Welcome to the end of a short week! It is quite fitting that today of all days I am hitting publish on this throwback travel post as tonight I am heading back across the pond – though this time it is England instead of Ireland. Throwing it back to the Fall I want to share more of my travels to Northern Ireland, but first check out the Carrick Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway.
The highlight of my trip to Belfast was definitely visiting the very sobering Peace Wall which despite it’s originally purpose is now a tourist attraction in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. To really get the sense of this massive installation I skipped the tour guide route and visited the sobering wall in the back seat of a black cab drive by a Belfast local. He explained to a small group of us while driving around the city the entire abridged history of the Irish Republican Party and the decades long feud between the Republicans (Catholics) and the Loyalists (Protestants) before we stopped alongside a stretch of the wall at the exact moment it stopped raining.
This 30 foot high wall stretches more than half a mile and believe it or not has stood for longer than the Berlin Wall. There have been talks, our cabbie told us, that it may be taken down in 2023 but locals are doubtful, especially because even now the cages on the back of houses on either side of the wall that look like Florida lineas are meant to stop bricks, bottles, and bombs from destroying people’s homes. It is now a tradition for visitors to sign their name in graffiti that litters the entire wall on both sides – so much so that our cabbie handed us permeant markers and told us pick our spot. It was actually quite fitting that it was grey, rainy, and cold for this harrowing morning as I left a message of peace.