Today was a free day. We have asked students to share their day with you.
After 10 busy days in Belfast, a free day was a relief. I decided to spend our last day relaxing and exploring the city one last time. As we first got to Belfast I found myself comparing it to Dublin which only lead to disappointment. Dublin left me in awe. From it’s unique architecture, to it’s cobblestoned streets, it had a charm that I immediately fell in love. Belfast lacked the same qualities.
As the days went by, Belfast grew on me. Belfast doesn’t have the same qualities that I fell in love with in Dublin because of it’s history of conflict and constant destruction of buildings and neighborhoods. Dublin and Belfast are such polar opposites I realized it was almost impossible to compare.
Once I became accustomed to the Belfast way of life, I was able to see the city’s beauty. One of my favorite Belfast spots is the botanic garden. On our day off, we were greeted by beautiful sunny weather – a sunny day in Northern Ireland was too rare to spend inside!
Exploring the botanic garden was a picture-perfect conclusion to our stay in Belfast. As I strolled through the gardens, I was hit by the sweet scents of all the roses. With the weather we had today, and knowing it’s rarity, lots of locals were occupying the parks lush green spaces for picnics, reading and even taking wedding photos.
Before the gardens, we spent the morning at St. George’s Market. The market is set up with hundreds of booths selling everything from fresh caught fish, handmade jewelry, and even baked goods. The market was busy and filled with locals shopping their favorite vendors. The building rang with live acoustic music being played, creating the perfect atmosphere. My favorite part of the market was a fresh squeezed fruit smoothie. It was refreshing and one of a kind.
After a relaxing afternoon filled with good weather and exploring, I finished the day by preparing to leave Northern Ireland. The feeling is bittersweet as I am disheartened to leave Belfast but also excited to experience someplace new.
Written By: Christie Fordon