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Linen Hall – the Bill Wheel by Ann Treacy
January 6, 2008, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Belfast

Thursday afternoon we visited the Linen Hall Library. It’s more than 200 years old. Lily didn’t believe us about that at first – after all she pointed out, Minnesota is only 150 years old. It kind of put all of Europe versus the US in perspective.

Patrick found some gem for his research at the library. I enjoyed the “Belfaskating” art exhibit in the halls. You can see a couple of shots below. The pictures are hung in the stairwell. It makes a nice contrast to the rest of the library.

After the library Patrick, Kate and Aine went on “the big wheel” – a Ferris wheel they built near the City Hall. I was sad that the City Hall was closed during our visit. They are refurnishing it entirely. I think they said it would be done by 2009.

I learned that piece of info when Patrick and I talked to a woman from the Northern Ireland Tourism Bureau. We talked to her on assignment from the Irish Gazette. She was very interesting. She talked about the area’s confidence in the peace process today. How even a year ago no one would have guessed that on Monday 26 March 2007, the date of the British Government deadline for devolution or dissolution, Paisley would lead a DUP delegation to a meeting with a Sinn Féin delegation led by Gerry Adams which agreed on a DUP proposal that the executive would be established on May 8. Later in April, Paisley met in Dublin with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and publicly shook his hand, something Paisley had refused to do until there was peace in Northern Ireland. (I got the dates et al from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Paisley.)

She also told us about the Titanic. The Titanic was built in Belfast; I don’t know if I mentioned that earlier. They didn’t make a big deal about it for the long time but apparently they are also building confidence to commemorate the building of the titanic. The centennial of the building is in 2012. You can read all about that on Wikipedia too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic.

We had dinner at the Europa, a hotel that was bombed 32 times in the past. It’s supposed to be a very nice hotel. But the service was nothing compared to the super friendly accommodating people at Jury’s. What was nice is that there are a lot of windows, which made it easy to watch the snow as it fell. It was like a snow globe!

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