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Belfast Travel Blog

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Cliffs near the Rope Bridge

After what I heard from Dubliners I had quite low expectations of Belfast, but god how where they wrong. Belfast was crowned the most friendly regional capital in a magasine and its just so totally different from Dublin as its possible for such a short distance between the cities.

I stayed at the Linen House hostel which is located a 20minute walk from the Bus/Train station. They are located right next to eachother. Please not that the buses to Dublin in the early morning leaves from Glengal street which is on the upper side of the Europa Bus station since the bus station is closed at night.

I arrived quite late in Belfast so i went straight to the hostel, bought some food and drink and just relaxed for the rest of the night.
A castle!
The next day i did "Giants Causeway Tour" aranged by Allen Tours.

This tour featured:


Glenarm, famous for its abundant salmon fishing and haunted castle
Carnlough with its picturesque harbour and distinctive rural character
Cushendall and its 19th century red curfew house
Cushendun's pretty Cornish cottages and beautiful beach
Ballycastle the home to the one and only 400 year old ‘Oul Lammas Fair'
Carrick a Rede with its death defying rope bridge (cross at your own risk, Northern Ireland weather permitting, March - October only) and stunning views of Rathlin Island
Ballintoy - a delightful coastal town where we will stop for lunch at the award winning Fullerton Arms to sample the local fayre and have some celebrated ‘craic'!



I was very impressed with all the little things they managed to squeeze into a 9hour schedule, but I think most people on the bus had a great time and the Bus driver "Ian" was the most impressive guide Ive ever had.
On the way to the Giants Causeway
His knowledge of most of the little things that we passed by was nothing but perfect and when he manages to talk for around 5-6hours while keeping everyone entertained this trip is incredible good value. I havent taken any other tours in Northern Ireland, but Ive taken quite a few while on the road and this is probably the best one Ive had. I recomend that you book at the Hostel since its 17.50 paid in advance(4 to the hostel and 13.50 to the driver) and 25paid to the driver.

This was a complete daytrip so when we got back i just went to Tesco to buy 5-6 diferent cans of beer to sample som of the beers they have availible over here. When i came out two (probably) underage girls asked me if i could buy them dry cider. When i went to the self-serviced check out a guard came upto and said "I could have you arrested! Those where underage girls".
Belfast City Hall at dusk
I pretended to be just a stupid tourist and replied "oh.. I didnt know. I thought i was just doing someone a favour". It was probably because i was a foreigner that he let me go without pressing charges.

You can clearly see that Belfast is a city in the UK. YOu have the young girls hanging outside of the supermarkets , you have the underage kids sitting in the woods and drinking and smoking and at last the people hunking their horns and screaming "Tourist!" to you from their cars. So most of the nationals where quite rude.

My 2.nd and last day in Belfast i decided to walk through the old borderlines between protestants and catholics. The A route i was recomended was the route up Shankil road(Protestant area). Be sure to walk around the health center as there are a lot of murials on the nearby buildings.
The Tidal locks in Belfast at dusk
and walk through the protestant area , then turn left and look at the wall the separated those societies. THen youre walking through a gate which probably was locked just 15years ago and into "Falls". The difference is striking. On the Shankil side you see pictures of guerilla eire solders on the and british officials holding a peace-treaty in their hand and lots of memorial for all of those terrorist actions taken towards them. In the falls area all the paintings and murials are focused about fighting the oppressor and murials for Basque Independence, and calling the british warcriminals. Also here can you find many memorials for everyone fallen during the struggle. The Sinn Fein building is also located here. There is a murial on the side of this building and this is used on several postcards so dont miss it.
Some of the Murials near Shankill Road


You can end your trip in St. Peters Cathedral and take a look around. I attended a wedding ceremony and listened to some absolutely gorgeous music.


I then saw a flyer for Cave Hill and my feet where just begging me to go on a little hillwalk. To get there you can take the bus no 1. up to Belfast Castle. The busses leaves from the from the the opposite side of the wheel of city hall and leaves every 5-10minutes. Tell the driver to get off at Belfast Castle as I missed it and had to walk back for 10minutes.

I went on the "Cave Hill Trail" which takes a trip all around the park. Its around 5miles/8km and will take you around all the features in the park. From the gorgeous plains and the views up to Cave hill to the open plains near the remains of Mc.
The old gate that separated Shankill and Falls (Protestants and Catholics)
Arts fort. In several entrances to the park there where underags kids asking for cigarettes (fags).

Dont miss Belfast Castle. Its not really a castle, but rather a very impressive residential building. It can be rented for special occasions and there is a bar which you can sample a pint both before and after your walk.

PS. Try to find the 9cats in the garden. Can keep you occupied for a few minutes.

I headed back into the city and walked along the river to capture some nightshots with various degree of sucess. I then got my bags from the Hostel , cooked some food and went for the bus at 03:00. That Busride has to have been the 2.nd best busride Ive ever been on. I slept for 98% of the time and i slept quite comfortably as well. You have to ask another TB (Catalina Lemos) for the best busride Ive ever had.
Bobby Sands. Now we have crossed the wall and find ourself in Falls.
..


Dublin again.

Not much really. I took a tour of Crook Park which is the 5th biggest stadium in Europe. It is by far the biggest stadium Ive been to :) I really hope that i had could attend a game, but unfortunatly no luck there. There was an 4.th of july extravaganza at the hostel, but Christophe was going out so i joined him as well. I sent a text to the girls that we met the other day, but as is turned out I managed to get the number wrong so no wonder why they didnt reply. We ran into them at the bar and I practically spent the night with them as they are really cool people.
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Cliffs near the Rope Bridge
Cliffs near the Rope Bridge
A castle!
A castle!
On the way to the Giants Causeway
On the way to the Giants Causeway
Belfast City Hall at dusk
Belfast City Hall at dusk
The Tidal locks in Belfast at dusk
The Tidal locks in Belfast at dusk
Some of the Murials near Shankill …
Some of the Murials near Shankill…
The old gate that separated Shanki…
The old gate that separated Shank…
Bobby Sands. Now we have crossed t…
Bobby Sands. Now we have crossed …
Better keep my head down!
Better keep my head down!
Old Siege Weapons at Carrickfergus…
Old Siege Weapons at Carrickfergu…
Carrickfergus Castle
Carrickfergus Castle
Carrickfergus Castle
Carrickfergus Castle
Looking down at the Rope Bridge. G…
Looking down at the Rope Bridge. …
Cliffs near the Rope Bridge
Cliffs near the Rope Bridge
Cliffs near the Rope Bridge
Cliffs near the Rope Bridge
The Ropebridge! At last!
The Ropebridge! At last!
Bushmills distillery. They have so…
Bushmills distillery. They have s…
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Attractions near the GIants Causew…
Attractions near the GIants Cause…
141 km (88 miles) traveled
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photo by: vulindlela