It’s nearly a year since I lived and traveled around Europe. It’s surreal. One moment, I was in warm, sunny London, then on the very next day, I was flying to the bitter cold city that is Belfast. The starting point of my Eurotrip. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, a country or region that belongs to the United Kingdom. If you look on the world map, however, you will see that Northern Island is, geographical speaking, part of Ireland. Similar to North and South Korea, these are two separate countries, with different jurisdictions and laws. You might need a visa from the Ireland consulate in your country if you wish to travel to cities within the Republic of Ireland.
I didn’t have any particular itinerary throughout my stay in Belfast as I was still adjusting from jet lag and weather. I just went wherever my feet could take me.
First time to be flying with Easyjet. Pleasant experience, but they are very particular with hand carry bags.
The English countryside
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2016 is surreal, and that’s exactly how I feel while looking at this view. I keep telling myself that this is finally happening. I am back in Europe and pursuing my dreams.
It rains when I put this board out???
Gloomy and cold is the perennial weather of Belfast. Before visiting the United Kingdom, I checked, and the average temperature is reported to be 15-18°C. Belfast surprised me with a windy temperature of 6°C. I had to buy a scarf, a cardigan, and another pair of pants to keep myself warm. Luckily, the pants were on sale!
The weather, as lovely as it is, made it all too difficult for me to explore the city by foot. So I would sometimes take the bus to see the sights of the city.
My hostel, Vagabonds Belfast, is situated near Queen’s Quarters and is a stone throw away from Queen’s University Belfast, or QUB, is a public research university in the city.
They offer a tour of the campus every Monday and Fridays.
Also in found in Queen’s Quarters is the Botanic Garden.
The beautiful building you see is called the Stormont, the Parliament building of the city. Free tours are available, from 9 AM to 4 PM on weekdays.
Titanic Belfast is the exact site where the famous ship was built, and it is now a visitor attraction and monument.
The museum tells the very detailed stories of the RMS Titanic, from its construction until the tragedy in the early, icy morning of April 15, 1912.
Please stay tuned for my blog post about this museum!
The metal sculpture on the right is called the Beacon of Hope.
The shopping area of Belfast
There’s a 360° observatory deck on top of the Victoria Square Mall. Too bad these “grids” are covering the scenic view.
H&W stands for Harland & Wolff, a British shipyard company that is famously known for building the RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic, and RMS Britannic. The yellow thing you see in the photo is one of the gantry cranes, popularly known as Samson and Goliath. These cranes were built in 1974 and 1969 respectively and became an iconic landmark of the city.
And that’s a glimpse of what Belfast is all about!
I’m more of excited to share the countryside of Antrim because I am more of a scenic landscapes type of girl.