• Falls Road

Belfast

Despite the economic downturn, it feels like a new morning in Belfast. It's hard to believe that the bright and bustling pedestrian center was once a subdued, traffic-free security zone. Now there's no hint of security checks, once a tiresome daily routine. These days, both Catholics and Protestants are rooting for the Belfast Giants ice hockey team, one of many reasons to live together peacefully. Still, it's a fragile peace and a tenuous hope. Mean-spirited murals and pubs with security gates are reminders that the island is still split — and 900,000 Protestant Unionists in the North prefer it that way.