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Photographer's Note

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[If you are not yet a member of TrekEarth, you can also see the full size version in my Panoramio account.]

This panoramic view of Belfast was taken from the Middle Braniel Road, to the south of the city, on the Castlereagh Hills.

The Braniel estate is the area visible at the bottom of the fields and is where I grew up (5-18y/o).

I lived in a house near the large block of flats - to the left of the 'golf course' - Shandon Park Golf Club - you can just about see the 3 long fairways.

If you look at the top of the flats you can see the rugby fields and athletic track of Grosvenor Grammar School (my secondary school) and Orangefield High School. [I have posted a more detailed photo of this area as a workshop.]

The large white building on the right, in the distance, is Stormont - home of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

This is my first posting since I returned from a 4-week trip to the UK (incl. Belfast, Bristol and London). It was my first trip back in 6 years and my children's first!

More UK photos to follow ...

Tech: Used AutoStitch to stitch together 4 photos. Auto level and contrast in PS and save for web under 400KB (54% quality).


=== Geographical information ===

Belfast is situated at the south-western end of Belfast Lough, a long natural inlet ideal for the shipping trade that made the city famous, and near the mouth of the River Lagan.

To the north of Belfast are the Glens of Antrim in County Antrim, and to the south, the Castlereagh Hills in County Down.

Overlooking the city are Divis Mountain, Black Mountain and Cavehill while to the east lies Belfast Lough.

The city straddles the County Antrim and County Down boundary.

In the 2001 census the population within the city limits (Belfast Urban Area) was 276,459, while 579,276 people lived in the Greater Belfast area or Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area.

Source: Wikipedia.


=== Other interesting facts ===

At the last census, Northern Ireland had the youngest population in the United Kingdom. Belfast has a population of 600,000, one in 12 of whom are students at Queens or Ulster Universities. There are cultural festivals throughout the year.

Northern Irish pupils consistently achieve the best results at GCSE and A-Level.

'In the past 10 years, Belfast has really changed. There's much less security presence and it feels safer,' says Tricia Magee, co-ordinator of youth newspaper Children's Express. 'There's a self belief among teenagers and many people who left in their twenties are now coming back.'

A recent Europe-wide survey found Belfast residents were more content with their lives than those of any other UK city.

'The first thing teenagers used to save for was a ticket out,' says 21-year-old bartender Sinead Donnelly. 'Now it's more likely to be a deposit on a flat.'

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Additional Photos by Andrew Orme (orme) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1702 W: 116 N: 1618] (7215)
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