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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2011-01 > 1296058862

Subject: Re: [S-I] Where to stay in Belfast
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 11:21:02 EST


What a strange time that was! Brings back so many memories as that was the
first tour I organized, but then didn't go because of the bombing leaving
colleagues in Ireland to do the tour with you! So much has changed and then
in ways it has not! Now the taxi drivers are in business for themselves
doing Black Taxi Tours and teaching others about the troubles, then and now.
They've done a wonderful job adding interest to the Belfast and Derry
areas especially. If you're in Derry, a must do is a walking tour with Ronan
McNamara of the city walls. A truly non biased point of view on how
things work there. He's also done a BBC film of the tour. Incidentally, ex IRA
are being trained as tour guides in Derry as well.

I have to pine in as now that PRONI as moved, there are new hotels to
avail of and also if you remember Malone Lodge over in that same area, Linda,
had a fire last week... maybe two weeks ago, so a look see at damage around
would be prudent if anyone is traveling there soon.
Also, I am working on accommodation and great rates for genealogists
traveling on their own and will have that out to all of you shortly as well as
it will be listed and bookable on my website. Also, one of the best hotels
in Belfast that I use often on tour is the Europa, the most bombed hotel in
Europe. The customer service is impeccable, rooms are handy with plenty of
room / desks for spreading out research and it's close to everything.
Walking distance to shops and restauarants.

There is so much to do in the area and one could easily spend a week or
more just in the Belfasat/ Antrim area. We also include County Down on tour
now religiously to take in St. Patrick's Centre and time to the do St.
Patrick's Trail. Worth the drive and look see even if you're on your own
there. All of this can be done within an hour or two from Belfast, affording a
way to stay in one place and travel freely for days.

I will post soon for the rates at the new hotels near PRONI.

I also have a new article out on choosing accommodation @

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Ginger Aarons- Garrison, CTC, Director
Time Travel
P.O. Box 4427
Wilsonville, OR 97070
tollfree and fax 877-787-7807
cell 503-421-0029
_www.timetraveltours.com_ (

In a message dated 1/26/2011 8:05:25 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,

I was asked for the name of the place. It's Avenue Guest House on
Eglantine Ave.

Photo and comments here:

Once we took a tour over. It was a bad year as there was the Omagh
bombing, reducing the number of people willing to go. However the die hards had a
wonderful time. In the taxi ride to the airport, one person reported later
(to Alice) that the taxi driver tried to enlist her into support for the
IRA. Alice phoned the taxi company and read them the riot act. I am not sure
they've recovered yet.

In Belfast ex terrorists often get jobs driving taxis (like New York). Of
course you don't know which side he was on, but he can tell your politics
by where he's taking you. Eglantine is or was 'non denominational', but as
it is upscale and near the university, well....that says it all now, doesn't
it? And the B&B has no saint-name, so....Protestant! You can walk to
several interesting communities, should you be so inspired. For myself, I'd head
for the student bookstore and then the take out Indian restaurant on
Lisburn Road, unless its closed (in which case, weep).

That was a great tour! We went to tea at a farmer's house. He'd converted
a Presbyterian meeting house into several vacation apartments. However what
we really liked were his sheep. Never had his sheep been so admired. I
think he feared he'd never get rid of us. We were Scotch Irish, people who
apparently are willing to spend an afternoon of a week tour admiring sheep!

I recall the tourist gift shop in Ballymoney. In the front room, the usual
Irish jewelry and cladagh rings (you can get these in Pittsburgh). Back
room -- a smell of oil paint wafted forth, drawing my attention. Back there
were oils of goats and other farm animals. REAL local art. It reminded me of
my grandmother, who won a trip to New York for making clothing for some
late-molting chickens, and my grandfather who raised goats and bees through
the (first) Depression. he didn't eat the goats. Sold them to the Armenians,
etc. However my mother recalled some very scary Thanksgivings. (for those
who post asking about Scotch Irish holiday traditions). Grandpa would shoot
something off the back porch and that's what you ate. One year: possum.
Maybe it's different where you live, but here in Pennsylvania, possum (road
kill or fresh shot) is not considered high cuisine. Anyway, that's why I
really liked the rural art of County Antrim.

Linda Merle

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