Big surprise, it was raining Wednesday morning, so I decided to forego my plans for another walk in Howth Head. After getting a bit of work done in the hotel, I got an early start on my travels, taking the DART to Dublin and then a bus to Belfast.
Belfast is dirty. But they have a lot of nice coffee shops and affordable places to eat, despite the fact that I have to switch back to £’s from €’s. The hostel I’m staying in is small but nice, WiFi in the bedrooms which was great because I had a couple important calls today I needed a great connection and quiet for (which went well). So this place has worked out well for my “working and travelling” plan.
Wednesday night I went for a walk down to City Hall, finding it all lit up in a hue of blue (which I later found out was about autism awareness). And this is actually the side of the building, not the front.
Then I heard some live music so I popped into Benedicts of Belfast, where there were a few guys playing good old fashion American music (most 80’s and 90’s). I sipped on a Carlsberg as they played a few songs, then headed back for the night.
Thursday morning I walked through the Botanic Gardens for a while. They’re situated right behind the museum and next to Queen’s University in Belfast, which is also in a beautiful building. The gardens had small wooded paths, big open areas, and even a rose garden. It was comprised of lots different “sections” for being only modest in size.
As soon as the Ulster Museum opened, I toured that. Lots of Irish History, all the way up to the early 2000’s. They also included a menagerie of relics, from dinosaur fossils to antique pottery. It’s Belfast after all, so they were probably just like “give us all the old stuff you don’t want and we’ll put it in our museum”. Technically, dinosaurs ARE part of Irish history though, I suppose.
I went to Boojum and got a vegetarian burrito for dinner. It was good.
Some guy at the hostel was celebrating 1 year of travelling, so we played Chandeliers which it turns out I’m really good at. And then we went to a place called, and I’m not kidding, Filthy McNastys. Unexpectedly, it was actually clean and somewhat classy inside and the atmosphere was pleasant. But they didn’t have music of any kind. What kind of bar doesn’t have any music?
Then this morning I got up and went to Titanic Belfast. It’s pretty amazing in there. All state-of-the-art interactive experiences as you go through level by level, looking at how the ship was made, launched, decorated, operated, sank, and observed. If you’re ever in Belfast, you should definitely check this out. I can’t even imagine how much it cost them to build this and how much fun the interactive designers must have had designing some of the exhibits.
And then I walked around Belfast city center, which isn’t quite as dirty as the area I’m staying. There’s some cool old buildings like Albert Clock, and I walked along River Lagan for a bit.
Sadly, I returned to the ghetto to get some work done. I had some vegetarian tacos at Maggie May’s which were pretty good but very greasy. My new hostel is annoying, so I worked from Cafe Nero and Starbucks. And now I’m tired, so I’m going to go to bed early so I’m well-rested for my sightseeing tomorrow. Also, I need to find a place to sleep tomorrow night. I should probably make that a priority.