Deirdre and I planned to visit Belfast together while I visited her. On Wednesday morning, Sept. 14th we packed the car with our luggage and excitement to have a little girlfriend time. It was a short drive from her house in Ahoghill and before I knew it we were there!
Our friend Desi was also flying in from Milan about 1 o’clock that afternoon. We had a couple of hours before she arrived so we walked over to the Botanic Gardens which were just a few short blocks from where we were staying at the Windemere Guest House.
It was a beautiful morning and we couldn’t imagine anything better than going to see some pretty flowers and take a walk in a park like setting to start our morning out on the right foot.
I was pleasantly surprised at what we found there.
We worked up a little bit of an appetite, so we found a nice little cafe on the corner called Maggie May’s and enjoyed coffee, tea and some sweet potato fries. Deirdre hadn’t ever tried them before.
We sat there enjoying each other’s company and “people watching” as they passed by on this busy corner – even saw tourists drive by on the double-decker tour buses.
The time passed quickly and soon we were off again to meet up with Desi at the bus stop near our lodging. It was so nice to see Desi’s smiling face appear and our reunion was filled with hugs and giggles!
After getting Desi settled into the room with Deirdre and I, we started walking toward the center of town to meet up with another friend, Heather who wanted to meet us for lunch at Benedict’s Hotel. After getting Desi settled into the room with Deirdre and I, we started walking toward the center of town to meet up with another friend, Heather who wanted to meet us for lunch at Benedict’s Hotel.
Benedict’s featured a “carvery” special with a nice selection of various meats and vegetables to choose from along with Yorkshire pudding and tobacco onions to choose from!
After lunch we parted ways with Heather and continued our stroll up Victoria Street towards the center of town. Along the way we came across the oldest pub in Belfast…
and another really old one next door that features traditional Irish music every night of the week….
Across the street was the swanky Europa hotel…
On the opposite corner was another gorgeous building…
A little further was an old church!
The big surprise came when we walked inside… instead of pews and pipe organs, stained glass and ancient statues this is what we encountered – the interior was full of high-end shops!
A little further on we found a flash-back to the 60s and 70s!
Just around the corner and down the street was the centre of town, marked by the City Hall. Talk about an eclectic town!
On the grounds surrounding the magnificent building, there was a giant screen showing the para Olympic games for athletes with disabilities – Queen Victoria was even watching!
Let’s head inside the City Hall, and see what’s inside…
On our way back we came across one of the United Kingdom‘s 10 oldest universities!
What a fun day exploring some of the sights of Belfast together.
We were a bit tired however, so we headed back to our room and started thinking about where we could get a bite to eat in our little neighborhood. We discovered there were quite a few various choices just in one block! We could eat at a church converted to a restaurant or pick any number of other choices: Italian, fish ‘n chips, hamburgers, Indian cuisine, Mexican food or pub grub.
We opted for the Pub grub at Ryan’s and it was the perfect choice. It was excellent and so much fun, and the food was really good! I highly recommend this place.
I ordered a traditional Irish meal – a Chicken Boxty and mashed potatoes with chives; Deirdre chose Tempura Chicken..
Desi opted for a hamburger…
and for dessert Desi and both chose white chocalate cheesecake with mixed berries and Deirdre asked for a wee bowl of ice cream and she ended up with a quart or more! All this food and it only costs 10 pounds for one main course and one dessert! Wow!
We were pretty stuffed and ready to call it a day so we headed “home” to get some sleep. We had a lot planned on our itinerary for the following day, but that will be covered on the next post. Stay tuned!