By: Alexandria Hughes
It is only day three and I feel as if I have already seen so much. Unlike many others I have traveled over seas many times. I have gotten the chance to go to Ethiopia, Kenya, Isreal, Italy, parts of the Carribean and Canada. The one place that I have always wanted to see more of Europe. Although I have been out of the country many times this trip will be one to remember for many reasons. This is the first time I have left the country without my family. On this trip I am looking forward to meeting new people, learning about new cultures and exploring the history of each city we visit.
Day1: Prior to arriving in Belfast we took a 6 hour plane ride from Newark. On the 5 hour
layover mixed emotions went through my head. I am not sure what was more nerve wrecking, the fact that I would be away from home for 5 weeks or the fact that I would be living with 20 strangers for that significant time period. Either way, my nerves diminished after arriving to our hotel and starting our adventure. Our first destination, and still my favorite was the St. George Market. This reminded me of the Brooklyn Flea Market but only with fresher food and a cultural environment filled with live Irish music.
Day 2: We began the day with a city bus tour of the city of Belfast. Prior to this trip I had little to no knowledge about Belfast. I knew it was the captital of Ireland and that is about it, that shortly changed after the hour and a half bus tour filled with 20 stops. The most memorable of the many stops was the beautiful parliment, the port where the Titanic was built and the Belfast Jail. Since we only drove by all the stops we are planning to tour the jail before we leave. After tour we went to dinner and went out to the famous Dirty Onion with the whole group which was an amazing experience.
Day 3: We went to a local breakfast place and after walked around Victoria Place, after this we went on a Black Cab tour with the whole group. On this tour they gave us a run down of the seperation of religious groups in Northern Ireland. Spread out across the area lies gates, these gates close at 6pm in order to keep the Catholics and Protestants seperated. Along with the gates lies a 2 mile long wall called the Peace Wall. This is another way they seperate the two opposing religious groups from interacting. To us all it seems dangerous and unneccesary; however,as our tour guide said “what isnt broken doesnt need to be fixed”. This form of seperation causes no harm, only satisfaction to those involved becuase not only religion but ones identity is very important to them.