It was a rainy grey day in Belfast and I arrived several hours later than I had anticipated. Too much of a smooth black elixir in a comfortable Irish pub with a handful of wonderful strangers stalled my arrival. I planned to head out of Belfast immediately to tour the Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-a-Rede and the town of Bushmills. However, since I must be off to Scotland in the morning, I’m left with no choice but to skip everything.
With some lingering resignations of the night before, I set off from the train station and flagged down a taxicab. I offered the man additional fare if he would be willing to take me on a tour through some of Belfast’s delicate history. He was the perfect guide, thorough and passionate, while as knowledgable as any local who had lived through the mayhem that took place from around 1969 to 1994. We toured rebuilt bombing sites, original war murals, the art-laden peace wall and other various historic sites along the way.