Nature and Nightlife
This Saturday, I had the opportunity to experience some of the attractions that really define Belfast and Northern Ireland for me. First, Queens led an excursion to the highest peak in Northern Ireland, Slieve Donard, and I was completely blown away by views. After seeing Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Coast, I didn’t think this country could get anymore beautiful but even on a cloudy day, this hike served to epitomize the natural beauty of Northern Ireland.
Later that night, I went on a pub-crawl to some of the oldest pubs in Belfast. It was really interesting to see how they city has been built up around these spots; all of the pubs we visited were located off the main streets in quiet alleys and they were so tiny that most of the socializing took place outside. Despite the cold, throngs of people still showed up (more than I had seen before on Saturday nights at the newer establishments.) This made for a different atmosphere than in the modern pubs, it felt like more a meeting place, than just a spot to grab a pint—making it easy to see why they are still so popular and such an integral part of Belfast’s nightlife.
Now that I’ve been here a little over 2 months, I’m getting the feel for what this city is all about. From all the old pubs to the Titanic Shipyard to the political murals and the Peace Wall, there is no denying that Belfast came from a very unique past but is thriving today. Coupled with the natural beauty of Northern Ireland, this history is what shaped this city all that it is today.