A Brief Stop in Belfast, Northern Ireland

church_belfast_northern_ireland

Greetings,

Today we’re going to discuss a brief stop aka a night in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Long story short, I spent a long time in Galway and an invitation for a gala in Singapore appeared in my inbox. If I wanted to make it to Edinburgh I had to start moving immediately. Also, if I was going to Edinburgh in next few days why not motor through and make it for Thanksgiving which was being prepared by a Canadian friend named Heather in Old Town? As it happens, I would only have one night in Belfast but one night is better than nothing, yes?

hope_street_northern_ireland
streets_belfast_northern_ireland

I arrived at about 5:30pm and it was cold and damp. The coldest I’ve been since arriving on the Emerald Isles to be exact. My bus never came as it kept passing since the driver deemed it full. Everyone I met at the bus stop was more than accommodating and friendly. I decided to walk so I strolled through the streets filled with history while the cold winds chilled my bones and the wine I’ve been carrying since Dublin but that’s another story. I met a gent named Sam who helped carry the wine and filled me in a bit on the history and current state of affairs.

sunny_streets_belfast_northern_ireland
cloudy_skies_belfast_northern_ireland

Everyone told me Belfast was grim and decidedly different than Dublin and for the most part, they were right. I wouldn’t call it grim but it definitely had less of a happy go lucky vibe that was evident in Dublin. There are lots of things to do when you get there, the most popular probably being the Black Taxi Tours but alas, I had no time. Also, just throwing it out there, I rarely go on tours which show you parts of a painful past; I’m in to the pleasant present and everything associated with it.

queens_university_belfast_northern_ireland
belfast_church_doors

I checked into where I was staying, met some interesting cats from around the world and had an early night. The next morning I went for a stroll back to the bus station while snapping more shots. I will note that Sam informed me there are still scares but as a random tourist you should have nothing to worry about. That said, while approaching the bus station I saw an unmarked car pull up to the sidewalk across the street from me and three police officers dressed in heavy gear jump out and search the bags of some shady looking lads…

lane_street_belfast
old_churches_belfast_ireland

I’m glad I went through Belfast but I have no desire to really go back. As I pulled out of town on a motor coach heading towards a ferry to Scotland I got a good glimpse of the city and it’s just a strange sight as more than one building looked burnt out and never repaired. Also lots of graffiti and just a vibe that left me with more of an inclination to leave than stay put ,if you know what I mean…

stay_puft_belfast_graffiti

You’ll never know unless you go and now I’m writing this from old town, Edinburgh on a grey old Thanksgiving Sunday…

Tips hat,

P.S: If taking the ferry from anywhere in Ireland to Scotland, probably want StenaLine; hat tip to “Dr. Day” for the info.

1 Comment

  1. Jonny Blair

    November 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I’m glad you made it to Belfast but upset you didn’t take to it. It’s a shame you didn’t like Belfast as it’s a kick ass real and raw vibrant city that throws places like Galway and Dublin into touch. There’s no fakeness of influx of foreigners in Belfast – it’s a hard line Victorian City with an equal mix of British and Irish influences, as well as being the UK’s cheapest city and a city has boasted the likes of Van Morrison, George Best, Mary Peters, Alex Higgins and Rory McIlroy. But that’s the beauty of travel different opinions. The reason there’s less of a happy vibe by day is that Belfast is still under a cloud of sectarianism. By night, everyone parties away like there is no tomorrow. Dublin is over publicised and it annoys me the way most travellers think of Ireland as Dublin. Also – if you ever visit again check out Bushmills, Ballintoy, Coleraine, Londonderry and the Giants Causeway (unless you did and I missed the post) as Northern Ireland has a lot more to offer that the south. Didn’t mean this as a rant by the way – just balancing opinion about the beauty of Belfast city! Safe travels. Jonny

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
galway_bay_hotel_sunny_day
A Night at The Galway Bay Hotel in Galway, Ireland

Greetings, I've been a very busy bee since arriving in Ireland nearly two weeks ago to attend TBEX Dublin. Since...

Close