I was in Belfast early on Sunday morning. It was cold, bright, and quiet, so I thought it would be a great time to show you round...
We'd spent the night in a hotel in the city, at the edge of its Cathedral Quarter. One of Belfast's most famous landmarks, the Albert Clock, stands just at the end of the block.
I say stands, but 'leans' would be better: the structure - a memorial to Queen Victoria's consort Prince Albert - slumped to the side almost as soon as it was erected. Belfast is built on a wet clay called sleech, and the foundations weren't up to the job.
Across the road, Transport House is an ugly building with a kind of dignity and character of its own. It's the headquarters of one of our largest trade unions - previously the Transport & General Workers Union - and the mural that rises on its side is one of the most distinctive pieces of public art in the city.
A few steps away, the old National Bank building catches the sunlight from over the river. People don't often look up at its ornate facade, which I hope you agree is a shame.
The Jaffe Fountain sits in the precincts of a modern shopping mall. It was placed here through the beneficence of Otto Jaffe, one time Lord Mayor of Belfast, in memory of his father, a linen merchant and pillar of the 19th century Jewish community here, moved to a suburban park in the 1930s, and restored to (almost) its original site in 2008.
Beside the Fountain, and providing a different kind of liquid refreshment, is the iconic flatiron-profile of Bittles Bar.
It's closed at this hour on a Sunday morning, of course, but maybe we'll meet here later for a pint?
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