Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Travelblog - Belfast

A day trip to Belfast to meet some of the family and enjoy some of the sights of the city.

A lovely calm day meant that the Lagan was very still and had beautiful reflections.
This one of the Waterfront Hall is one of my favourites.

More recently this sculpture of a female figure has been added to Thanksgiving Square, the sign underneath reads "This female figure represents various allegorical themes associated with hope and aspiration, peace and reconcilliation and is derived from images from Classical and Celtic mythology. Her position on the globe signifies a unified approach to life on this earth. It encompasses oneness, while celebrating the diversity of culture that exists in our global village.

The aim of the sculpture is to bring people together and to change hearts and minds; to make bridges across the divides in our community. To work towards a peaceful, happy existence for everyone on this planet by respect for each other, their cultural heritages and all our aspirations.

This symbol creates a tangible first statement of our long term objective in bringing people together to foster a happy and fulfilling life for all and a sense of gratefulness for all that life has given us."

To be honest, I think this message "went on a bit" - but what I can tell you is that I've spent quite a lot of time in Northern Ireland over the past few years and it is a great place, full of peace and beauty. The people are warm and welcoming, and it is a shame that for some reason, some outsiders still think that Belfast is "a dangerous" city and hasn't changed since the 1980s. At least we can say that this unjustified stigma does tend to keep the opinionated fools away - which means that the city is preserved for the nicer, more open minded visitors!

You can read more about this sculpture at the BBC here or the Northern Irish Tourist Board web site here

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