It had been recommended by friends and was #1 on Trip Advisors thing to do in Belfast, so we did it. A Black Cab tour of The Troubles. Woah. Buddy.
This was another of those times where my antipodean background meant I was pretty ignorant of the history in Belfast, and in Northern Ireland. I had no idea there was trouble between Catholics or Protestants, nor how deep it really went. How many people were killed, why the IRA and the UFF were formed... It was heartbreaking and pretty sobering stuff.
Even crazier was how recent it all was, and how people are still moving forward from some pretty despicable attitudes. It was a pretty complex time, though. With people being born into poverty and taught certain attitudes, some folk being used as political pawns, on one side a hero and on the other a mass murderer. So complex.
There's still a wall up, separating the two neighboourhoods with gates that close at night and on weekends. It's stood longer than the Berlin Wall did. It's crazy how close the two sides were. How close their neighbourhoods were... Belfast is SMALL, you could walk from one stronghold to the other in five, maybe ten minutes.
All of the conflict still resonates pretty strong, perhaps unsurprising considering how recent it all was (it all cooled down in the late 60s, we're not even a generation out yet). Still, I think the main takeaway is that 99% of the population want peace, and peace (despite some pretty high costs) is what they have.
It was some seriously heavy history, but I'm glad we went. The tour was well good, definitely worth doing if you're in Belfast.