Friday, July 31, 2015

Road Trip! Part Three -- In a Neat Little Town They Call Belfast

July 22 and 23

Henry and I spent these two days simply wandering around Belfast. Well, except for a trip that we made up to Searsport, so that I could have a seafood platter from Angler's. It was always a big favorite of Greg's and mine, and we laughed every time we saw its sign, or rather, the sign for the motel next door:

Other than that, Henry and I mostly walked around and sniffed things. Well, Henry sniffed things. I just took pictures. And we visited a bookstore. Henry was even allowed to come inside the bookstore with me! Belfast is a pretty dog-friendly town, and many of the shops keep a bowl of fresh water just outside the entry.

These first two photos are taken from the bridge crossing the Passagassawakeag River, looking down to the harbor and Belfast on the hill.

The rest of the pictures are in no particular order, and unless captioned there's nothing particularly "important" about them, except that I thought they were pretty. First, some photos taken around the historic neighborhood where we were staying:

My dream house

Also in the historic district is First Church, which I absolutely adore. First Church is a Congregational Church, founded in 1796, and it is the first church founded in Belfast. The building you see dates to 1818. When I think of New England, I think of the Congregational Church! And I must say that, despite the images that may be conjured up in your head of grim New England Puritans, First Church is -- like all modern Congregational Churches -- a very welcoming and inclusive church. And it features some of the most joyous, happiest worship services I've ever been blessed to attend.

Scenes from downtown

And last, a few scenes from along the harbor and the shipyard. Interestingly, though I'm sure shipbuilding, fishing, and other maritime trades have been important to the Belfast economy for centuries, until the 1940s the biggest employer was a large shoe factory which was built in the post-Civil War era, and which thrived as the town's economic mainstay until the chicken processing industry came in. Not sure when the chicken processing plant was phased out.

One last little photo of a t-shirt sold by a local vendor.

Don't be too surprised if next year, I'm posting from Belfast. Though I know I would not care for the harsh Maine winter at all, and wouldn't know how to properly prepare for winter, and wouldn't know how to deal with being completely snowed in -- well, let's just say I know better than to say I want to live here! But I wouldn't mind staying here for longer than a week at a time, and I may in fact try to work that out next summer.

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