about how the ship was built, the museum walks you through the story of its tragic fate and many of the stories of its survivors. The final section of the museum shows you about the dive efforts to recover and find the wreckage of the ship and its passengers’ belongings. There are several interactive areas in this section that allow you to explore the wreckage and see the remains of the ship. Surprisingly, a lot of the wreckage is still intact.
Once finished with the indoor part of the museum, I went outside to visit the recently restored S.S. Nomadic, which was built alongside the Titanic in Belfast. It was actually a smaller ship that picked up passengers from France and brought them to the harbor where they could then board the Titanic for its maiden journey. A lot of this ship was able to be restored and closely resembled what the inside of the Titanic would have looked like.
After we finished touring the Nomadic, we met back up as a group and headed to a nearby pub for lunch. Another thing that I’ve learned in the past few days in Belfast is that “pub” is short for “public bar.” The pub we stopped at for lunch was called McHughs.
Whenever I travel abroad, I always make sure to try local food and drinks, and today at McHughs, I tried a dish called a boxty which contained an Irish classic–the potato pancake. It was delicious and is now one of my new favorite foods and is good at any time of day.
So far, this trip has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced abroad before. Despite the cool and often rainy weather here in Northern Ireland, I have enjoyed living a completely different lifestyle than the one I lead at home. The people in Belfast have been more fun, relaxed and friendly than when I visited London and Paris a couple years ago. I look forward to seeing what else Ireland has to offer, especially in the countryside and in Dublin.
Also: Stay tuned to Spoon University in the next few weeks to follow my articles about all of the amazing food here in the U.K.