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Bombed in Belfast!
Belfast in General
Member Name: buttonman
Belfast in General
Date: 15/06/01, updated on 15/06/01 (295 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap flights,nice people,lots of pubs
Disadvantages: weather unpredictable
Mrs Button and I have just returned from a great weekend in Belfast,a city we'd have no hesitation in recommending.I'd been before on a lads' weekend as one of my mates played for local side Linfield and knew what to expect,but the good lady was not too sure.The city still suffers from image problems and several people recoiled in horror when I said where we were off too.This is a shame as it's a lovely city and greatly regenerated since the troubles.
We flew from Glasgow on GO to Belfast International airport.The fares are ridiculously cheap at £25 return.This offer changes all the time but I think it's currently £35 - check go-fly.com for up to date information.The flight is extremely short with us being in the air for only 20 minutes.There was no time for cabin service as the saftey demo had barely finished when the decent started.The International Airport is about 18 miles from town so expect a cab fare of £20+.The other option is the shuttle bus.These run twice an hour and cost £5 single or £8 return.
We stayed at the Posthouse Premier Hotel.I won't say much on this as I couldn't match gollygumdrops' crowned opinion on this excellent establishment.The posted price of £85 was reasonable for a four star hotel but we got a bargain rate of £62.50 from their website although this didn't include the hearty breakfast as I soon found to my wallet's horror - £30 down and I was barely up!.The rooms are lovely with modern furniture and a skin removing power shower.A nice grab bag of toiletries made up for the cost - that's Mothers' day covered!.
The city itself is compact with most of the action happening around the Golden mile area.The weather we had was great although it's usually rotten with the mayor himself saying "we're now entering the less cold time of year!" in the guidebook introduction.There are however loads of bars to keep warm in and something for ever taste.We had a
great night flitting from an ancient working mans' pub across from the Europa hotel to a cheezy piano bar complete with hen night Karaoke.
Foodwise I'd point you towards the Mongolian Barbeque restaurant on Victoria Road.This is a great concept where you fill a bowl with raw meat,vegetables,sauces and spices and then hand it to a man who flash frys it on a big hot plate.The food is great and you can only blame yourself if it's not.Recipies are displayed for the unadventourous but for the most part my experiments came good!.At £12,95 all you can eat it's a real bargain although the relaxing atmosphere and moreish food saw our bill creep to £60 with two bottles of red wine needed to combat the overuse of crushed chillies!.
Of course the city uses British money and Scottish notes are welcome.They do have their own banknotes but I spent these at home with no problems.With only two days we had no chance to see everything although I'd recommend a river trip to cover more ground.We paid £4 each on 'The Joyce' for an hour long sail complete with craik laden commentary.The city is on it's uppers with £1/2 million flats jostling for position on the waterfront.The trip did touch on the city's outer scheme and signs of old rivalries littered every gable end.We saw no trouble at all though but did see a seal - a positive sign!.
Other attractions include a very nice botanical garden and lots of bars.I know I've mentioned bars before but it need emphasising!.The people are very friendly and happy to chat - hello woman from the hot tub!.
Our only downer was due to someone not knowing the difference between am and pm which meant our booked return flight was useless.Still this gave us the chance to sail home on the Seacat.This leaves from Belfast harbour and takes two and a half hours to get to Troon - approx 30 miles from Glasgow.The Seacat costs £21 for a passenger with the train to Glasgow costing £4.If t
imes ot a worry the Seacat trip is good especially for relieving hanovers!.It goes so fast you get a refreshing sea spary on the back open deck.
On the whole a great city for an enjoyable weekend.If you can see past the history you'll be rewared with a memorable time.
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