A lot was crammed into our last full morning, beginning with a city tour of Belfast. We had a “step-on guide” for this one, and she gave us the run-down of the buildings we passed, sprinkled in with a tidbits of Belfast history and photo-ops. By now, 10 days into the trip, many did not get off the motor coach at these photo stops, and those that did took a quick picture and climbed back aboard without prompting!
Belfast is a diverse “college town,” filled with students from around the world, and it’s rumored that a cure for MS is in the offing at one such medical university. It’s also known as one of the friendliest, and safest capital cities in all Europe.
I saw evidence of that friendliness the night before. Wandering the streets between our return from the Giant’s Causeway, and dinner “on our own,” I was using a hotel area map to navigate a few blocks in each direction. I marked it with a pen, a lot like leaving breadcrumbs, so I could find my way back. But at almost every street crossing, someone would inevitably ask if I needed any help finding my way. (It helped a great deal that English is spoken here!)
Near the center of the city (I think), there is an enormous wall, covered with graffiti. President Clinton’s words for peace, along with Nelson Mandela’s, are written in metal, while most others are written with felt pen. We were encouraged to add our names to the wall. A call for world peace; imagine that!
Their actual capital building looks rather familiar, patterned after our own. The grounds leading up to it, however, are laid out so that if viewed from the air, roughly approximate the lines on the British flag. Or so we were told!