When we arrived in Belfast, we were mainly using it as a populated stopover point on our way to the scenic and more rural northern coast. But being as we came of age during the time the movie Titanic rocked the box-office, we just had to see the giant museum built to honor this ship on the very grounds that it was built.
Sitting in an area that looked like it had seen its share of redevelopment, the area still felt like a great shipyard with the great Harland & Wolff cranes towering overhead. But still you could sense change was happening. Nearby a former shipyard had been converted into a sound stage that we later learned was filming Game of Thrones. I suppose they still produce goliaths there in Belfast, it's just that they've changed form. The museum was probably one of the most interactive ones we have ever been to but we still had yet to see the main attraction, the dry-dock that was built for the Olympic class liners.
So while, as we learned, far greater ships have since been built many many times over (a modest sized cruise ship dwarfs the Titanic), this dry-dock is really too small to be of use, it was preserved for its historical value, and most importantly the caisson gate which was created from the same steel, rivets, and workers that built the Titanic. It was quite literally as close as you can get to the Titanic without traveling down to the bottom of the sea. But did we bring the camera? Alas no.
We almost never take a trip that doesn't wholly revolve around landscape photography, so we figured we would see the museum and just enjoy it as normal people. Then when we decided to walk to the dry dock (about half a mile away) we didn't bother getting the camera both because it was raining and we figured this wasn't what we were in Ireland to shoot. So it was just our point and shoot for our "tourist" photographs. Once we got there and stood in front of the great wall, Kelly decided our time as tourists was over. Michael ran back in the pouring rain (literally as he offered to do) to the car and retrieved the camera.
With macro lens in hand, Kelly took off and spent nearly an hour with the caisson gate, capturing as many variations on the old and battered steel as she could before we were kicked out as the facility closed. In short we learned (yet again) that old lesson of not straying too far from your camera. It's just so hard some times when you want to just relax and enjoy life and not worry about getting "the shot" but there is a reason that has become a cliché'.