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Blog: Midi-Break To Belfast
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The original idea to go there came when when Theresa May made her DEAL with the DUP, and the aforesaid Members In My Party wanted to find out what this place was all about. We set off after work from City Airport which, as on previous occasions, was a LOVELY place to fly from. You just get off the DLR (which leaves from OUR HOUSE), wander through into the reception, and within approx 15 minutes you're sitting waiting in the Departure Lounge. It feels so SOPHISTICATED!
We ZIPPED over the Irish Sea and landed at George Best airport which is another diddy airport where you just wander through in MINUTES. We hopped on a BUS, walked to The Premier Inn, and it was a mere matter of a few minutes before we were sat in THE BAR. I wish all air travel was this quick and easy!
As anyone who had ever spoken to me about TRAVEL will know, I feel very strongly that the first priority in a new place is to get on the Open Top Bus Tour, so that is what we did the very next morning. It was here that we heard for the first (though definitely not last) time the Two Jokes Everyone Tells In Belfast. Here they are:
- (on passing the Titanic Experience) "That Boat was fine when it left here!"
- (on seeing flags hanging attached halfway up lampposts) "They're not at half mast, that's just how high the ladders go!"
People in Belfast, we discovered, are PROPERLY friendly i.e. they're dead nice and up for a chat but don't push it on you. Also, they like telling jokes!
We hopped off the Open Topped Bus at Stormont and had a look round - we do like visiting Regional Parliaments - and were MOVED by the story of how The Peace came about. It felt like something that had all been gotten over, so it was a bit of a shock when we hopped back on the bus and drove past LOADS and LOADS of TERRIFYING murals. "Look at this next one" said our new guide. "If you look down the muzzle of his gun you'll see it follows you along the street!"
Next day we were booked on a TRIP to Giants Causeway, which was the OTHER big reason for going to Belfast. We were driven to a meeting point where we got on a BIG BUS and were told our guide would be called Troy. "He's a madman" we heard one of the other staff say to another. He seemed quite STABLE but CRUMBS he could talk, and did so for most of the next TEN HOURS!! It was brilliant though, we learnt LOADS about a) The Troubles and b) the shooting locations for 'Game Of Thrones'. Also CRIKEY but The Giants' Causeway is an IMPRESSIVE also KRAZY thing. It felt like a Brutalist Playground from the 1960s, it was REALLY difficult to get it through to my BRANE that it wasn't man-made!
On our last day we had a WALKING TOUR run by Dead Centre Tours which was about the history of terror in the city centre. It was MIND-BLOWING, going round and seeing where all the horrible things had happened, and also a bit weird when our guide, who'd been a Mediator during and after the peace process, had to keep pausing to say hello to various old blokes waving to him. Several of them turned out to have been prisoners from both sides who had been INVOLVED!
It was RAINING quite a lot that day too, so when it was over we DASHED to get some warm drinks inside us. We ate and drank HANDSOMELY while we were there I must say - one of the very nice aspects of having an AWAY BREAK inside the UK is that you know how the restaurants and pubs work!
Our departure day began with me in a bit of a WORRY, as there was a half-marathon going through town which meant CHANGES to bus times. We'd asked a few different people about this but nobody seemed to know what was going on, so we ended up getting to the bus station SUPER early, having to cross the road there in a GAP between runners. It all went fine, and we ended up with over an hour to spare in the departure lounge. We ate chips!
In conclusion then, it was a RUDDY MARVELLOUS few days away - I would HEARTILY recommend a visit!
posted 19/9/2017 by MJ Hibbett
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