This is my first summer as (partly) resident of Belfast and finally I can take part to the events organised in the city. A week ago, during my first weekend here, there has been a very important and loved festival: i’m talking about the Tall Ships Races, that this year has been hosted by Belfast Maritime Festival.
A little introduction: the Tall Ships Races are events organized by Sail Training International to promote sailing among young people and they are held every year in the european seas, touching different ports.
“Tall ships” are the high rank, big sail ships like vessels and frigates, used mostly as training ships. The event was created by Bernard Morgan, retired solicitor from London, worried for the dying of these big historical ships after WWII, and by the portoguese ambassador to the UK Pedro Teotónio Pereira; the first edition was held in 1956.
Looking around the editions I found that in 2007 this event called also to Genoa, and reading the list of the ships and vessels that participated during the years I spotted even our famous Amerigo Vespucci! 🙂
The Tall Ships Races was in the city between 2nd and 5th July and we took the opportunity to visit it both Friday and Saturday: my camera with us and comfortable shoes, we went around the Titanic Quarter among the hundreds of people who took part to the event.
During the event it was possible to go on board the ships to visit them, but unluckily, as you can see from the pictures I took, the crowd was so much that, even if I tried many times, it was impossible to find a spot.
Anyway, here there are some of the photos I took during the two days.
On the Lord Nelson (UK), other than visiting, it was possible also to climb the masts: some fearless ones were trying that and to be underneath watching them was really thrilling!
In the pictures below you can see the ships Santa Maria Manuela (Portugal) and Eendracht (Netherlands):
Again the Eendracht (Netherlands), then the Europa (Netherlands) and the Cisne Branco (Brazil):
The Tall Ships Races took place in the Titanic Quarter, the quarter by the sea dedicated to the unlucky transatlantic that was built in Belfast’s construction yards; the building you can see in the pictures below is the Titanic Museum.
The Saturday, our second day of visit, was ending with a pyrotechnics show: even if it was still possible to visit the festival on the Sunday too, the ships were setting out way before night to continue their trip towards the other ports. So, around 10pm, we went to one of the quays, where there was the ship Christian Radich (Norway), and we started to wait; as first thing the fires inside the hot air balloons beside the Titanic Museum were lit to prepare the atmosphere for the fireworks show.
We were ready too:
While we were leaving the festival to reach the centre of the city, I found this wall painting created right for the occasion: