Monday, October 13, 2008

...the heart of the matter

The shot 10/14/2008: Seen on the 40+ foot "Peace Wall" dividing Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods in Belfast, Northern Ireland...which has heavy gates that are closed every night to prevent/hinder crossing from one side to the other. Our hostel was very close to this area, which was interesting, but the whole place had a very tense feeling.
One tour guide said that international tourists have only started coming back to Belfast in the last 2 years. Another tour guide said that up until a few years ago, all of the pubs and restaurants in the city's center would close at sundown. Now, Belfast seems to be in a weird transition period, going from war zone to tourist destination. Everyone we talked to seems to agree that the disputes are not completely settled. It is peaceful, but there is not yet a complete resolution of the area's problems. That being said, we had a great visit...with a few bumps along the way. Belfast is a great place to visit, but very much a city in transition.

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