I, of course, am speaking of the Titanic.
I have always been interested in the Titanic. I remember first being exposed to the ship and its tragic fate in third grade. Why did we learn about the Titanic then? Well, no clue, but I do remember that we decorated a cork board in our room with a giant paper Titanic and little people.
I drew all the little people. So proud.
In later years, I read books about the Titanic and eventually got around to watching the movie. You know, that one with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet that was recently released in 3D.
Most people remembered the centenary of the tragedy by seeing this movie in 3D. I had a slightly different take, however.
On Thursday, the 12th of April, I flew into Dublin, Ireland. My flight was delayed again (my experience with Ryanair has been thus far that flights never leave on time) so I got into the airport late. I had another airport sleepover, and early in the morning I took a bus from Dublin to Belfast.
The influence of the Titanic is reflected in the city in numerous ways. First, you can find replicas of the Titanic all over the place, even in a shopping mall, as shown in the picture here. Second, Queen’s Island, the area where the Titanic was constructed, is now known as the Titanic Quarter. Of course there’s also a museum about the Titanic here, called Titanic Belfast.
Unfortunately I was unable to get into Titanic Belfast because it opened just this month and tickets needed to be booked in advance. And me and booking in advance… well, as just an example, I booked all my hostels for Ireland the morning I left. Clearly not one of my strengths.
I debated jumping over the partition and running for it but decided against it, for the safety of my camera.
Instead I took some pictures of the building and then proceeded to wander around the Titanic Quarter for a bit.
Afterwards I headed back towards the city center, which required me to walk against the staggering flow of pre-teenagers heading to the concert.
I walked to City Hall and the Scottish Provident Institution, both of which are beautiful buildings. I then walked to a shopping mall and walked all the way to the top of the building, where you can look out over the city.
It was a lot of stairs to climb, by the way. And spiral staircases are terrifying.
I then headed over to Albert Memorial Clock, which is Ireland’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. The top of the tower leans about four feet from the straight vertical because it was built on wooden foundations marshy land. The tower was restored a few years ago to keep the tower from leaning any further.
Afterwards I bought some food, including some ice cream, then I headed back to the hostel. Ice cream happens to be one of my favorite foods but is so expensive in Oslo that I dare not eat it there. So, I buy it everywhere else that I go.
I feel watching “Titanic” would have been an appropriate end to the day, but I just went to sleep. I felt it enough that I had been in the city where the Titanic was created on the centenary of its end.
Although if we’re being honest here, I didn’t plan it that way (remember how I said I was bad at planning?). I just decided that April 13th would be a good day to go to Belfast, so I went, and then found out that it was nearly 100 years to the day that the Titanic sank.
Still, that’s awesome, and I’m sure it will always be something I remember.