Updated: Oct 16
Yesterday was arrival day in Belfast. The weather was typical Irish...sun, rain, sun, rain...just wait five minutes and the weather will change. Check-in went smoothly and most people were able to get to their room quickly. St. George's Market is just down from the hotel and has local, continental and specialty foods including meat and fish, cheese, coffee beans, tapas and organic products from around the world. There are also handmade crafts, flowers, plants, local photography, pottery, glass and metal work. There is a wonderful stall of gluten free pastries right next to my favorite fudge. I always hit those two stalls first. The Market is open Friday - Sunday each week, and the Friday market dates back to 1604.
Today, was a visit to the Titanic Museum. A group of about 10 researchers visited the Museum (others had already been there). At 3:00 most of the rest of the group joined for Afternoon Tea at the Titanic Hotel (the former offices of Harlan and Wolff, the builders of the Titanic). A choice of teas were offered along with finger sandwiches, scones with lemon curd and clotted cream and various desserts.
Tomorrow begins the real work...research!
Some thoughts from the researchers on their first few days.
Sunday I took a quick trip north of Belfast Antrim by train to visit a Norman castle in Carrickfegus Uk. It was a different castle as it is on the water and built over stones.
Todays visit to the Titanic museum in Belfast was informative as to the demands of industrial age on workers as well as thought provoking for me personally. My paternal Grandmother witnessed the Titanic leave Belfast IRE on April 2, 1912 headed towards South Hampton, England. She was 14 years old and would later travel by ship a to the USA in 1913. How she must of thought about the Titanic as she traveled to America by ship, alone to start a new life America. I found her photo at the museum.
We had perfect weather for walking around Belfast today. We walked to the area where our great- grandparents lived and where our grandfather was born. We took pictures of the area as the older siblings moved into nearby homes as they started families of their own. It was very moving to touch the walls of his home, walk the streets he’d have walked and check out the shops he’d have visited.
Our day was topped off with tea at the Titanic and meeting the other researchers on the tour. Such a wonderful day.
Unfortunately, one of the researchers fell at Heathrow airport and hurt her back. She did make it to Belfast, buy had to visit the hospital and is now staying in her room. Hopefully she will be able to join us later in the week.