Travel Journal

Belfast - way too quickly

(Friday 13 August 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 3 Belfast
We decided on an 11 AM train to Belfast, so we slept in and relaxed in the morning before heading out to the O’Connely station. Julie picked up a baguette – her favorite while I tried a Cornish pasty, a meat and potato wrapped in pastry – ugly looking but good and filling.
The train was full but we managed to find seats together. I had always pushed the Any Seats button rather than selecting seats when making reservations. The train ride takes about the same time as a bus, two hours.
Garmin again was acting up so we had to determine the direction from maps in the train station and the map in the Garmin. Some friendly people pointed us on the way and we found the Days Inn. Alright room but charges for the internet so that’s why these initial reports are late being added to our blog.
We went down to the tourist office and got information on the ferry to Scotland on Monday, purchased tickets for the Paddywagon’s tour of the Giant’s Causeway the next day, and found a historical pub walk at 4 PM today which we wanted to take.
We met our guide Judy outside of the Victoria Crown bar across the street from the Europa hotel – famous for being the most bombed hotel in the world. It was a small group just us, a couple from the outskirt of Belfast and Willie and Frieda from Bruge, Belgium.
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The owner of the Crown got the Italian craftsmen that were working on cathedrals to do work on his place on their off time in exchange for meals and beer so the bar is gorgeous with tile, stain glass and woodwork of excellent workmenship.
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Most of the pubs we visited were opened in the 1700s and had interesting stories related to them. More than I care to write about here.
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We did see the Albert clock tower with the slight lean and had a pint at a couple of the pubs.
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We had a chance to talk to Willie and Frieda and learned of their travels. They had BMW motorcycle(s) – not sure if they both drived or if they took one bike – and would take their bikes and tour different sections of the world. This year they had taken their bikes via ferry to Ireland and spent a few weeks driving around the north. Previously they had done California and the Northwest, and next year were going to do Florida and the East Coast. Undobubtly they have been all over Europe. We got their card and may look them up when we pass through Belgium.
We had been eating out a bit so we got subway sandwiches to save some pounds. That night I got tickets on the Stena Ferry Line for the 7:30 AM ferry to Scotland on Monday. I also did all my laundry and set it out to dry.

 


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