Discovering Belfast

After spending a couple days in Glasgow, we flew to Belfast with Flybe.  To get to Glasgow International Airport, there is a direct 15 mins bus ride from the city centre to the airport (6GBP for one way) that comes every 10 mins.  This flight was the shortest flight I’ve ever taken – 30 mins in the air and you’re in a different city! This may not have been the most economical form of transportation but it definitely was the quickest. It was a small plane that’s similar to other smaller airlines (2×2 seating per row). No complaints about it. When we arrived, we found the bus/coach area and hopped on the #600 bus and got off at the final stop, Europa Bus Station (10 Glengall Street).

From the Europa Bus Station, the hostel, Belfast International Youth Hostel is about a 10 min walk. We walked straight down Sandy Row until you get to Donegall Road and turn left onto Donegall Road and the hostel is right there. I’ve been using the KFC on the corner as a landmark. We got there early and couldn’t check in yet so we left our luggage with the reception.

We went on a search for food since we hadn’t eaten much that day. we came across a place called Bishops Restaurants (on Botanic Ave.) where we got some of the largest chicken burgers I’ve ever had! It was good but so much food since we got it as a meal. The chips (aka fries) were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, which were surprisingly tasty. Afterwards, we checked into the hostel and settled in. Simple layout – two sets of bunkbeds, storage lockers (you need to bring your own lock) and a sink in the room (toilet and showers were just outside of our room). No roommates yet.

We wandered around a bit and found a church and Queen’s University Belfast, which had a beautiful campus. It’s right next to the Belfast Botanical Gardens that included a greenhouse in it.  There was a variety of flowers and plants – it also kept us out of the rain! Next we wandered “downtown” and saw that there were signs for the Giro D’Italia bike race. Lots of roads were blocked off and there was a big stage set up in the parliament building garden –  also blocked off to the public. It was really exciting to see a lot of cyclists getting ready for the race; first time the race being held in Belfast! Having seen some of the city centre, we made our way towards the river and despite it being rainy on and off, it was a great walk.

For dinner, we wanted something different, possibly with vegetables. We found Falafel (on Botantic Avenue, across the street from Lee Garden). L and I both wanted kofta (grilled minced meat on a skewer) so we ordered the chicken and lamb kofta plates, which also came with hummus, baba ghanouli, salad and homemade garlic sauce: it was so delicious!! A great way to end the day.

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