Sketching Ireland #21

Belfast, Titanic & Narnia

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Well folks, Belfast is the second to the last stop of our itinerary tour of Ireland. My vicarious vacation is almost over. Since, Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, I felt that I didn’t need to provide my usual detailed route instructions on how to get there. From the Dark Hedges, get on any major thorough fare going south and just follow the signs.

Now, the itinerary suggested that you should take advantage of some accommodating and knowledgeable locals who run the Black Taxi Tours. They will drive you around the city in their cabs. This is a great way to start a trip and help get your bearings, as well as learn about the history of the city through the different areas. They’ll take you to the most bombed hotel in Europe, see the Belfast Murals and the Peace Wall depicting the region’s past and present political and religious divisions. The other site to visit would be the Stormont, a vast government estate where you take a tour around the impressive Parliament building. For a cool time, the Cathedral Quarter is the place to go drinking under a bunch of upside down yellow umbrellas.

For my sketch subjects, I chose three popular locales one of which has an eagle’s eye view of the city.

Cave Hill Park

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Cave Hill is a basaltic hill overlooking Belfast. It forms part of the southeastern border of the Antrim Plateau. It is distinguished by its ‘Napoleon’s Nose’, a basaltic outcrop which resembles the profile of the emperor Napoleon. The hill’s famous profile is visible from almost everywhere in Belfast and its famous Napoleon’s Nose and McArt’s Fort have become synonymous with Belfast.

I added the guy, the dog and the hang-gliders for effect.

Titanic Belfast

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Rising like an incredible shimmering ship near the waters of Belfast Lough, Titanic Belfast has been named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards. This majestic building stands on the very site where Titanic was built, and boasts nine galleries covering everything from Belfast’s shipbuilding heritage to the discovery of the wreck. I felt that the sketch was incomplete without James Cameron in it.

CS Lewis Square

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CS Lewis, a British writer and lay theologian, was born in Belfast, Ireland, on 29 November 1898. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. Of course, because of the hit film of The Chronicles of Narnia, the characters of which are celebrated in a £2.5 million public park on the Newtownards Road, Belfast. The CS Lewis Square is part of the new Connswater Greenway regeneration project – an ambitious plan to totally transform some neglected parts of Belfast.

Central in the park is a majestic bronze sculpture of Aslan, CS Lewis’ sacred depiction of the Lion of Judah. Of course, I had to include the little brash character of the sword wielding mouse, Reepicheep.

In my next post, we will be completing our itinerary tour of Ireland by heading back to where we started.

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