Where To Begin
Belfast Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
Probably, no definately, spent way to much time trying to finish off blog of last trip to New york, and way to little time planning this one. So, the rough plan was very rough indeed. Intended to have a wander about, which I like doing, but not really used to doing it with the kids like that. How easy, or how hard this would be would depend a lot on their reaction to the place.
Decided to head along past the Europa Hotel, where I had stayed previously. The Europa Hotel holds the dubious didtinction of being the most bombed hotel in the world, having been attacked on around 30 occasions. As we were walking towards it we noticed a crowd on the pavement opposite and went over to have a look. There was some charity event on and there were people absailing down the front of the hotel.
Getting to the end decided to head up towards the Queens University, which has been there since the late 1800's and was one of three universities Queen Victoria gifted to Ireland. Quite an architectural gem, and we walked in around the grounds. Came next to a Theology College and walked past the University Library, with it's strange sculpture outside, before heading into the Botanic Gardens.
In the Botanic Gardens there is an old Palm House dating back to 1839, and we went in and had a look about at some of the plants and colourful flowers. As it was Sunday it closed at 3-45pm and we got chucked out :( and the Tropical Ravine was shut by then as well.
A good display on the history of Belfast, from when it was first mentioned and all through the years. There was also a fair bit on the prehistoric age and the geological formation of Ireland. Did find there were some odd exhibits that just didn't seem to fit in with any of the rest of it, in particular a canoe from the Solomon Islands.
The museum didn't close until 5pm so we had a good chance to see around most of it before we headed back to the hotel,stopping at an off sales on the way to pick up a few beers for the room, and put our feet up for half an hour. Didn't want to be going out for dinner to early, as pubs mainly, but a few restaurants, in the UK can be a bit iffy about kids being in after 9pm, but not wanting to end up stuck back at the to early was using that as a time to be finishing our meal.
Beside City Hall is the Belfast Wheel, a kind of cross between the London Eye and a Ferris Wheel, so you get the view but it spins round much faster. Kids wanted to go on it, so I parted with over £20 for the three of us to go on. Got a wee gondola to ourselves, and there is an automatic commentary describing the area round about and some of the stuff you can see in the distance. Was OK at night, but not that spectacular (since the last thing I'd done like that was the Empire State), and would likely be best done on a clear day to allow you to see out past the city.
Having gone round on it about 5 times, wondering if we were ever going to get off, it came to an end and I decided it was time to get something to eat.
The Crown is about the most famous pub in Belfast, you'll even find street signs throughout the city centre directing you to it. A listed building on both the outside and the inside it's decor goes back to Victorian times. Had been for a drink in it before, but they have a small restaurant are upstairs at the back where you can get some decent pub food that is good value for money. Had a main course and a dessert, washed down with a few pints of Cariling, in a place that had a real nice feel to it. Did get a bit busy later on, but was never full and the two girls that were serving were really good.
Finished off and paid, and this was where I would be restricted from my usual habits ;). Our hotel was very close, but there was a small mini market that was open til late and we bought some more stuff for the room. Went into hotel and into the bar and got a table, and the kids floated between there and the room, wanting to watch some stuff on TV, before calling it a night around 11-30.