• Falls Road murals, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Falls Road

Belfast

It feels like a new morning in Belfast. A forest of cranes stand sentinel over numerous building sites. The skyline is changing rapidly, especially along the once depressing Lagan riverfront. It’s hard to believe that the bright and bustling pedestrian center was once a subdued, traffic-free security zone. There’s no longer any hint of security checks, once a tiresome daily routine. These days, both Catholics and Protestants root for the Belfast Giants ice hockey team. And aggressive sectarian murals are slowly being repainted with scenes celebrating heritage pride...less carnage, more culture. Still, it’s a fragile peace. Pubs with security gates are reminders that the island is still split – and 900,000 Protestant Unionists in the North prefer it that way.