By the time I woke up in my rather disturbed sleep in my hostel because of someone in my dorm snoring aggressively I had ticked off pretty much everything on my itinerary.
If I had the choice I would have most likely caught an earlier flight back to London first thing but that wasn’t a real possibility.
I had the free breakfast that was included in my hostel package, had a little catchup with some of the guys about the previous night and off I went for the day.
So what did I end up doing in my last 12 hours in Belfast? This is a review of the last bits and bobs left to do on my Northern Ireland Adventure
You can’t not go to Belfast and not find out that the city has many ties to the doomed Titanic. At times they can be staring at you in the face.
To learn more about the connections, I visited Titanic Belfast, which is an expedition/museum dedicated to the history of Titanic and its sister ships, the blueprint designs for Titanic and its construction, the workers building the ship and their lifestyle. In addition to all of the above it touches on Irish and British society and culture around the 19th and early 20th century and the film adaptations of the real-life tragedy. It’s located at the docks roughly where the ship was built.
Out of all the things I mentioned about what the museum offers the working culture for the labour workers intrigued me the most: they worked at great, unimaginable heights in an effort to make the ship what it was without any of the safety gear that construction workers use today to help them maneveure around the building site. Thus they were risking their lives every day for Titanic, and death was such a thing that workers would say “he’s away to the other yard” when referring to a colleague who had fallen to their death. For the deceased it turns out that their lives were given up for a ship to have only ONE journey in its entire history. Let that sink in people!
The tour I paid for was called the Titanic Experience. It was a £18.50 and the experience itself was a linear adventure: going from the first idea of building the mighty ship, the construction, the maiden voyage, the panic and fear of the passengers when the ship hit the iceberg to it sinking and the investigations in the aftermath of the devastation. There were plenty of fun and interactive features to keep visitors like myself engaged constantly: one feature being a cinema room showing marine explorers finding remnants of the ship. At the end you can buy pictures from a Titanic-themed photoshoot you do right at the beginning of your tour as like a souvenir – just to thank you for coming abroad! Although the pictures are around £20 so I’d recommend checking out their fully-fledged souvenir store at the entrance for cheaper alternatives.
St Anne’s Cathedral
Right in the centre of the Cathedral Quarter (or district) is St Anne’s Cathedral, more commonly callled the Cathedral Church of St Anne’s. Constructed over 110 years ago Belfast’s is a must-see tourist attraction and main place of worship for many of the city’s residents.
It’s exterior architecture is a throwback to the Roman times; the pillars, staircases and stones stained-glass windows that can be seen from a distance – all stunning and exquisitie in design and detail. So many mosaics, carvings and other works of art to admire in the interior too.
The opening times for St Anne’s are 9:00am-5:15pm Monday to Saturday and 1-3pm on Sundays. Cost to enter inside the church, mass and other church services aside, is £5 and £3 for adults and children respectively. Guided tours for anyone are £6.
Recommendation of the day: 10 minutes away from Titanic Belfast is the Vertigo Indoor Skydiving centre if you’re feeling even more adventurous
Rating out of 10 (Overall): 7.5/10
Cuban’s Sandwich Factory
Completing my Food Watch is my afternoon munch at Cuban’s Sandwich Factory, which is in Queens Arcade shopping centre. First things first – for those of you who read my day 1 review it was much MUCH better than Pablos, particularly their veggie/vegan options. Not only were their fries just as good as at Pablos but their vegetarian sandwich bites were very filling and enjoyable.
There was a woman singing Havana by Camila Cabello and that goes some way to helping create a positive vibe around the place. She actually had a good voice too 😛
Rating out of 10 (Overall): 8/10
Again there’s not much I did on my second day before having to pick up my stuff from the hostel, say my goodbyes (for now I hope!) and then catch my return flight to London.
If you’re looking to visit only inner Belfast then I recommend spending not more than a few days. Beyond that you have to turn to the outskirts of the city to find more tourist attractions to see, such as the Belfast Zoo, Belfast Castle, the Game of Thrones tour and various trails that give you some of the most beautiful views of the city. Otherwise boredom can creep into you quite quickly.
What do you think of Belfast as a whole? Did you enjoy my reviews on the city or need any more tips on visiting it? Leave your comments below!
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Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures