After our wet visit to the Giant's Causeway and Portrush we went on to Belfast for a three day stay. The weather did not improve with both the drive to, and the stay in, Belfast being marked by wet and cold. The highlights of Belfast would have to be the two Museums (or is it one) we saw on our first (arrival) day, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. These are situated across the road from each other on the eastern side of the city.
The Folk Museum consists of a lot of old buildings, with period furnishings, and people in period costume doing traditional work chores and telling visitors about the way of life in the 19th century. It is actually very impressive and is a surprisingly big place. For 50 years they have been collecting buildings from all over Ireland, transporting them to the large site and rebuilding them. Part of the display is a "village" and then in the surrounding forest area there are farm buildings of various kinds on display.
The Transport Museum was housed in a vast 3 story building with a large display that included a dozen or so steam locomotives plus assorted carriages, as many busses from various periods and a assortment of cars and motorcycles. The Delorean sports car got a spot of honor in the car section as the Irish claim Delorean (the designer) as a countryman.
Perhaps the biggest tourist attraction in Belfast is Titanic Belfast a unusually shaped, special purpose building housing a vast display focused on the Titanic. The building is designed to look like the prow of a ship and is located right at the slipway where the Titanic was actually built. This is a truly, Hollywood style, over-the-top, multi-media, attraction intended to imprint on (or remind )all visitors that the Titanic was built in Belfast, not that we had forgotten.
Other than the above specific tourist attractions we took a couple of spins on one of those "hop-on-hop-off buses to get a glimpse at the rest of the city. But the rain made those efforts a bit of a waste.
We found the Belfast version of the hop-on-hop-off buses a bit hard to get our heads around, and we could not figure out why it was so hard until the following experience made it clear why.
Throughout our stay the front door of our hotel was manned all day by guys selling tickets on the hop-on bus, and indeed the hop-on bus stopped right at the front door. Sometimes it even seemed to wait there if it was early for the next "scheduled tour".
At one point Nina went to one of these guys and asked "when will the next hop-on bus leave that can take us to the "Belfast Titanic Exhibition".
The answer was, 11:45.
At 11:35 we appeared at the front door and asked, how long to the next bus.
The answer, 40 minutes.
What about the 11:45 bus
It left 5 minutes ago
You mean the 11:45 bus left at 11:30
It turned out that the 11:45 time we were given was the time the bus departed from the tours first stop not from the front of the hotel.
That sort of summed up Belfast for us.