Sunday, February 25, 2007

Belfast, again

Yesterday was the whole-group excursion to Belfast. We got a nice tour of town hall (quite a pretty building), and then did a bus tour of the murals on the Falls and Shankill roads. Those are two major centres of republicanism and loyalism in Belfast; located within a few blocks of each other. There's a 'peace wall' between them, which is to say a very large fence. I imagine anyone truly dedicated wouldn't have much troube circumventing it, but it apparantly does an at least passing job of keeping young people and drunks from making rash decisions about trouble and the starting thereof. The wall itself has a few murals on it as well.

Many of the murals are really pretty and well-done. And while there are still certainly a lot of murals about the NI political situation, a lot of the more recent ones are about other subjects entirely. One depicted George W. Bush sucking out of a straw that fed into the mural next door: an oil field. Another was of Frderick Douglass, who, it claimed, was inspired to escape slavery by a pair of Irishmen. I seem to recall seeing a 'Where's Wally?' one somewhere along the route as well (Wally is apparantly this side of the pond's younger, hipper answer to Waldo). There was one of an American flag with writing on it, but I didn't see what it said because we drove by too fast.

After the tour, we were left to our own devices in the city centre for a few hours. I spent the time walking around most of the places I'd already walked on Wednesday, but it was fun. Aformentioned diner (actually a cafe) with the bad food was called Blinkers. Walked past it; didn't go in.

I did find the comic book store, thanks to a new friend here in L/Derry who comes from Belfast. There was much rejoicing.

1 comment:

Samara said...

*pokes and points you in the direction of your email*