I’m Here!

So, I’ve made it to Belfast. I have to say, if you have the option of traveling business class, it’s pretty awesome. Bigger, more comfortable seat, better food, airport lounge, all that stuff. I really enjoyed it.

The plane got in to Dublin about a half-hour early. It was a little chilly this morning, but not too bad. I just put my rain jacket on to block the wind, and I was plenty warm enough. Irish customs was really fast and easy: “How long are you staying in Ireland? Business or pleasure?” and boom –  I was through. Literally no more than ten seconds.

Once through, I made my way outside and caught the Airlink bus that runs from the airport through the city centre.

Dublin Airport is kind of a cool building. From this angle, it looks like a hamster run, but from other angles, it looks like billowing sails.
Dublin Airport is kind of a cool building. From this angle, it looks like a hamster run, but from other angles, it looks like billowing sails.

The bus ride in to Grafton Street was easy, as was getting my errands done there. The difference in stress levels this trip compared to the early days of last trip are amazing – just the little bit I know about the place from being here before makes everything easier and less frantic. And, of course, I ran into an old friend.

According to the fellow in the right side of the picture, the city is planning some street changes here that would move the statue. I didn't get the full story, though.
According to the fellow in the right side of the picture, the city is planning some street changes here that would move the statue. I didn’t get the full story, though.

From there, once my phone was linked to the 3 network, I called up a walking path from Grafton Street to Connolly Station, where I was to catch the train north to Belfast. It was about a mile walk, but my luggage wasn’t too heavy at that point, so I decided to do it; if nothing else, it would let me stretch my legs after the long flight and also refamiliarize myself a little more with the city.

This is a view down the Liffey towards Dublin Port. I never made it there last trip. It looks like there might be a tall ship there on the left.
This is a view down the Liffey towards Dublin Port. I never made it there last trip. It looks like there might be a tall ship there on the left.

I made it to the station and got on a train, and then had to fight to keep from falling asleep. I nodded off a couple of times on the two-hour trip, but thankfully, a young lady got on and proceeded to carry on a telephone conversation in a loud, somewhat shrill voice that carried through the entire train car, and I didn’t have to worry about sleeping anymore.

In Belfast, I took a taxi to The Old Rectory.

My favourite B&B from last trip.
My favourite B&B from last trip.

Gerry greeted me, took my breakfast order for tomorrow1, and led me up to my room – the same one I’d had last time.

It really is a lovely room.
It really is a lovely room.
Window View
This is the view from my window. You can’t really see the… little mountains? Big hills? Anyway, they rise up behind everything,
There. Now you can see them.
There. Now you can see them.

I saw Mary again this evening, and she helped me get a table at The Barking Dog, which restaurant I hadn’t been able to try last time. It was a bit of a walk, again, both there and back, but at least I’ll be good and tired when I go to bed tonight.

As I was taking this picture, a gentleman waiting for the bus talked to me at some length about Rugby, and a woman from Montreal that he knows that works in a pub near The Crown in downtown Belfast. Everyone is so friendly.
As I was taking this picture, a gentleman waiting for the bus talked to me at some length about Rugby, and a woman from Montreal that he knows that works in a pub near The Crown in downtown Belfast. Everyone is so friendly.

And now the post is done, the first day of my holiday is done, and I’m pretty much done. To bed. Tomorrow, I have tours!

  1. I confessed to him that I’ve had dreams about his full Ulster breakfast since last time. []

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