Sunday, April 6, 2014

Titanic Belfast

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We were able to visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast while we were there.  The Museum was within walking distance from the hotel but the weather was rainy that morning so a taxi was arranged to help us.

The Musesum has nine galleries:
Gallery 1: Boomtown Belfast
Where you walk through the Harland & Wolff shipyard gates and learn about why Belfast was the perfect location to build the biggest ship in the world
Gallery 2: The Arrol Gantry & Shipyard Ride
You get to immerse yourself in the construction of the Titanic as you take your seat and fly through the busy shipyard.  (Yes we held Noah and he was able to experience this ride!)
Gallery 3: The Launch
Brought to life by innovative gazing you get to see the Titanic as the ship would have looked sitting on the slipways waiting to hit the water for the first time.
Gallery 4: The Fit-Out
You get to experience life on the ship from first class rooms to the engine room
Gallery 5:  The Maiden Voyage
You get to view the stories of the crew and passengers; learn about their stories and their lives on board the Titanic.
Gallery 6:  The Sinking
Reliving those final hours of the tragic sinking of Titanic's story through a dramatic sensory experience.
Gallery 7:  The Aftermath
You get to experience how the world reacted to the news of the Titanic sinking through interactive exhibits to investigate what happened to those on board.
Gallery 8:  Myths and Legends:
You get to discover fact from fiction with interactive touch screen galleries
Gallery 9:  The Titanic Beneath
Take a journey to the bottom of the ocean and experience where Professor Ballard famously discovered the Titanic in 1985.

And you can even see the cranes as they existed then named Samson and Goliath.  They have been repainted through the years but they are still standing tall and proud.
Samson & Goliath

The day we went to the museum they had a police conference there, so there was a lot of Belfast security.  Kind of made you feel like you were coming on an extra special day.  We even were introduced to a politician while we were there, (terrible the name escapes me); but she was lovely and everyone told me she was very high up, so I know it was a privilege that we met her and that she took the time to speak to us.

I've always had a fascination with the Titanic, which I largely contributed to what I learned in school and the Molly Brown House  Museum in Denver, Colorado.  I loved Molly's story.   And so it was neat to actually be where it all started.  I loved how handicapped friendly the museum was, spacious elevators, wide exhibits, and even a ride that Noah could do, we just had to sit him next to his daddy while a bar went over his legs.  Chris just put his arm around Noah for support and off we went.  Was a neat ride.  Made you kind of feel like you were literally flying through time.   Noah certainly enjoyed it.  That ride definitely gets high points for children who especially crave vestibular motion.

Noah also was really in love with this exhibit that took you through all the levels and rooms of the Titanic in a 3D like room.  It gave you the sensation like you were really moving and experiencing a real life event.   Interesting how the brain can pull tricks like that on you.  But I can understand why Noah loved it because it gave you the sensation of movement, and he likely felt like he was moving just while sitting in his wheelchair.

They also had a screen where you could see the Titanic leaving the dock with all its passengers.  All those joyous souls that had no idea the fate that lay ahead.  But that's true for so many of us.  Noah's birth felt a lot like that.  The excitement of waiting and preparing for a baby.  The showers, the decorating of the nursery, the picking of a name... then you go into a hospital expecting to bring home this bundle of joy and live happily ever after.   I certainly didn't see the iceberg ahead for Noah and I either.

We got to see what different cabins looked like and granted first class looked like a dream come true, even to this day - I thought to myself that if I had to I could have bunked in lower class, but I suppose I've learned you don't have to have the best of everything to be happy.

We even took one of those souvenir photos, with Chris as the Captain of our family.  We figured what the heck, why not have a one of those staged little photographs to bring back. 

They have a large theater there, much like the IMAX experience that we have here in the States.  Noah liked watching things on a large screen and it took you through the discovery of the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean.  You rather picture it still lying there on the ocean floor, quiet and still. We really enjoyed the Titanic Museum as a family and I'd highly recommend it as a must see place if you visit Belfast.

After our tour of the Titanic Museum we met one of our new friends for lunch called Pizza Express They have really wonderful pizza and pastas.  I really liked the pizza in Ireland, it has a very thin crust, but so much more scrumptious varieties and combinations than we have here at your traditional pizza chains.  Chris I think much prefers the greasy kind of pizza, which these were not.  But I think Belfast pizza is way more friendly for most waistlines.  I had a pasta dish, with added sausage which was a bit spicy but very good.   Luke had garlic cheese noodles, and Noah he was all about his chocolate sundae.  And of course I couldn't resist indulging in a little coffee and treat after lunch a little dolcetti with a lemon meringue torta.  If only they'd deliver all the way to the States I'd like to order a Piadinas right this moment!

The Pizza  Express Menu
Noah enjoying lunch at Pizza Express
Luke with a temporary change of hats at Pizza Express

After lunch we headed to our last adventure of Ireland -Carrickfergus Castle!


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.