My Belfast Love Story

I had one mission in Belfast, aside from getting my little cousin Rosie tipsy.  It was to find Jon Snow and get married and/or pregnant.  If that failed, my next target was Joffrey Baratheon.

This may sound strange to those who don’t follow Game of Thrones.  First, I feel bad for you.  Second, it wasn’t really my idea.  I was threatened at proverbial gunpoint by a gaggle of bored female relatives to find a member of the Game of Thrones cast, captivate him with my feminine wiles, and bring him (or her, they’re not picky) back to New Jersey where we would live happily ever after.

What does this have to do with Belfast?  Not much, aside from the fact that Game of Thrones is filmed there.  At my aunts’ request, I walked an hour and a half from the city center to the film studio to stalk famous people.  Unfortunately, the set was a ghost town except for a very mobile security guard.  Large signs on the fences read “NO PHOTOGRAPHY”.  I fumbled with my camera in my pocket, occasionally slipping it out to snap a tilted, out-of-focus shot of the trailers.

I let my family down.  For that I am sorry.  Maybe I should try Croatia next, where the outdoor scenes of GoT are filmed.

The majestic Belfast set of Game of Thrones

The majestic Belfast set of Game of Thrones

Brilliant photography.  Note the focus on the fence rather than the intended subjects, empty trailers.

Brilliant photography. Note the focus on the fence rather than the intended subjects: empty trailers.

The Titanic Museum, because the ship was designed and built in Belfast a hundred years ago.

The Titanic Museum, because the ship was designed and built in Belfast a hundred years ago.

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Dry dock in Belfast

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With Rosie at Filthy McNasty's

With Rosie at Filthy McNasty’s

“We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.” 
― George R.R. MartinA Game of Thrones


  1. Filthy McNasty’s? Hahaha

    You can tell I don’t watch GoT because I perked up when you mentioned the Titanic Museum, not the trailers and set. Hahahahahaha!

  2. I’m sorry to say I’ve not seen Game of Thrones. I know. Forgive me the sacrilege. I did love your post, however. The photos are stunning! And I want to thank you for stopping by my blog today and leaving such a kind and supportive comment. I SO appreciate it! Look forward to following your blog and learning more about your adventures.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Thanks Kathy! GoT is not for the faint of heart, but it is really exciting storytelling, and has some really beautiful sets and costumes.

      And I was happy to have found your blog! I think it was through Thirdeyemom? I love reading ex-pat accounts of living in different countries, so I’m eager to learn about Ecuador from you!

  3. Ah Game of Thrones! I got through some of the books before starting the TV show and have finally read all 5 of them. They took forever! And they film that show all over the world! I think part of the first season was also filmed in Morocco (most of Daenerys’s scenes). Despite the set being a ghost town, your pictures of Belfast are so pretty.

    • I had no idea that they filmed in so many different places. How awesome (but exhausting?) that must be for the cast and crew. Good to know that I have a chance to run into them someone else! 😉

    • Thank you Nicole! I love GoT, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It took me a couple months of re-conditioning to American culture to be able to handle the sex and violence. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing!

  4. Belfast is by far my favourite city in Ireland. It is so full of tragedy and survival, girt and faith you can almost feel yourself wading through it. An excellent piece and wonderful photographs once again. Thank you

    • Thanks Sarah! I’m not sure all my readers will get the humor in this one, but I’m done caring. 😉

      And yes, there are so many things I could write about Belfast. My cousin Rosie is has been going to school at Queen’s University and explained lots of interesting history/politics to me while I was visiting her.

  5. I love the out-of-the-pocket photo. I usually go for shooting from the hip, especially when I’d just like to snatch some photos of people – I’m pretty sure one day I’m going to get punched for that. Oh, well 😉

    • Oh I’m totally a passive aggressive photographer too. I do the “don’t mind me, I’m photographing that building a hundred meters in the distance but catching you in the periphery” thing all the time. Works like a charm.

  6. Maybe you should go GoT stalking in Iceland next! Iceland is incredible. This post makes me want to visit Belfast and also gets me excited for this weekend when I’ll catch up on the past couple of episodes I missed while traveling!

    • That’s always a tough call… book or movie/series first? Normally I’d say read the books first and find your surprises there, but the show is really satisfying too! There’s probably no wrong answer.

    • Loved Filthy McNasty’s! Such delicious cocktails. I love the name, love the atmosphere, love the weirdness. Didn’t love all the hot chicks in short skirts making me look bad. 😉 Honestly my favorite part about Belfast was going out at night and checking out different pubs and bars. There are some really cool quiet spots that my cousin rooted out.

    • Thanks, storyteller. They are on a long list of books to read since I returned to the US. Maybe when the current season ends and I’m really missing the show I’ll get started on the books!

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