BELFAST - THE CAPITA
The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast. In the years, after all the troubles, the city has become a stylish European capital. It is a beautiful city with many old world pubs, live music, serving the famous Guinness and very, very tasty Irish food. The Victorian Grand Opera house which was derelict in the Seventies was lovingly restored and enjoyed by visitors.
BELFAST CITY HALL
The famous Giant Causeway is 75 miles from Belfast. Along the North Antrim Coast Road where, in ancient times, glaciers shaped the plateau and what is known as the 'None Glens'. Dark forests and rushing waterfalls and it is the perfect setting for strange tales of lost souls. It is the little people which are there to live because they are not good enough for heaven and not bad enough for hell
|The Giant Causeway, on the Northern Ireland's north coast, is a World Heritage Site. It has 40,000 columns of black basalt.|
Apparently it was a mass of solidified lava which was sculpted by the weather into a giant’s gargantuan boot. It is said that the boot is the size of 93 and the owner Finn McCool was, supposedly 54ft tall. The local people say that Finn McCool built it because he wanted to reach Scotland across the sea. He wanted to challenge the rival giant with the name of Benandinner. The mythology has been growing ever more colourful and outrageous.
This land had been shaped by fire, ice, sea and rain in the past 60million years into something strange but beautiful. The Giant Causeway has been visited since the early 18th century. Famous people like Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain and Charles de Gaulle just to name but a few. The site attracts more than 600,000 visitors a year.
There is no doubt that it is the greatest natural wonder. the Grand Causeway stand solidly against the impact of the Atlantic waves. The black 'pavement' of strangely interlocking hexagonal columns lowering more and more into the white waves. On the left and right more columns rose to make a perfect natural gateway. Ahead are rocky pillars, called the 'chimney tops' against the Antrim sky.
Between the hills of Belfast and the Giant Causeway is a sheet of solidified lava which is known as the Antrim plateau. Across is the Mount Divis and it is owned by the National trust. On top of Mount Divis you can see across the beautiful city of Belfast with its docks, churches, stately homes and in the distance the loughs (lakes). A beautiful heathland on the other side. Mountain Divis has a special place in the hearts of the Irish. The story is that quite a few people cried for joy when they walked up there for the first time.
Belfast was always known for shipbuilding world-wide. It started at the beginning of the 20th Century with the building of the famous but ill fated 'Titanic' which brought the shipbuilders Harland and Wolf world attention. Belfast was the largest and most prolific shipyard in the world. It was very much involved in the Industrial Revolution and had a top place in the global industry until the late 20th century.
Belfast is also famous for Irish linen industry.
Today, Belfast is again the centre for industry, art, higher education and business.