Travel Blogs- Northern Ireland

Today We bring you to … Belfast

Capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, Belfast is standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest on the island of Ireland.

City Hall building in Belfast, Northern Ireland
59 arthur st, Belfast

The name Belfast is derived from the Irish Béal Feirsde, which was later spelt Béal Feirste. The word béal means “mouth” or “rivermouth” while feirsde/feirste is the genitive singular of fearsaid and refers to a sandbar or tidal ford across a river’s mouth.  This sandbar was formed at the confluence of two rivers at what is now Donegall Quay: the Lagan, which flows into Belfast Lough, and its tributary the Farset. This area was the hub around which the original settlement developed.The Irish name Béal Feirste is shared by a townland in County Mayo, whose name has been anglicised as Belfarsad.

In 1921, as the greater part of Ireland seceded as the Irish Free State, Belfast became the capital of the six counties remaining as Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. It had been the scene of various episodes of sectarian conflict between its Catholic and Protestant populations.

Turistic spot is the Titanic Quarter that covers 0.75 km2  land adjacent to Belfast Harbour, formerly known as Queen’s Island. Named after RMS Titanic, which was built here in 1912, work has begun which promises to transform some former shipyard land into “one of the largest waterfront developments in Europe”. Plans include apartments, a riverside entertainment district, and a major Titanic-themed museum.

Northern Ireland consists of six historic counties: County Antrim, County Armagh, County Down, County Fermanagh, County Londonderry, County Tyrone. No longer used for local government purposes.

Occupying just over 17% of the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland is certainly crisscrossed by uplands, low mountains an coastlines.

For all the Game of Thrones fans a must to see is Dark Hedges where The trees form an atmospheric tunnel that has been used as a location in HBO.

Dark Hedges aka “King’s Road” in the television series Game of Thrones.

According to legend, the hedges are visited by a ghost called the Grey Lady, who travels the road and flits across it from tree to tree. She is claimed to be either the spirit of James Stuart’s daughter (named “Cross Peggy”) or one of the house’s maids who died mysteriously, or a spirit from an abandoned graveyard beneath the fields, who on Halloween is joined on her visitation by other spirits from the graveyard.

Spoooky isn’t it?

Speaking of Legend, sited on 55°14′27″N 6°30′42″W there are Giant’s Causeway result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.

According to myth, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant Finn MacCool was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet.

In one version of the folk tale, Fionn defeats Benandonner. In another, Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realises that his foe is much bigger than he is. Fionn’s wife, Oonagh, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the ‘baby’, he reckons that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn would be unable to chase him down. Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this.

In overall Irish mythology, Fionn is not a giant but a hero with supernatural abilities, contrary to what this particular legend may suggest. In Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888), it is noted that, over time, “the pagan gods of Ireland grew smaller and smaller in the popular imagination, until they turned into the fairies; the pagan heroes grew bigger and bigger, until they turned into the giants”. 

Giant’s Causeway

Do you want to check with your eyes?

boot

Our partner :

Causeway Tavern B&B

Game of Thrones® tour for 2

Solo Belfast

Thanks to Alessandra for the pics 😉

See you for the next city, bring your luggage …

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