But back to Belfast. It's a weird town, at first glance. The downtown area can be a ghost town after business hours, which is true in a lot of cities, but Belfast is small. There are still a lot of run-down buildings and streets, but overall its a very pretty city. H was quite delighted with the run-down-ness, as nothing fills him so much with delight as decrepit buildings (Montevideo, Uruguay wins the prize for decrepitness, hands down).
But it's also very pretty, City Hall is particularly nice:
What's really amazing is how much construction is going on in Belfast. I imagine that in a few years, it will look totally different. You see this sort of thing everywhere:
We wandered the Cathedral District a bit and saw the eponymous cathedrals. Here's a nice detail from St. Anne's
, which looks ye olde, but is actually only about 100 years old.
Interesting buoy things outside:
Stopped for a pint and some dinner at McHugh's, the oldest building in Belfast and a good pub near the water. Then wandered down to the famous Crown Saloon, the only National Trust pub. It's under massive renovations, but still really cool:
The big highlight at the Crown (although you see them in a lot of Irish pubs) is the snugs, little booths where you can shut the door and drink in private. The photos above are taken from within a snug. Some details:
And because we really didn't have enough pubtime on our first night in Belfast, we stopped off at one more, White's Tavern, which has a great fireplace (necessary even in June) and also claims to be one of Belfast's oldest taverns. It's in one of the cool Entries, little alleys with pubs and shops hidden within. I failed to take a picture, but you can search flickr with Belfast Entry to find lots of cool photos. But here's White's:
Coming next: a trip to West Belfast, it'll be mural-riffic!
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