An English girl walks in to an Irish bar in Belfast and says to the barman “I’m here for 2 days, what shall I do?!” The barman chuckles, looks at her and replies, “Get yaself on a flight to Dublin!”
I have wanted to see something of Ireland for sometime – but I wasn’t quite expecting it to be so… lacking I guess is the best way to put it. To cut Belfast some slack I do think it’s always difficult to be enthusiastic and see the delights of a new city whilst cowering under the brim of a brolly (if only I had packed one!) and boy did it rain… relentlessly. I do also have to give credit where credit is due, Northern Ireland has a gruelling history which I do wish I had more time to have read up on. I hold up my hands and say I am fairly uninformed about the troubles – sure I know the general gist but perhaps my trip would have been more fulfilling had I gone with a deeper understanding.
So, things to do: well, there’s the Crumlin Road Gaol – absolutely fantastic! Spooky, harrowing at times and downright creepy. The Titanic Museum – fascinating and gives a real thorough, insightful story from conception of the ship, to the build, the sinking and finally the wreck. And then what… well this is where I got stuck! Another couple of museums like the independently run War Museum – a nice little half an hour visit – the Salmon of Wisdom, please don’t be THAT person that kisses it. It’s cringeworthy at best and downright unhygienic. The City Hall – yep, a lovely building but are any of these things real draws to the city? I’d say probably not. I know all of this just sounds a bit like a miserable winge and honestly, I am trying to be positive. I just don’t think there’s a whole lot really on offer in Belfast. It kinda speaks for itself that when you Google “things to do in Northern Ireland” the top suggestion is Giant’s Causeway which is a three hour coach trip north of the capital city. But I will say there is nothing quite like an Irish bar with a live guitar, a beat you can’t help but stamp your foot to and a guy singing Garth Brooks.
Would I choose to go back to Belfast? I’m thinking you probably can guess my answer. As a city break if you want a quick flight, a slow walk and to try out your new north face windbreaker Belfast is ideal! But walk slowly… real slowly.