I began my recent journey in Northern Ireland in Belfast. What a delightful surprise the whole city was. I didn’t realize I had so many preconceived ideas about Belfast. Thinking it was a dismal industrial city, the high end restaurants ,independently owned cafes, fabulous hotels, shops, bustling pubs and buzzing nightlife all changed my mind within minutes of arriving. At the harbor, a beautiful statue greets all visitors, and no one seems to know her actual name, but the locals have dubbed her: The Dolly with the Brolly, The Thing with the Ring, The Nula with the Hoola and the Doll with the Ball
When I travel, I always enjoy wandering through local markets , because you get a real feel for the place. St. George’s Saturday market in Belfast was bustling with people and packed with goodies to take home
Locally made chocolate, towers of mouth-watering cupcakes all tempting treats for the taste buds on the spot
It was a wonderful opportunity to pick up locally woven sweaters, beautifully hand-knit booties (yes, I grabbed some for my soon to be grand-daughter) and local linen , which isn’t produced much anymore.
One innovative young etsy entrepreneur was selling tea towels and tee-shirts screened with local scenes in compelling colors
Another stand stood out for its photographs, and one for its color-coordinated make up bags, and travel bags. Chock a block with goodies, a few ended up in my suitcase
Stacks of local baked breads as appealing as any I’ve seen were perfectly paired beside stands bursting with chutneys, jams and jellies