Belfast Alainn~

Belfast is beautiful!

Like Dublin, Belfast has scores of fascinating, historic old pubs to crawl. One of the most famous is The Crown built in 1827. The art deco interior has ten snugs, which are private mahogany booths with doors, surrounded by stained glass and hand made tiles.

Belfast City Hall has an array of striking stained glass windows depicting important events in Irish history. This glass is dedicated to the two million souls who suffered and died in the Irish potato famine.

City Hall itself is an architectural gem. Built in 1898, it has a gorgeous grand staircase,

replete with a stunning interior dome and rotunda.

Belfast is a very fun city to explore, full of vibrant street art, interesting shops,

and, as cannot be emphasized enough, wonderful pubs! Kelly’s is another classic pub. It is the oldest licensed pub in Belfast, built in 1720.

Kelly’s is lovely inside and out, and full of some of your soon to be newest best friends!

Cheers to you from soulful Belfast~

198 thoughts on “Belfast Alainn~

        1. You don’t need to change anything about yourself. Stay in place and do what you do. You create amazing art with great gravitas of soul, and you are so lucky because you do it, and find it, without wandering too far from home. You rock Resa. Please don’t change a thing about you. <3 <3

        1. In terms of ice cream, I went basic. Vanilla, made with this full Irish non-homogenized cream. I stopped and stayed with vanilla, because it was like nothing I had ever tasted before, which is just another reason to go back to Ireland.
          So many ice cream flavors, yet to explore.

    1. The City Hall is amazing. All of Belfast is and I am glad you visited. The people are the best part. Incredibly friendly and they interviewed me on TV as a tourist on the street asking how I navigated around the city. I told them the people in the pubs helped immensely. The best good will ambassadors on earth!

  1. Incredible photos! I think stained glass was the right medium to depict the potato famine. My eye expected to glance over a religious subject until I realized what I was actually looking at.

    1. Heartbreaking to even think of. Many of the stained glass pieces in the City Hall depict events that were hard to read about. An estimated 1 million people died during the potato famine, and 1 million starving people emigrated.

  2. Cindy, Love the photos of Belfast. Brings back found memories of my wonderful time visiting there, even though my visit was during the time that there was much tension between the Catholic and Protestant religions. Despite all that was going on, I found the people on both sides warm and friendly.

  3. Enjoy your visit, Cindy! These pub shots are delightful to see, both indoors and out. So fun to imagine what it was like to be there centuries ago! I was in Oxford, England, years ago for a conference, and a highlight was visiting the old pubs.

  4. How lovely to see such rich traditions, architecture, and creativity in public spaces. I’m not much of a bar person, but those snugs look wonderful! Thanks for sharing your passion for travel and culture Cindy!

  5. Thank you Cindy. You have such an eye. Your pictures help take me places I want to go but just can’t afford it yet lol! The last picture of Kelly’s seemed so familiar to me for some reason. You are awesome!

    1. I was left with a very strong desire to return and spend more time in Northern Ireland. It’s the genuine welcoming warmth of the people that left the greatest impression.

  6. Brilliant, again. Ireland has been on my list for as long as I can remember. It produced one of my favorite authors. Who but a seventeenth-century Irishman could write A Modest Proposal? I can only imagine what Jonathan Swift would have to say now… Thanks Cindy.

    1. Oh my God! Life gives us so many clues. As soon as you said, one of your favorite authors, I knew it was Swft. How could that be? I just admire him so much. He saw through all of us.

  7. A few years ago, we spent an incredibly enjoyable evening in one of the snugs at The Crown. We met some fascinating people (complete strangers invited us to join them; apparently this is a tradition) and we shared our life stories for hours. I would go back to The Crown (and Belfast) in a hearbeat, if the chance arises…

    1. Yeah, amazing concept isn’t it, just go in for a pub crawl, maybe a bite to eat, get a private snug of your own, surrounded by art deco glass, mahogany and these handmade, visually different tiles, and you get to close the door, for as long as you want to stay. I think I would like to go back in time,

      1. You know I wrestle with that….on so many levels going back in time would be awesome, but then I think of all the advancements we’ve made, and going back in time would be hard on a woman, and I settle back into current with gratitude. LOL I do want to one day visit somewhere that has snugs. 🙂

        1. If you time traveled you would have magic, obviously, right? You could right the wrongs, bring antibiotics and hand sanitizer, all that kind of stuff……laughing! Do visit a snug, it’s the magic of time travel without all that pesky reality!

    1. I love everything about these old pubs, the beauty, the charm, the history, and most of all the living, contemporary reality, of watching my husband order some sort of beer, and get in a heartfelt conversation that moved him to no end, with someone he just met.
      We don’t have this in the US and we are lesser for it.

  8. What a colorful, charming city Cindy! The pub pics are my favorites– would love to be there, settled in to a table with friends and good conversation. Fun post– love seeing your travels! xox

    1. Belfast has a beautiful art deco Opera House. I almost included photos of it, but I have to limit myself. I hope you do go. The city is uniquely special and the people are truly warm and welcoming.

  9. All of your pictures are worthy of comment, but I will limit myself to Irish city halls. Boston has large populations of people of Irish and Italian heritage, and after seeing the Belfast City Hall and unavoidably knowing of Italian architectural skills, I cringed when thinking of the relatively recent construction of Boston City Hall. Built during the energy crisis, it is a large concrete structure with rooms vast in empty space needing heat. If ever this way, visit and photograph it. I don’t know who designed it, but, in its simplicity, the power of government is evident.

    1. I am not a fan of modern concrete block buildings, or tall glass box buildings either. It seems the more we progress, the more we lose of our souls. Thank you for your very kind comments.

  10. Wow! I’ve always wanted to go there. I would love to do a pub crawl and find a place so beautiful as Kelly’s. Those stained glass windows are gorgeous and sad all in the same breath. Then to build such stunning architecture later shows that someone had money during those hard times. Thanks for the armchair tour. You are the best. Merry Christmas, Cindy.

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