Goldring Travel’s 2016 Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise on the Seabourn Quest – Part VII (Belfast, Liverpool – And Another Seabourn Moment!)
|St. George’s Market – Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|A beautifully prepared and delicious full Irish Breakfast|
George’s at the Market
|It is all it is supposed to be|
|Hundreds of people in prior dress were seen as we wandered|
through Belfast, Northern Ireland. Why?
There was a palpable tension. Police in riot vehicles and heavily armed were omnipresent. So as we came upon The Garden of Remembrance (those who died during the Catholic Hunger Strikes protesting against British rule and occupation)
|The Garden of Remembrance – Belfast, Northern Ireland|
and the Peace Wall
|A small portion of the Peace Wall separating the Protestant and Catholic|
populations of Belfast, Northern Ireland
the troubled past and tensions between Catholics and Protestants were clearly also in the present.
|The name of this abandoned bar was not lost on me|
Possibly as a Jew struggling with the positions of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict (and the terrorism and Wall) it hit me harder than most.
|A surprising portion of the Peace Wall|
And speaking of walls, I thought it was remarkable…and important…that there were a number of Anti-Trump posters advertising rallies against him. Alas, all walls are not the same; though needing any walls is, at best, heartbreaking and troublesome.
First we heard a number of garbage can lids being banged on the ground. This was how the Irish Catholics would warn each other that the British army was entering their area. Today it was announcing the start of the march.
|The marchers wearing only blankets honored those Irish Catholics|
that refused to wear the British jail clothes, but rather wrapped themselves
in their bed’s blankets.
|H-Block is where the hunger strikers were jailed|
I must again emphasize that when people ask me what tours they should take I think about days like today. There is no tour that would could have provided this experience. Wandering and meeting people are, to my mind, one of the keys to meaningful travel.
|A beautiful sunrise as the Seabourn Quest arrives|
in Liverpool, England
While much of the previously depressed area near the port has been transformed into a huge modern open-air shopping area (though I did take the opportunity to load up on English candy; which my kids love), the magic is actually right along with waterside.
|A Cheese on Toast Truck? You gotta try it.|
The old marina area has been transformed into a lovely but still historical area filled with shops and restaurants. However, the Slavery Museum drew my attention. It was interesting, but a bit too jumbled for me.
You see, last year it was actually her birthday during the June 2015 Goldring Travel cruise, but for a bit of humor I put down on my preferences during the Guest Registration that it was her birthday…though obviously it was not during this August cruise. When I arrived the Hotel Manager and Executive Chef enthusiastically told me that the same pastry chef was onboard and he was excited to create an even bigger Seabourn Quest birthday cake for her. Although I admitted that it wasn’t her birthday, Seabourn insisted we celebrate anyway…and so Seabourn did, well, Seabourn.
When we arrived back at the ship, the opened the suite door to a huge Seabourn Quest cake along with champagne…and balloons all over the suite, along with photographs of the two of us from our travels all over the world: Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Spain, etc. hanging from balloons and pasted to the walls and windows.
It is, at times, surreal that one can travel from the tensions and troubled history of Northern Ireland to being spoiled in rarefied world onboard a Seabourn ship in a matter of hours. To my mind, the ability to have different types of moments can, at times, allow one to appreciate each in a way otherwise never possible.
Next up: Another Goldring Travel Culinary Event!