Ireland trip: Belfast!

BELFAST

The last two weeks of March I spent in Ireland. I had planned this trip a long time ago, since I knew I’d get some time off in March. I went to Dublin last year and I liked it so much, that I decided to go to Ireland again. I really like the people, the tiny towns and the nature in Ireland and I can tell you beforehand that this will not be the last time I’ve ever visited Ireland.

I started my trip off in Dublin, but since I’d been there already, I decided not to make a separate post on Dublin. That’s why this post is about Belfast and the time I spent there.

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The Dark Hedges, on a road in Northen Ireland. Known for their appearance in Game of Thrones as the King’s Road

In Belfast I stayed in Arnie’s Backpacker’s hostel. It was a fifteen minute walk from the centre of Belfast, which was absolutely fine. There were two trainstations close by and if you get in on the Enterprise from Dublin, your ticket will also be valid on the trains in Belfast itself. It’s a very convenient rule I learned about while bracing myself for a half an hour walk to the hostel, so I was really very happy with this. I looked it up later, though, and I couldn’t really find anything about it online. But at least now you know about it, too.

 

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The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. In earlier days this bridge was used to haul fish from the island to the mainland, but nowadays it’s a tourist attraction.

I stayed in Belfast for two nights. I got in somewhere around noon on the first day and used that day to walk around Belfast a bit. I went to the Titanic Experience and bought a late saver ticket. I was too late to get a normal tour ticket, but I actually think I prefer this one in hindsight. It still leads you through the exhibition on the Titanic and how it got to its end. I think the original ticket also offers a tour through a ship similar to Titanic, but I wasn’t particularly interested in that anyway.

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After I was done with the Titanic Experience, I walked back to the hostel, which took me forty-five fucking minutes, and was done for the day. The next day I would go on a tour of the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and the Giant’s causeway. It was organised by the same organisation as my Cliffs of Moher tour from last year, namely Paddy Wagon.

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The bus I got on was pretty empty still and I had a two seater to myself, which was lovely. The tour, as I said, brought us to the rope bridge and the Giant’s causeway, among other things. If you ever get the chance to do this tour, you should. The Giant’s causeway is just incredible and it’s so strange to think that nature made this. It might just be a rock formation, but every rock was perfect hexagon. So, so strange.

 

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The Giant’s Causeway. There’s a legend about an Irish and Scottish giant having a fight and something, but the scientific explanation is a volcanic eruption. Doesn’t really explain the hexagon shape to me either, though.

We got very lucky with our bus driver as well. He was definitely in for some jokes and was a pleasure all around. I wish I’d remembered his name, but I don’t. I also met some American girls while on the tour and they were lovely as well. I was glad to have met some company to spend a part of the day with. Two of the girls told me about their roommate, who was from the Netherlands (Hi, Lisanne from Nijmegen!). It was fun to hear what she’d been telling them about my home country.

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After two nights in Belfast, I had to get back on a train to Dublin and go through to Kilkenny. My train left at nine a.m. on a Sunday and I had obviously not taken into consideration that the trains do not fucking run before nine a.m. on a Sunday in Northern Ireland. Fucking hell. So, I got up extra early (and I told the guys in the hostel this and they very kindly made sure that I could get breakfast, even though I had to leave before the kitchen officially opened) and walked to the train station.

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The architecture of the bigger buildings in Belfast reminded me a lot of other cities I’ve visited and I though they didn’t really seem to fit into the rest of the city. They were still pretty buildings nonetheless.

All in all, I definitely haven’t properly seen Belfast yet. I only spent like half a day in the city itself and that’s a bit too short to not miss out on anything. I  might be coming back to Belfast someday, who knows. At the very least I can tell you that, whatever part of Belfast I did actually get to see, pleased me enough to think back of it fondly.

 

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3 thoughts on “Ireland trip: Belfast!

  1. Pingback: 76. Go on at least two vacations abroad – imjustthisawesome

  2. Hi, I just read your blog and loved it! I have never been to Belfast but I am hoping to get there in the next few months. I am an Australian who has just moved to Ireland for the second time and I have just started a blog discover-new.com about my adventures and misadventures with starting my new life here. From reading your blog I think you’ll enjoy my blog or at least relate to some of my experiences!

    • Ah, thank you so much! And that’s so cool, moving all the way across the world. I will definitely check out your blog, for sure! I have vague plans of moving to Ireland in the future and it’d be interesting to see how you’re dealing with it!

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