Belfast – Day 1 – Arrival and walkabout

posted in: Belfast 2016, holiday | 0

After an annoyingly lengthy journey, we arrived in Belfast at around 3pm and checked into our hotel. We would be staying at the premier Inn cathedral quarter during our stay, mostly selected for it’s location and the fact that it was the cheapest hotel on offer at the time. Offloaded all of our baggage and promptly left to go and have a wander around the city.

Our first impressions of the city were admittedly not fantastic, I think we may have walked in the wrong direction because we were heading into the north area which seemed to be just filled with rundown buildings and graffiti, however there turned out to be a large amount of actual ‘Street art’ (note: Totally different to standard graffiti), there were some really impressive 2+ story murals. Of particular interest was a shop called ‘Fresh Garbage’ which was selling all sorts of bizarre shit, including the sort of masks you’d see in Hotline Miami and some bra’s outfitted with metal spikes.

 

We came across the Belfast cathedral, which was rather big and had some nice mosaics inside, unfortunately they were being a bit greedy and trying to charge £5 per person for entry, and having been to significantly larger and nicer churches for the price of ‘free’ in the past, this £5 charge just felt a little bit insulting.

We started walking south a little, and came across what I can only assume is the bar quarter,  there were small archways leading to alleys filled with bars and pubs, and some very large elaborate pubs as well. Being that we arrived on Saturday night, they were all pretty busy, too busy for us to want to walk into –  but I imagine we’ll be back at some point in our stay.

More towards the west, to the docks and river, we saw belfast’s famous (?) big fish thing, and beacon of hope, we walked the riverfront before doubling back towards the city.

A little more south was a really nice outdoor shopping centre – above the centre is a big dome which actually doubles as a viewing platform of the city, sadly closed at night time.
We ended up having dinner in the shopping centre –  a fancy restaurant called ‘The Ivory’.
Now, tripadvisor said this was in the ££ to £££ range so I wasn’t really expecting anything ridiculous, but as it turns out, the Ivory is actually a fine dining establishment. The food was way Overpriced and honestly not even that great, though I imagine the price would have had a big factor in my perceived enjoyment of the food. I had seared duck on a bed of spring onion,  spinach and sweet potato mash.

Finished our dinner, had a bit more of a wander and then ended up heading back to the hotel to chill, as we had quite an exhausting day of travel, even if the flight was only an hour and a half.

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