Sunday, 16 August 2009

Belfast - a changed city

Last Thursday I was in Belfast to see the first of the tall ships arrive for the Belfast Maritime Festival from 13 - 16th August. What an impressive sight to see these magnificent galleons sai up Belfast Lough. In all they had visited 4 continents on their journey, their most recent ports of call being Bermuda, USA and Canada. It was 18 years ago in 1991 that Belfast last played host to the tall ships participating in the Atlantic Challenge. The idea behind the Atlantic Challenge is to offer sail training experience on sailing vessels, some of them as old as the early 1900's. The race is from Nova Scotia in Canada to Belfast and the vessels are between 10 and 100 meters in length and a total of 40 took place in the event.
On Thursday an estimated 250 000 people visited the ships at Belfast harbour. Today, 16 August, at the end of the festival the ships will all sail down Belfast Lough in a flotilla.

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