October 9-14, 2023

“In Ireland, every place you visit and every person you meet has a story. And they love to tell you their stories. Everyone is interested in everything; in a land of storytellers, you will never be bored.” – Maeve Binchy

During our Europe travels we decided to road trip around Ireland. We had 5 days to take in this exquisite country and that wasn’t nearly enough time. 


We arrived in Belfast by plane from London. We only had about 24 hours in this charming city so we made every min count.  Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, located on the eastern coast of the country. It is a vibrant and historic city with a rich cultural heritage. We stayed in an amazing little hotel called The Harrison Chambers of Distinction.  We highly recommend this spot.  It is charming and beautifully furnished and decorated, located walking distance to many amusements. 

Belfast has played a significant role in the history of Ireland, particularly during the Troubles, a period of political conflict that lasted from the late 1960s to the late 1990s.

The city has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years and has transformed into a thriving destination for tourism, commerce, and culture. Visitors to Belfast can explore its many attractions, including the stunning Titanic Belfast museum, which tells the story of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, built in Belfast’s shipyards. 

We grabbed lunch and a pint at Kelly’s Cellars, the oldest bar in Belfast, built in 1720.  This drinking hole is special and you can feel it the minute you walk in. Plus the people running the place are a hoot. Stop in next time your in town. and try the Irish Stew!

After lunch we wandered over the Peace Wall.  This is a physical barrier that was built during the Troubles to separate Catholic and Protestant communities. They serve as a reminder of the deep divisions that existed during that time. Despite efforts towards peace and reconciliation, the walls remain in place. However, there have been initiatives to transform them into symbols of hope and unity, with colorful murals and community projects. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the Troubles and the significance of the Peace Walls. While they represent a troubled past, they also offer an opportunity for reflection and progress towards a more peaceful future.

Belfast has a very Vermont feel with a modern twist. It has parks and restaurants that are gorgeous and welcoming for you to explore. Overall, it’s a city that seamlessly blends its rich history with modern developments, making it an exciting destination for visitors from around the world.

Some other recommendations when you visit

1. Take a Black Taxi Tour: Join a guided tour in one of Belfast’s famous black taxis to learn about the city’s history, including the Troubles and its political murals. The tour provides insights into Belfast’s past and present.

2. Explore the Cathedral Quarter: Wander through the Cathedral Quarter, known for its vibrant arts scene, trendy bars, restaurants, and live music venues. It’s a great place to soak up the local atmosphere.

3. Visit St. George’s Market: Experience Belfast’s oldest market, St. George’s Market. Browse through stalls selling fresh produce, local crafts, antiques, and enjoy live music performances.

4. Discover the Botanic Gardens: Spend time in the beautiful Botanic Gardens, home to exotic plants and stunning Victorian glasshouses. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

5. Explore Crumlin Road Gaol: Take a tour of Crumlin Road Gaol, a former prison that offers insights into Belfast’s troubled past. Learn about its history as you explore the cells and hear stories from former prisoners.

6. Visit Ulster Museum: Immerse yourself in art, history, and science at the Ulster Museum. The museum showcases a diverse range of exhibits, including ancient artifacts, natural history displays, and contemporary art.

7. Enjoy live music: Belfast has a thriving music scene with numerous venues hosting live performances throughout the week. Check out places like The Limelight or The SSE Arena for concerts by local and international artists.

8. Take a Game of Thrones tour: If you’re a fan of the hit TV series Game of Thrones, you can join a guided tour that takes you to various filming locations in and around Belfast.

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