travel | revisiting belfast travel diary
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Amara Amaryah | travel + books + poetry, always poetry. a platform for story-telling, visuals, positive self-talk and empowerment | belfast travels
it’s the final days of 2018. before i can even start this blog post i have to share a thought. i faced some challenges today, emotionally, physically and then to top it off technically with the upload process. take time. reflect. think about the intention. think about the intuition and ask yourself if it is worth ignoring. find enough ease to go through your day. that’s it. sometimes listening to yourself is all there is to it.
some opening affirmations for your tuesday travel reading. but in all seriousness, as prepartion for my 2019 goals, i’ve been thinking about the types of content that i’m going to produce + which new ways i can learn to document and storytell. a massive goal i’ve set for myself is using what and where i have. that means revisiting old trips and thinking about the stories that already exist but haven’t been shared. cue: belfast travels.
he turned 26 in June (favourite cancer boy) and wanted to keep up his tradition of being out of the country for his birthday. with it being quite last-minute, it was going to be a UK trip. we went back and forth between Dublin and Belfast and Glasgow and ended up with too many tabs open. but we made a decision and booked our flight to Belfast … for the day!
i’ve never flown anywhere for a day trip so it was a fresh experience for me. i recommend it if and only if you know how to make the most out of early starts and late nights. i would also add one more rule for a day trip: respect the fact that you are on holiday. i mean allow yourself breath and let yourself move slowly, dont try and cram the whole city into a day.
a weekend would have been beautiful, but we got up to enough in a day i think. we wanted our belfast travels to be about experiencing another vibrant city, nothing fast-paced, nothing rushed. so it was what we needed it to be.
we flew with easyjet into Belfast International at about 9am. it was about an hours flight and for a return ticket that we bought about a weekend before it cost us £70. i know you can fly into Belfast City quite reasonably but that was slightly more expensive at the time.
once we flew in, there were good transport links that took us straight to the city centre. the buses to the city centre were a little expensive. when we say expensive we mean £11 something for a return. the bus journey from the airport to the city centre must have been about 35 minutes minimum but visually it is gorgeous.
we got off the bus for breakfast at Castle Court shopping centre. i cannot remember the name of what i ate for breakfast and have tried to recreate it and describe it to friends who know Belfast and i have failed on both occasions. basically, all you need to know is had this fried potato hash brown type thing in a bun and i would pay big money to have it again.
History + Art
we roamed around a little to get a feel of the city and ended up by markets and a few vintage/music stores. more wandering and practicing our belfast accents and we ended up at the city hall. we both really love finding out the history behind the cities that we travel in so it was really humbling to start a day trip in this way. note: there is always more. when travelling around europe there is always more to be found and more to be weary of. i always try not to get lost in the beauty and be aware that there may be other not so beautiful colonial roots and stories. i still have my reading to do. but it was helpful to learn about the resistance, reconstructure and re-establishing that this city went through.
one thing. i’ve always remembered the solidarity that was shown for Mike Brown in northern ireland in 2014/2015. ever since reading about a murial made for him in northern ireland, i felt respect for the place. this definitely helped with the belfast travels to have a feeling of ease whilst travelling.
we definitely should have found some modern art galleries for the day’s itenary. i like to understand a place based off the art as well as the history – which is pretty much how I sepnd most of my travels like I did in Portugal and Brussels.
any modern art recommendations for belfas travels? drop in the comment setion below plis.
he must have told me several times that we were going but i didn’t actually realise that the titanic museum was in Belfast. i didn’t ever associate Belfast with the story for some reason, only New York.
fun fact: in 1912 belfast was one of the world’s most important shipbuilding centres.
photo credit| rakeem omar
note: Titanic Belfast is quite a walk away from the actual city centre and is in the Titanic Quarter. once you get there (and you calm down a bit because you realise that you have’t actually made the birthday boy miss the tour that he came to belfast to visit) it is a really humbling experience. the tour takes you from the beginning stages of the titanic to the end. there are 9 interactive levels, a ride and recreations of the ships design. as expected the end of the gallery is very emotional with last letters from those on board. the final level is an underwater tour of the ship’s ruins.
a short walk away from the museum is the dock cafe, an honesty pay place to eat. such a wholesome vibe with staff who will happily tell you the rundown of the area. and they have the cutest book collection, outdoor seating and indoor play areas. it’s a nice family spot considering its in the business quarter too.
Pubs (because you’re in Northern Ireland)
after a bit of street photography (because the city keeps giving and unapologetically tells its stories across the walls) we ended our day on the rooftop bar in belvedere gardens. go visit belvedere gardens. this is not even a recommendation, it is an order. belvedere gardes gave me non-pretentious parisian vibes with northern irish edge and carefree noise. the cocktails are really creative too.
when you forget you’re a travel blogger and take minimal pics but he smart and knows what to do with a camera.
i don’t think i could have had a better time in belfast. we had no real expectations of the city but our belfast travels are responsible for one of our best memories of the year. it’s important to feel welcomed in order to then welcome other people to any place you travel to. since june i have told everyone i can to travel to belfast. i do wish i could have spoken to more people from the city and it would have been perfect to spend a rowdy-ish night in a belfast pub but we lived our best life. and we’re thankful for that.
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