Belfast Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 18 › view all entries

Belfast, Ireland: 10/30/07

05:15 came way too early this morning! Not only was it super early in the morning but the room I was staying was SUPER cold and I did not want to crawl out of bed into the cold. I could see outside that it was dark and colder than inside the room, luckily the train station was a very short walk away from the hostel. Standing on a cold dark deserted train platform in Striling Scotland at 05:30 is not one of those planned things to do in life, but there I stood watching my breath mist in front of my face and the clock slowly tick away until when the train would arrive. Finally I was on the train and off to Glasgow where I would walk a short distance to another train station to jump on a train that would take me out to Stranraer to catch a ferry over to Belfast . After making the short walk over to the Glasgow main station I again found myself standing around waiting for a train, but this time I was waiting to find out which track it would be departing from. I started talking to another fellow backpacker that was heading over to Belfast . He is over here on holiday from Bogotá, Columbia . We ended up sticking together chatting on the train and getting to where we had to catch the ferry across. This boat we got is the fastest largest ferry in operation. It makes the crossing in about an hour and a half where the standard slow ferry takes up to four hours. Cruising along at 40 knots in such a large boat was quite amazing!!

My new friend from Columbia was headed to the same hostel I was staying at so we decided to split a cab together since the hostel was a very long walk from the harbor. Our cabby was quite the unfriendly geezer. The hostel I am staying at is a typical large youth hostel; nothing to special about it. I will be staying here in Belfast for the next three nights. With the amount of time and work it took to get here I am glad to spend three nights instead of the two I was looking at doing. After dropping off my bag I was off to explore the city center. Belfast has a very long history of sectarian violence, and one which they are just getting over and coming to terms with. I knew some day that I would be in the Republic of Ireland but never really thought I would see Northern Ireland so this part of my trip was quite a treat. The city center was alive and bustling with shoppers and workers getting ready to head home. Since the time change it is getting dark over here SO early! Come 17:00 it feels like it should be time to get ready for bed. I walked around the city center for quite sometime and was going to head over to Falls Rd. and Shankill Rd. which are a stones throw away from one another; but I decided to save those for another day. The next day I am going to go on a day tour out to see the Giant Causeway.  along with some small villages along the Northern Coast of Northern Ireland. I have seen pictures of the Giant Causeway but none do any sort of justice to what it is like to be there with the setting sun and walk on this amazing geological formation. The tour guide was a very cool guy. I talked to him about his days when he was in the armed response unit of the police in Belfast . He told me he had to move twice because he found car bombs on his car, and has had a few guns held to his head in his days. Times were pretty ruff in Belfast not so long ago.

This was a really long day, started at 09:30 and by the time we got back to the hostel it was 16:30 . I was ready for some food and some sleep after that day. I spent my last day in Belfast on a city tour and walking the rest of Belfast . It was quite surreal walking down the streets where there are still to this day walls that keep the Catholics safe from the Protestants. Some of these walls are as high as 60 feet . The murals on the walls were very fascinating to see. I took some pictures of them and will post them as soon as I get the chance. One of my new roommates is from the states so we headed out and I showed him around the city. We walked over to the harbor where the Titanic was built. Over there is also the HUGE cranes Samson and Goliath. these cranes are humongous!! Had dinner at an American Dinner; I know its cliché being over in Ireland and eating at such an establishment, but a big burger sounded so good.  Tomorrow is going to be another long day off traveling. Heading back over to Stranraer, Scotland then hop a train to Liverpool , England .

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: vulindlela