Today is the start of the Belfast Research Trip. I arrived last night and went to The Belfast Cathedral, also known as St. Anne's this morning for services. It is Church of Ireland and the location of the marriage and baptisms of some of my family member. It has a wonderful music tradition of Anglican sung Eucharist. One of the unique features of the church is the Spire of Hope, dedicated in 2007. The church was initially supposed to have a bell tower, but the ground was too unstable to support the weight. A competition was held for the design and the 54 meter (about 174 foot) stainless steel spire was the winner. As you can see from the picture, it rises above the Cathedral, but also descends 10 meters (about 30 feet) into the church above the choir. It was raining most of the day, but not hard enough that it prevented me from walking (about 20 minutes from the hotel). I suppose we lucked out in Dublin that we didn't have a lot of rain. I'm hoping for the same here.
This afternoon I was available in the lobby to answer any questions. Some of the people arriving today didn't have rooms available yet (check in time is 3 pm), but by the time we finished, everyone was settled with time to grab a short nap.
Dinner was in the hotel dining room with Ann Robinson and Martin McDowell from the North of Ireland Family History Society. There was a lively discussion through dinner, and an early night to catch up on sleep. Research starts tomorrow! Looking forward to a productive week.