Tuesday, January 31, 2012

United Kingdom, Intro To Belfast Northern Ireland



SAM_1481Thanks to easyJet, going to Belfast is affordable and less than an hour away from Edinburgh.






Another bonus I get from flying easyJet is the fact that it's Inflight magazine, Traveller has some travel tips about the city that will help me make the most of my brief visit.


SAM_1486An afternoon flight from Edinburgh to Belfast International Airport and with a rental car I am headed to an apartment in the city center for dinner.

Located next to the Belfast City Hall this is no ordinary apartment.






IMG_5940Belfast City Hall




IMG_5924Arriving in the area, I am quickly impressed with the City Hall building which is nicely decorated for the Holiday Season.






IMG_5935Knowing a little about this city's history, I am in awe of it's night time beauty and peacefulness.

On this first evening of the New Year only restaurants, pubs or bars are open and the streets are relatively quiet and mostly free of cars and pedestrians.





IMG_5928At 2 Donegall Square West I arrive at the place to see and be seen in Belfast. Sitting at a table with a view of City Hall, I am at “The Apartment”, claimed as Belfast's most stylish bar and restaurant.




Although it is still early evening, judging by the atmosphere, food and crowd that is starting to gather here, I don't think the claim is too far of the mark.

The Apartment offers many of it's menu selections in two portion sizes which works well for me. This evening’s special is a smoked fish seasoned with Indian spices served on top of a fresh and flavorful salad.



IMG_5930Smoked Indian Flavored Fish



I follow this up with a small portion of Haddock Cakes served with a pea puree. Although a beer or glass of wine would be nice, with the cold weather outside, cups of warm tea make a nice compliment.



IMG_5933For me, no dinner is complete without desert.

A Peanut Butter Parfait sandwiched with a homemade Chocolate Chip cookie graciously does the trick.




The sliced parfait is so smooth and creamy with just the right of peanut butter flavor that even someone with peanut allergies might be tempted to take a stab at it.

My evening is off to a good start and I think it can only get better by touring around the city even if it is at night.



IMG_5934It is a beautiful cold night to do so as some of the streets have a movie set shine to them that reflects the surrounding holiday decorations.







IMG_5941Albert Clock Tower



My first stop is at Albert Clock Tower, one of Belfast's most beloved landmarks built for Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert. Do you have Prince Albert in the can? Then let him out and tell him I have found his clock tower!


IMG_5949For the sin of that lame joke I need forgiveness so I head to St Ann's, Belfast City Cathedral then a brief visit to St Patrick's Cathedral, the patron Saint of Ireland.







IMG_5957St Patrick’s Cathedral Belfast




IMG_5959Walking the streets, I am surprised to come across an “Occupy Belfast” camp but in a way I happy to see a peaceful protest means for this city that has known so much strife.






SAM_1553Although I imagine there is still more progress to be made, it is nice to have peace, especially this time of the year.








IMG_5946St George’s Church



Facing St George's Church, I light a pipe as I learn a little about the building’s history. A famous detective once had his coats made here and I find it not only interesting but quite elementary. 



IMG_5948Over a pint of Guinness at The Glory Hole Bar, I just might solve the mystery for you.

Yes indeed, quite elementary my dear chap.








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