(4.8) (20 Votes)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Oct 01, 2002
Cons: not having
a guidebook for Belfast
Travel Tip 98: "In Ireland the words "lets have a quiet
night" do not exist"
Ok I have been a bit slack with the old journal, that is probably
because I have turned into one of those stuck up London people that
wonder the streets each day, not smiling at all..... or perhaps
it is because I have been in hosptital for the last week having
my stomach pumped and my brain checked for damage after 4 days in
Ireland..... or it could just be that I have been trying to find
a job and a flat.... you make your own mind up....!
Well Ireland it was on the menu and it was delivered with all the
side servings that you could expect on a trip. So after a relaxed
Monday being a London tourist, visiting the Tower Bridge and Westminster
and Mr Big Ben. Jezz (aka Warrick) and I (aka Wupert) - don't ask
headed off to the land of leprechauns and Guniess.
Now I never saw any leprechaun's but I shorely did see alot of Guiness.
Now for people at home Guiness is not the nicest thing going around,
but here for some reason in Ireland it is just plan yum and I guess
when in Rome do what the Romans do! See I am already becoming Irish.
So with friends established who would put us up for our first two
days in Dublin, we made it safely to the residence and was served
a very nice dinner, before heading off to a local Irish pub soley
Now if you were employed by the Australian Hotel Association to
implement Irish pubs throughout Australia, you should be fired!!
I honestly do not think they even came to Ireland to check it out.
The pub was amazing, relaxed friendly and alot of drinking being
done! No wonder three quaters of the country are drunks, that is
all they do - drink all day and all night.!!
As the pub finishes up about midnight we head down to the local
nightclub to taste more Guniess and for a couple of Australians
to attempt the Michael Flackley Irish Dance and Traditional Irish
Jig like they have never seen before... 4pm we stumble home and
With only 4 days in Ireland W&W would want to make the most
of our time, instead we sat around the house and talked whilst our
hangovers disappeared. Eventually we ventured out to the harsh Ireland
weather, where it was drizzling rain.... I had not seen rain for
3 months so to me it was very harsh! Dublin is nothing to shout
home about but was worth a couple of hours wondering around aimlessly.
As for the second night in Dublin, just re-read the previous couple
The goal of our trip was to hire a car and head South/West and upto
Belfast where we had to fly out of. But with a 130 Euro drop off
fee for droping the car off in Belfast, we told them where to stick
it and stuck with our 13 Euro bus ticket to Galway - RETURN!
Just going to head off on a tagent here and explain how you should
plan your Ireland trip...
- Take the number of days that you want to be in Ireland - our case
- Take the number of nights that you will drinking - in our case
- Take the number of days where you will not do anything touristy
- in our case 3
- Then take the number of days to work your way from one spot (Dublin)
to another spot (Belfast), taking into account stoping at the 1000's
of pubs on the way to speak to the locals.
So there you have it a trip to Ireland cannot be done under 56 days.
Just my opinion!
Anyway off to Galway (5 hour bus trip) to spend exactly 18 hours
there. Into a hostel straight away and off to take some happy snaps
and sample a traditional 'Irish Pub Meal' -the meal was great. To
make matters even funnier a young Irish guy came across to talk
to us and to our complete suprise, this guy knew more about Australian
Football than we did. The only problem was I did not know they were
currently 2 weeks behind our coverage and he now knows who won the
Grand Final and the Brownlow....oops!
So after one traditional pub, off to another we were able to aquire
a comfortable little table in the corner to sit and drink and watch
and talk to the local people of Galway. To top it off traditonal
Irish music playing in the background and at least 4 traditional
Irish Drunk Idiots, stumbling around. Great Night if I do not say
As for the hostel, clean, nice and the worst snorer in the Nthn
Hemishpere! Very little sleep was achieved that night - but the
trustee ear plugs that I hauled half way around the world, came
in very handy! I think I took them out??? Up in the morning and
on a return bus to Dublin and then onto a connecting train to Belfast.
Ahh the wonders of public transport.... finally reached Belfast
at about 6pm.
Belfast has a tag for being the central residence of some of the
worst members of the IRA etc, well you would be absoulty correct.
So here are we both wondering the streets of Belfast with no guide
book or any idea where we are going trying to find a place to stay.
Not recommended in the future. In short we believed we were in no
danger, but were told a story by a tour guide the next day, of two
Australians who were just on the wrong side of the road and where
beaten with iron bars - I guess they must have thought "Wow
those guys look tough, we better leave them alone" and by gosh
lucky they did!! :-)
So out for another night and after a very classy dinner (the whole
34 Euros) we headed to what seemed the place to be seen in Belfast
and it was. All in all another great night out! In the morning a
quick 2 hour 'taxi tour' around Belfast learning (and scarying the
shit out of both of us) the history of Belfast and the IRA etc -
then onto a plane to get back to old London town.
4 days was not even close to enough time to even sobber up, let
alone see the beautiful country that Ireland is. I mean the landscapes
are just breath taking and the people - just great! Highly recommend
Ireland to anyone and everyone!
So back to the normal world and currently looking for work and a
room to rent - for the whole (1000 AUD) per month mind you for nothing
special. Interviewed yesterday for a role with Glaxo Welcome - made
my laugh since they sponsered my trip through middle east with 'Imodium'.
Have broken out in a rash all over my legs and arms etc.... turns
out that I am allergic to waering a suit.... :-)
- might have to do something about that sooner than later.
Take care and hope you have enjoyed the first 4 months or so of
my journals. Will keep them going through London - giving you all
an eagle eyed view into the place that is miserable and depressing!
Enjoy the sun Melbourne and talk soon
Jay and Jez (Aka Warren and Wupert)