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In & Around Belfast City, Northern Ireland

When I think of my two visits to Belfast I often re-call and probably sang more than I should have the lyrics of Black Velvet Band:

City Center, Belfast

Her eyes they shone like the diamonds You’d think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band.
In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprenticed to trade I was bound
And many an hour’s sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town.
Till bad misfortune came o’er me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band.

Opera House

 We arrived in Belfast late Thursday night, checked-in and found a grand pub to get some really good grub. They even had a fire lit and a Celtic musician playing some tunes for the patrons. We had a couple of beers at the pub before calling it a night.

Belfast Christmas Market at City Center

An early morning led us to the City Center, where we decided we would do some shopping.

The City Center boasts excellent shopping. I remember in December 2007, touring the booths at the Christmas market. In 2010, during mid-November they were just getting set-up outside of the City Hall Building. I managed to purchase a jacket and lots of clothing, as well as a couple of sweaters for my sister as a Christmas present.

The Crown Bar

 
Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the second largest city of the island of Ireland. It has significant infrastructure and an inviting waterfront. We enjoyed a healthy lunch before taking a ride in the Hyundai Getz to the North to see the Giant’s Causeway.
 
We had a tight schedule as we had to arrive in Dublin later Friday night as we were meeting our final friend joining us for the vacation.
 
I enjoy the countryside of Ireland immensely. It reminds me of the beautiful scenery that is comparable in rural Newfoundland. However, there
are some vast differences as well, including the unique trees at roadside.

Trees at roadside to Giant's Causeway

 
Combining urban and rural regions while on vacation can really create a unique travel experience.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 
 

Where are our Local Farmer’s Markets?

 

Kinsale, Ireland

After a walk through the enchanted forest we took the Hyundai Getz to the coast. A one-hour drive on very narrow roads led us to Kinsale, Ireland.

This quaint little town of 2,200 people reminded me of St. Anthony, Newfoundland & Labrador for the many homes on the hillsides surrounding the harbour. It was relatively quiet in November, but during the summer the population greatly increases for sailing, angling and the gourmet cuisine.
 

Fishy Fishy Cafe

Most people dine at Fishy Fishy Cafe. It was ranked by our Frommer’s Travel guide as a place to eat. We opted to visit, however, the staff said they were not serving for another hour. We decided to walk the waterfront and visit Market Street. On our stroll we saw a sign that said “Farmer’s Market Tuesdays”. We were fortunate to be able to visit

Stone-baked pizza at the Kinsale Market

the vendors.

 
The market had about 8 or 9 vendors (two vegetable stands with differing varieties, baked goods, coffee, ice-cream, pet-related, pizza, preserves and vegetarian. We had some delicious coffee, giving us warmth as we walked around the market. We talked to a mother and child, while we waited for our stone-baked pizza. She recommended we visit Charles Fort. We stopped for a while longer to purchase some tarts.
 
The Great Northern Peninsula has a significant opportunity to create an outdoor Farmer’s Market. We certainly have producers, crafters and those who could sell food services. Why are we not availing of this community-based entrepreneurial activity. We need to work together to have a good venue, with a consistent schedule to ensure that customers know we will be available to sell our wares. This market could be sustained through local patrons and propped up by the in-flux of tourists during the summer season.
 
If local residents are interested in establishing a Farmer’s Market, send me an email at christopher.mitchelmore@cbdc.ca.
 
Let’s create something that can help our local communities become stronger and more sustainable.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
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