Belfast, Redux

I’m having a bit of a lazy evening in Barcelona, so I figured it’s a good time to blog!

Last Wednesday I made the long journey (12 hours!) from Venice to Belfast. I got up and ready at the horrific hour of 5am, walked through Venice to the Grand Canal to catch a boat bus to the bus terminal. I then spent half an hour wandering around the terminal trying to figure out how to get tickets (the office was closed) and where the bus was. I spent 2 hours on a bus to the airport where I learned my bag was too heavy, and I wan’t allowed to check in unless I paid 70 Euros. So, I threw anything I possibly could away. I figured, if I can replace it for under 70 Euros, than it’s worth it. I then went down to the worlds smallest terminal (1 tiny room that housed 4 gates. Ridiculous!) in which there were already 2 groups of passengers waiting on delayed flights. Granted, this is an airport entirely run by Ryanair, so, I shouldn’t have been surprised! I sat there for hours, until well after the plane was supposed to leave, never hearing a word (or even seeing) anyone who worked there. Eventually the plane showed up and we flew the two hours to Dublin. At the Dublin Airport I was stuck in immigration for an hour, thought I lost my passport at baggage claim, and got lost trying to find the bus terminal. After an hour of waiting at the bus terminal the bus for Belfast arrived! That took another 3 hours. But, I finally made it to Belfast! I walk about 15 minutes through the city centre to Orla’s apartment and wait in front of her door (she was at work still, and I was stealing her Internet from in the hall!). Her room mate arrived home, says hello to me, and then leaves me in the hallway. I don’t think she likes me very much! No worries though, Orla soon got home, we went inside, and I collapsed on her couch.

See, this is why I hate the travelling bit of travelling! Granted, I did have the worst possible experience 2 days ago upon arriving in Barcelona. Ugh.

Moving on… I had a wonderful time back in Belfast! On Wednesday night we went to see Iron & Wine in concert. The show was graet, but the people sitting around us were not. He also didn’t play Boy With A Coin, which upset me a little bit… ;)

After the concert we took in some of the sights on the way back to Orla’s apartment. Such as…

The big mosaic fish:

And the big iron lady holding a hula hoop:

On Thursday when Orla was at work I filled up my backpack with all my clothes, hopped on a train across town, and did some laundry. Exciting! It was actually a pretty good time. At one point this very strange man saw the Canada flag on my pack and started asking me questions like: “Is Canada that wee country by Australia?”, “Is Canada dear?”, “What is the current unemployment rate?” and “Does Facebook exist in Canada?” It was just like I was at work! As soon as he left the girl working there ran over to me and asked what he was saying. I told her and she started going on about all the crazy things he’s said to her in the past, and we had a good laugh. Apparently he has plans to take over the UK, build his own exclusive hospital, and produce his own line of rainbow fake eyelashes. After that a really nice girl from Texas came in and we started chatting. She got a job in Belfast and just arrived. I’m so jealous of her! It’s such an awesome city.

That night Orla and I went to dinner and then to see Modest Mouse in concert. What an amazing show! They are so great live!

Sadly, after, we had to walk home in the rain…

On Friday when Orla was at work I went into town. I needed some things, and then decided to do a bit of window shopping. Big mistake! It turns out when I haven’t been shopping in a month, it kind of builds up. I did tough it out though! But a few things, but not a lot. And only from H&M. Which it turns out I am totally in love with over here! I really don’t like the store in St. Catharines. It smells and is too expensive and rarely has anything I like. Here, totally different story!

Orla got off work a bit early, so we went to grab a late lunch, and that evening saw Wilco!

On Saturday Orla, one of her roomates (not the one who left me in the hall!): Lisa, and I did a hop on, hop off bus tour around Belfast. It was a pretty good tour. Went to the Titanic Quarter, lots of different historical places relating to The Troubles, Parliament, downtown. We saw quite a lot!

Storment Castle (on Parliament grounds) and Parliament:

One of that many, many murals located around Belfast that reference The Troubles:

Cave Hill (This was the inspiration for Gulliver’s Travels, as the mountain shape resembles a mans face):

I can’t quite remember what we did on Sunday. Not much, I guess! Orla made me an Irish breakfast called an Ulster Fry. It was delicious! I think we just went into town and looked for shoes, actually! And then we went for dinner. And I came back and packed, which took hours.

And then I left bright and early Monday morning and am now in Barcelona! Just to clear up, I am actually having a wonderful time here, despite the horrificness of Monday. I know not everyone knows what I’m talking about, but I’ll save that fun story for my next blog.

Thanks for reading!