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The Titanic: Tell Me 10 Tantalising Facts

Although the Titanic lies in 13,000 feet of water, the tragic story still captures minds and hearts throughout the world.  1st September 2015, marked the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the Titanic, when a team led by American oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard and French diving engineer Jean-Louis Michel discovered the ship’s final resting place.

Titanic-redo

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Here are 10 things you may not know about the Titanic and its home – Titanic Belfast, Northern Ireland:

  1. Titanic’s design was conceived over a glass of wine and fine food! Lord Pirrie and J. Bruce Ismay decided speed would be balanced with quality of accommodation. It is rumoured that when Pirrie enquired as to the length of the ship, Ismay replied, glass of wine in hand, “build me a stable ship that will not disturb the sediment in these fine wines.”

2. The ship had three wheels for steering. Titanic’s funnels were wide enough to drive a train through!

3. Due to the size of the Olympic-class ships, of which the Titanic was one of three, the shipyard, Harland and Wolff in Belfast had to prepare for two years to be able to build them!

Titan Belfast, Northern Ireland (Image By- Nitin Gopal Srivastva)
Titan Belfast, Northern Ireland
(Image By- Nitin Gopal Srivastva)

4. The famous staircase, which was among the most luxurious appointments on the ship, was inspired by the staircase at Belfast City Hall, which can still be visited today.

5. Titanic was stocked with literally tons of food and drink – including 40,000 eggs and 15,000 bottles of ale!

6. At Titanic Belfast, visitors can view Dr Ballard’s high definition footage of what Titanic looks like today and can learn more about individual items in the wreckage using the interactive pods.

titanic-underwater

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7. The building can hold over 3,547 visitors at any one time, the same number as the capacity of Titanic. Titanic Belfast’s overall shape represents the bow of the ship. The hulls are also the same height of Titanic from keel to Boat Deck!

8. The last letter ever to be written on board the Titanic by Essex-born Esther Hart and her seven-year-old daughter Eva just eight hours before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912 is on display. It recently sold at auction for a world record sum of £119,000.

9. At Titanic Belfast, guests are now transported onto life size plan Titanic’s deck promenade as part of the experience. Guests can walk on deck, look out to sea, hear the ocean, hold onto the railings and feel the ships engines rumbling as if they were on the ship itself.

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(Image By- Nitin Gopal Srivastava)

10. It’s not only the galleries that tell the story of the Titanic but the surrounding buildings. On the plaza surrounding the Titanic Belfast is one of the largest maps of the Northern Hemisphere at 10,000 m2 and follows the route of the Titanic from Belfast.

Titanic Belfast is an iconic six-floor building featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries. Explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the City and people which made her. It is the world’s largest Titanic exhibition!

Info courtesy: Tourism Ireland

Input researched by: Khushboo Tiwari

5 unique wedding venues in Ireland

Destination wedding on your mind? Forget the usual beaches and boathouses, and head to the “Emerald Isle”. The best time to go? – Now! There’s something for everyone, especially since Ireland said a big “Yes” to same-sex marriages today.

From castles and Georgian houses to restored theatres in Dublin city, here are your options:

Kinnitty Castle, County Offaly

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This one’s for that big-fat-glamorous wedding of a lifetime. Treat your guests to a fairy tale wedding at this medieval revival castle sitting on 650 acres of parkland. It’s all drama and fantasy – down to the breathtaking bedrooms.

www.kinnittycastlehotel.com 

Sirius Arts Centre, County Cork

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‘Less is more’ and if you firmly stand by simplicity, there’s beauty to be found in this art centre’s classic white space with handsome wooden floors and an Italianate balcony with picture-postcard views of Cobh – a pretty fishing village nearby.

www.siriusartscentre.ie

Smock Alley, Dublin city

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This restored 17th century theatre in the heart of Dublin city  is perfect for a charming wedding brimming with cultural chic. Expect candlelit banquets, acoustics and ornate surrounds.

www.smockalley.com

Lough Eske, County Donegal

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If 5-star comfort and a stunning coastline to look out for is your definition of a wedding venue, look no further than Lough Eske. The Solís spa and Citrus Reviver here is a blessing, in case of pre-wedding jitters.

www.solishotels.com/lougheskecastle

Rosedale House, County Dublin

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Always dreamed of that royal wedding you see in movies where a huge house and surrounding wooded grounds are comfortably filled with your large wedding party? This Georgian house comes with more – a pretty rose garden for those romantic snaps, bespoke bedrooms and its own private night club! And, all this a stone’s throw away from the sea, a short drive away from Dublin airport and the city centre.

www.rosedale.ie

7 Exotic Foods to buy at Sawers of Belfast, Ireland?

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If exotic dishes titillate your taste buds, walk into Sawers, a wildly popular gourmet store in the heart of Belfast.

On the menu:

  • Rattlesnake
  • Zebra
  • Camel
  • Bison
  • Kangaroo burgers
  • Crocodile Steak
  • Fresh Rope Mussels

and much more!

