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Black Taxi Tour by Ann Treacy
January 4, 2008, 12:45 am
Filed under: Belfast

Today we took a black taxi tour of Belfast. It was terrific. Our driver/tour guide was named Jimmy. He was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the history of Belfast. The first part of the tour, the bulk of the tour really was spent touring the areas where “the troubles” took place.

The unrest has been going on since the 1620’s but more recently I’d say they drew new flames around 1968. The fight was between Catholics and Protestants, Irish Nationalists and British Loyalists. The deadliest year was 1972. You can read more in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles). A ceasefire began in 2000; last year even greater steps were taken towards a lasting peace. Today we learned that an Indian community now owns one of the churches (or maybe hospital, it was a ton of info to remember) and plans to turn it into a mosque – that ought to help dispel some tensions.

One side note – Jimmy remarked to me that Patrick’s mom was very knowledgeable about the history of the area – I had to tell him that she is very knowledgeable in anything news-related. She is impressive that way!

Our tour started on the Falls Road, which is a Catholic area. Then we toured Shankill, which is a protestant area. And we ended with a tour of the place where they built the Titanic and the city center.

The Falls Road and Shankill are parallel from each other – and really only a “peace wall” separates them in most places. I took a ton of pictures – mostly of the murals and different views of the peace walls. I’m going to just post them into 3 groups:
Falls Road
Shankill
Titanic/Others

I also took a video of an amazing mural of gunman in Shankill, whose eyes and gun seem to follow you as you walk by him – kind of like those Jesus pictures that open and close their eyes. I hope the effect is apparent in the video. I may not get to that today.

Falls Road:

fallsrd-17.jpgfallsrd-16.jpgfallsrd-15.jpgfallsrd-14.jpgfallsrd-13.jpgfallsrd-12.jpgfallsrd-11.jpgfallsrd-9.jpgfallsrd-8.jpgfallsrd-7.jpgfallsrd-5.jpgfallsrd-4.jpgfallrd-3.jpgfallsrd-10.jpgfallrd-2.jpgfallrd-1.jpg

Shankill
shankill-11.jpgshankill-10.jpgshankill-9.jpgshankill-8.jpgshankill-7.jpgshankill-6.jpgshankill-5.jpgshankill-4.jpgshankill-3.jpgshankill-2.jpgshankill-1.jpg

OK it’s gettign very late now. I wanted to post these tonight. I’ll post the pictures of the rest of the city tomorrow. I am hoping that Patrick really will fill in some details here. All of my energy has been spent on pcitures.

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