One hundred years after it carried 1,517 people to their deaths in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, the Titanic has come home to Belfast. I’m not talking the rusting physical remains of the original, but her digital ghost, a virtual replica resting in the waters in the harbor at Virtual Belfast.
I’d heard the numbers before, seen the dramatic reenactments, but when you’re in that water you recognize the drive to nurture behind the numbers. Women and children first. It took courage for the men to stand back. To choose this.
Inside the ship you see the grandeur. I visited the tea room, sat amid opulence submerged. Watched the spectral flame of a tea candle flicker.
Contemplated ghostly grandeur.
But it was the purser’s desk that undid me. Perhaps because of the simple and familiarity of something so prominent in my life, a desk full of paperwork. The picture of the man it belonged to, sitting right above it, brought the loss that was the Titanic home in a personal way.
I needed to be back in the air and light.
Along the harbor you’ll see a replica of Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard where the Titanic was built.
There’s more to see in Virtual Belfast than the Titanic exhibit. There’s much more to the haunting Titanic exhibit than I could show you. Drop in and check it out if you get the chance. You can find it in OsGrid and Kitely.
Update: Stiofan MacTomais, builder on this project and grandson of one of the carpenters who built the Titanic, shared these images of the Titanic build without the water effects. You can see the interior in its full glory.
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