On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I would like to welcome you to Belfast for the 41st meeting of the European Histamine Research Society held together with the COST Action BM0806. The meeting will start with the Welcome Party on 2nd May and end with breakfast on 6th May. I am certain that between these times, we will all learn a lot of new information about histamine and its receptors, will have established some new scientific collaborations and had time to meet up with old and new friends. This is the first time that the EHRS has come to the island of Ireland and we are very happy to welcome you here. The congress venue is the Hilton Hotel in the centre of Belfast. We have negotiated excellent rates to stay there, so I hope that you will take advantage of this. There will of course be a partner programme for those not attending for the science.
Belfast is at the far west of Europe – a long way from our last meeting in wonderful Sochi! People have lived in the Belfast area since the Bronze Age and there is a henge at the Giants Ring near Shaws Bridge. However, Belfast really started to develop in the 17th century. The name Belfast comes from the Gaelic Beal Feirste or mouth of the sandy ford. Belfast was the important industrial town and later city in the island of Ireland. Belfast was famous for its linen and rope making, its tobacco and of course its ship building and more recently aircraft building. Many of these industries have declined but Belfast is now a vibrant city with excellent restaurants and pubs, a thriving cultural scene and great shopping!
The scenery is stunning. If you can spend some extra time here, you will love it. We have beautiful bays, white sand, great hills (though we call them mountains!) and palm trees! On our outing we will go to the North Antrim coast to see the UNESCO World heritage site – the Giant’s Causeway. This was built by the giant Finn MacCool or, alternatively, due to igneous activity in the early Tertiary period (62-65 million years ago). Personally, I think that the stones look like benzene rings – but you will have to wait and see for yourself!!
Travel connections to Belfast are excellent – we have 2 airports: The George Best Belfast City Airport (3 miles from the city centre) and the Belfast International Airport (17 miles away). In addition, many cheap flights go to Dublin (100 miles away, ca. 20€ return bus fare, 2 h 10 min). The weather in May can be a bit variable – the average low is 6 °C and the average high is 16 °C, with a good chance of some rain!! So I suggest you bring a light waterproof jacket among your other items!!
Welcome to Belfast!
I look forward to seeing you in my adopted home.