Belfast all came about as I, as always, wanted to go somewhere for my birthday. My first thought was Dublin. We needed somewhere that was both incredibly cheap and incredibly quick to get to from Liverpool and at 50 pounds round trip and a half hour long flight, Dublin fit the bill. It was looking at accommodations in Dublin that made me change my mind. Basically, if we didn't mind staying in a hostel with 4 other people in our room, we could have afforded to stay in Dublin. But since I'm neither 25 nor have a problem with noise when I try to sleep, Dublin was right out. Belfast hit our radar because it was still cheap to fly to, quick to get to, and neither Andy or I have ever been there. Not to mention, we have a couple friends from Belfast (who now currently live in CA) so it was easy to get suggestions on what to do and see when we were there.
Now, when you only have 24 hours in a place, you really have to prioritize what it is you all want to do. The most important thing, I feel, was seeing as many pubs as we could.
We went purely on recommendations when choosing our pubs. OK, there were some exceptions – like the hotel bar in the Premier Inn because I had an emergency toilet situation – and the rum bar because I liked the pirate on their sign - but otherwise, it was all places our friends told us to go. Some were good, some weren't, some were fantastic. I think hands down Kelly's Cellars was the favorite as noted that it was the first pub we went to and also the last. A note to Bernadette, the lovely young lady who was having her 2nd date with Stuart a whole year after having the first, hope it worked out for you – Stuart was pretty fit.
You'll like it here.
Worth going just for the architecture.
I may have stolen a Bushmills jug from here. Maybe.
So many pubs, so little time.
In whiskey we trust.
That does bring up a thing about Belfast, the people there are super friendly. From the bus drivers to the bar patrons to the guy who sold me a bottle of water from Spur, everyone seemed really open to talking to strangers and get this, they even told us their names. Fuck, it was so nice to introduce myself, I think I seriously had forgotten how to do it at first.
Now, don't get me wrong, we did a few other things besides drink. We saw City Hall for example and we saw the Big Fish. I personally loved the Big Fish as it's becoming increasingly clear to me that I like seemingly pointless statues of over-sized animals...and poultry...and fish. Anyhow, I liked the Big Fish so much I gave it tongue.
Yes, I know where that fish has been and I don't care.
The next morning was a bit brutal as far as the head situation went. Our flight was leaving at 2 PM so I wanted to cram some Belfast history in, if I could manage to open my burning eyeballs enough to do so. On yet another recommendation, we decided to do the Black Taxi Tour of Belfast. For 30 quid, a very knowledgeable taxi driver will take you around to the sights and give you a bit of history about The Troubles. While I thought the tour was fantastic and pretty neutral in regards to Catholic vs. Protestant, it was a lot to get your head around. Overwhelming, I believe is the word. Sad, is another. I'm posting some pictures from the tour very unbiasedly, as I do not support one side or another. I think what is amazing is the people of Belfast who live under these murals every day.
Andy and our tour guide.
So that was our 24 hours in Belfast. It went too quickly and there was so much more to see so I hope I can back one day. If nothing else, I really need to find out what happened with Bernadette and Stuart...and give more tongue to that lovely Big Fish.
"Secret Lovers! That's what we are!"