Adventurous diners have savoured this stuff at Sawers for over 116 years now.

Not into exotica? There’s caviar and foie gras on the go. Try the tapenades, sample some cheese—the award-winning Sawers makes them in-house, too. For about Rs 2500, you can get a foiehamper for the folks back home!

www.sawersbelfast.com 

Take me into Mount Stewart Gardens, Northern Ireland. I’ve heard they are stunning.

You heard right. Listen to TS Editor Shubhra Krishan gush about the gardens…

Ireland Mount Stewart Garden

What shall I call it? A garden within a mansion or a mansion within a garden? The structure does not matter, now that I am looking back and letting the memories jot themselves down here. I remember the flowers. Their scent is suddenly around me, sweet and delicate perfume in the cool spring air. And I remember the wide open lawns, the profusion of trees, herbs, shrubs, flowers and ponds…

The Mount Stewart gardens are no hidden beauty. All of Ireland loves and reveres them. When I visited in September 2014, the mansion was under restoration. And it was inspiring and amazing to see how dedicatedly the staff there were going about their painstaking job.

Ireland Mount Stewart Garden 3

Mount Stewart has an elaborate website, where you will learn that the property belongs to the 7th Marchioness Edith, Lady Londonderry and her family in the early 20th century.

But details aside, what really matters is that the Gardens, very thoughtfully, house a second-hand bookshop and plenty of trees under which you can read those books. There is a restaurant, too, which sources its ingredients locally.

If you go in April 2015 or after, the mansion and gardens will have been restored to their full glory, and you will experience pleasure and peace of the kind one rarely gets to enjoy.

Ireland Mount Stewart Garden 2

You have to believe me when I tell you this: my jetlag and sleep vanished—vazoom!—within seconds of entering Mount Stewart. A deep sense of serenity and joy took their place and stayed with me for the rest of my trip. In fact, each time I think back to that afternoon among the golden, orange leaves and the happy flowers, I feel the same joy bubble up in my heart.

Ireland Mount Stewart Garden 5

The DUBLIN PARK(ING) DAY sounds like a cool green idea. Tell me more!

Once a year in the month of September, Dublin’s car parking spaces turn into public parks, games or art installations. Park(ing) Day is “intended to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, unscripted social interactions, generosity and play.”

Team TS happened to be there last September, and we couldn’t stop marvelling at some of the creative ideas on show at the parking lots.

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(Image source: weburbanist.com)

Get all the details on this fun concept here.

Take me to an Irish cafe that the locals love!

Just a few minutes out of Belfast airport, and you have a fiesta of Irish treats laid out for you. Rhubarb pie with homemade ice-cream, to begin with. At a pretty tucked-away place that overlooks the endless sea, and doubles as a local nursery. Called Harrisons, quite simply. Harrisons-Restaurant-201207280453 DSC00590 That pie. It alone is worth a trip to Northern Ireland. The rhubarb is nice and tart, and the pie crust is perfectly crisp. And the ice-cream, it tastes like the cow was milked a few minutes ago and the hens just laid their eggs and all of it was churned quickly together and frozen swiftly up to create this fresh, fantastic dream in cream. Sorry, it’s easy to get carried away when you’re reminiscing about a treat so delicious. DSC00591 Many days after I arrived back in India and Googled it, I was blown away by the story of Harrison’s! It is owned by a family that lives on 90 lush acres of land. The location is called Ards Peninsula, one of Northern Ireland’s most picturesque locations. (But then, I was there for nearly a week and did not see one spot that would not qualify as that! All of Ireland, Northern or not, is an ode to natural beauty.) And I am not the only one determined to go back for that ice cream. Apparently, 30 per cent of its customers drive more than an hour to come and eat at Harrisons. I suspect that statistic will quickly crawl upward soon. I have to admit I wolfed down the entire pie and ice-cream, and those calories were worth lunch and dinner both. And I was too hungry to take photos of the treat! Shubhra Krishan

Tell me more about Ireland’s Short-Stay Visa Waiver Scheme

  • The Short-Stay Visa Waiver Scheme was introduced in July 2011 to encourage tourism to the island of Ireland.
  • The scheme allows visitors from specific Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asian countries who have a valid UK C general visa to visit Ireland without the need for a separate Irish Visa.
  • The visa waiver scheme requires a once validation in the UK for the UK C general visa before it can be used to visit Ireland.
  • Visitors must travel to Ireland within the time remaining on their current UK 180 day leave to remain.image012
  • If it has been more than 180 days since the last visit to the UK you will not be able to travel to Ireland without an Irish visa.
  • Please refer to the official INIS information note on the Visa Waiver Programme for more detailed information. This information can be found on www.Ireland.com

What’s the best way to explore Northern Ireland: train, bus or car?

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Rent a car! Northern Ireland is a nature lover’s fondest dream come true. You don’t want to be restricted by train timings and connections. Or look longingly out of your bus window,  wishing you could stop and take photos, or just linger. Renting a car is easy and will allow you to enjoy this slice of paradise in the fullest way. For more information and inspiration, check out this article.

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