Congratulations to Prince William and the soon to be Princess Catherine on their marriage today! I wish them much happiness always. I will be sipping my tea from the James Sadler commemorative mug which I bought on a recent trip to Belfast in Northern Ireland. To see my first posts about this beautiful city click HERE and HERE, or go to the label IRELAND on my blog's right sidebar and click it to see all my prior posts about my visits to the Emerald Isle.
Belfast has many wonderful shopping venues and one I enjoyed visiting was the Queens Arcade.
There were shops lining both sides of the walkway inside the arcade. I bought my William and Catherine commemorative mug from a wonderful store called Little Heart.
Another wonderful shopping venue in Belfast was The King George's Market. Located on May Street, it is the last surviving Victorian covered market in Belfast. There has been a Friday market on the St. George’s site since 1604. The present St. George’s Market, built 1890-1896, is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. As well as being home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday and Saturday markets, it has become one of the city's most popular places to visit.
My husband and I arrived in Belfast on a Sunday afternoon, and luckily the market was now open for business on Sundays. Our hotel room was not yet available for check in and the hotel concierge suggested we visit the market while we waited.
There was a wonderful array of goods available for sale, and I wished I had more time to shop!
There were quite a few antique and flea market types stalls in the market and I did manage to chose one goody from this table that I could not resist! Come back to my blog on Mother's Day on May 8th, and I'll show you the trinket that I bought as a souvenir.
One of the iconic pink and white double decker city buses on the very fashionable shopping area of Donegall Place in the City Centre of Belfast
When we arrived in Belfast we had an incredibly nice taxi driver who was very erudite and friendly and he told us quite a few things we should be sure to see in his city. One of them was the Crown Bar.
The mosaic tile entrance to the bar.
The Crown Bar is called the most beautiful bar in the world and it is easy to see why once you step inside!
This is its description from it's website:
"Where else would you find a lovely burnished primrose yellow, red and gold ceiling, a floor laid in a myriad of mosaic tiles, brocaded walls ubiquitous highly patterned tiles, vigorous wood carvings throughout, ornate mirrors, wooden columns with Corinthian capitals and feathered motifs in gold?
Painted and etched glass is everywhere you look, vivid in amber and carmine painted shells, fairies, pineapples, fleurs-de-lis and clowns incidentally,the colourful decorative windows fronting the bar were originally intended to shield customers from inquisitive passers-by.
The long Balmoral red granite-topped 'Alter' bar is divided by columns and faced with gaily coloured tiles and a heated foot rest. Look out for the huge casks with their polished brass taps. Save for the inscriptions in English on the Mahogany cabinet behind the bar."
Some more interior shots of the Crown Bar.
Some of the beautiful tiles work on the outside walls of the bar.
While Crown Bar may be the most beautiful bar in Belfast, White's Tavern is the oldest!
Just look at this testimonial above its door! (double click on the photo to enlarge it)
It was not easy to find White's Tavern as it is located in a little alley street, one of many in Belfast. I walked around for quite awhile until I finally stumbled upon it through the "Winecellar Entry."
This placard on the Winecellar Entry wall describes what the "entries", are, and also the White Tavern location. I didn't go into the tavern, because my husband was working and I was by myself, but you can see photos of the interior on the tavern's website. In any event I was determined to see it as I had also visited the oldest pub in Dublin on a prior trip to Ireland, which you can see HERE.
I actually had a good time walking all around Belfast taking photographs of the various pubs, taverns, bars, that I saw! The architecture of many was charming. (double click on the collage to see more detail)
I also made a point to visit the Belfast Anglican Cathedral of Saint Anne
The Celtic Cross on the exterior of the Belfast Cathedral is the largest Celtic Cross in Ireland. The three nautical figures called "The Belfast Buoys" are located in a park alongside the cathedral as a tribute to the long maritime history of Belfast.
It was too cloudy the day I visited the cathedral for the interesting large metal spire that passes through the roof of the cathedral to be seen well in my photos, so the photo above is from the cathedral's website. It is called the Spire of Hope. It is lit at night for all to see.
The interior of the cathedral. Note the lighted section in the roof where the interior point of the Spire of Hope can be seen. The Spire enters the cathedral through this glass platform and standing in the choir visitors can look up the Spire to the heavens.
One of many beautiful stained glass windows inside Belfast Cathedral -- "Blessed are the Peacemakers."
No visit to Belfast would be complete without learning about the past and present conflict in this city that has been referred to as "The Troubles." Much reconciliation and healing has occurred in the decades since the worse of the troubles in Belfast, but much is still waiting to be accomplished. My next blog post will show many photos of the main areas where the conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants in Belfast have taken place and what the current situation is now.
I'm linking this post to "Friday Favorites" event on Sandi's blog The Whistlestop Cafe Cooking and the "Pink Saturday" event on Beverly's blog "How Sweet the Sound" Thanks for hosting Sandi and Beverly!
For my Bertolli virtual wine tasting event winner please see my prior post.
Happy weekend to all!