Belfast, Northern Ireland

Today we left Glasgow and headed for Belfast. To get to Belfast we needed to drive a few hours across Scotland to the ferry terminal in Cairnryan. Unfortunately we got caught in traffic due to a motorcycle vs car accident we were literally only 4km away from the ferry terminal but we were stuck in traffic for over an hour and a half! A helicopter came and collected the driver of the motorcycle and when we drove past the scene we saw the motorbike was literally in half.

The actually ferry ride took 2 hours 15min but the ferry was fully equipped with wifi, a cinema, bars, restaurants, lounge areas, a spa with a jacuzzi and massage services, Xboxes, a duty free like shop and there were multiple outside decks. We found it cool taking photos of Scotland in the distance then awhile later taking photos of Ireland in the distance.

Once in Belfast we checked into our hotel and went out for a black cab tour, we only had a day here so wanted to maximize it. The tour was in a traditional black cab and it took us to both a Protestant community and a catholic community as well as showing us the wall between the two and telling us the history of the rivalry.

Many years ago Henry the 8th changed all the Catholic Churches to Protestant and declared war against the catholic. British soldiers would take land off the Catholics and eventually there were even anti Catholic laws so they couldn’t be teachers or other particular occupations, couldn’t live in certain cities etc.

We were told that the Protestant call themselves British and catholic call themselves Irish so the conflict wasn’t because of the religion it was because of the nationality.

There is a peace wall dividing the 2 community sides and this is longer, thicker and taller then the Berlin Wall. The wall was first built in 1969 (the concrete section), the second section was built on top in 1994 and the last was built in 2004. It’s only a temporary wall until both sides decide that they want the wall down but at 15 metres high and up to 1 metre thick it is definitely robust. There is gates that lead into each side and they are only open for certain hours of the day so at a specific time each night they get closed.

We were told that there is Cabs on each side of the wall then ones that do both sides. The taxis that are only for the one community side work a bit different, they have a different coloured label on the back for starters and you rent a seat on them rather then the whole taxi so they are like buses that just do the same route.

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