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Last updated : Nov 2009
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Rating: (4.8) (20 Votes)

Belfast, Northern Ireland
Oct 01, 2002

Pros: Guiness!
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 called "Roderys".

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 into bed.

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 of paragraphs.

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 4
- Take the number of nights that you will drinking - in our case 4
- 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 so myself!

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)