Friday, October 12, 2012

The Luck of the Irish Day 1 - Belfast

Assalamualaikum and good day mates!

After my graduation at University of Strathclyde on June 29th, I had another trip with my parents. This time, we chose Ireland as our destination. Ireland is divided into two segments, one is the Northern Ireland which falls under United Kingdom, while the Republic of Ireland is on its own. Thus, in Northern Ireland, British Pound is used while in Republic of Ireland, Euro is their main currency.

We covered both parts of Ireland. In Northern Ireland, we visited Belfast while in Republic of Ireland, we went to Dublin and Galway.

We took a morning flight to Belfast from Glasgow. Our flight was Flybe and it took only 45 minutes to reach Belfast International Airport. From the airport, we took a bus to Belfast city centre. The bus ticket could be purchased from the Information Centre inside the airport. The bus stopped at Europa Bus Station. Then, we walked to our hostel to check in. 

Europa Bus Station

The Linen House Hostel
18-20 Kent Street,
Belfast BT1 2JA

The hostel is located around 20 minutes walk from the bus station and is located near a shopping mall. When we arrived at the hostel, our room was not ready yet, therefore we dropped our bags there and continued with the city tour. We walked around the city and took photos with the City Hall. The City Hall was decorated with Olympics ring since Olympics was coming soon. It was nice.

Belfast City Hall

We had our lunch at Castle Court, which is a shopping mall. There is a food court at the top floor and there is one stall serving halal menu. The concept is quite similar to Chopstix in Glasgow where there were rice or noodles paired with chicken dishes. My mom had a jacket potato which was very tender and moist. Very yummy I should say.

The we boarded a 'hop on hop off' bus service. The bus company was Titanic & City Tours. The promoter offered us a very good price, £10 per person. I had some chitchat with the guy before the bus started its journey. The weather was a bit chill today. We sat on the top deck and enjoyed our journey with a blast of wind.

Since today there was some sort of marathon took place in the city, some route was affected and inaccessible. Thus, we missed the trail to watch Titanic dock. The bus passed by several historical buildings such as hospital, building with wall paintings, the massive bonfire, parks, churches and the Queens University. Since the weather was so cold and there's no toilet facility in the bus, I had to hold my bladder for quite a while. =.=

Large bonfire

Belfast Queens University

Back in the city, we went to several shops to grab something. I bought several souvenirs like postcards, magnets and key chains. My mom wanted to buy bed sheet but it always came with duvet cover. Who need duvet cover in Malaysia anyway? Kinda useless. Thus, we didn't buy any bed sheet.

Outside the shop, there was some sort of marching bands. They played musical instruments along the main road. Oh, I miss Saturday march in Glasgow. We could always watched them through my JBC window.

So, we finished touring Belfast today. Just for a short visit as tomorrow we'd be leaving for Dublin.


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