It is dark outside, grey, my nose is running, I cough occasionally, what better thing is there to do then to finish up my master piece of how I went to Ireland and came back.
What happened so far: We arrived in Belfast the day before, found an amazing tent full of fancy veg, browsed the southern area of Belfast and then headed back to the hostel, after having some mediocre fish and chips and place calling itself “The best fish and chips”. It was not.
With a stomach full of grease and carbs we prepared our beds in the nice 12 bed dorm. We couldn’t share a bunk bed, and so we settled down at opposite sides of the dorm. The other 10 people arrived one after the other and tried more or less silently to get in their beds and get some sleep. All but one guy. This guy smashed into the room at about 1 in the morning, stinking like hell, making all kinds of noises before crashing into his bed. The lower bed of Doro’s bunk. Great. He quickly fell asleep. Only to commence the most impressive snoring I have ever heard. I guess he was piss drunk and could hardly stay conscious enough to breathe, so the rattling and hissing noise did practically not stop at all throughout the night. I guess I slept at one point for about an hour and so did Doro, although she had to struggle with stink of the guy below who may have heard of the concept of a shower in the long forgotten past.
So we started the day rather annoyed and tired. We barely could open our eyes and sat in the lobby in a rather comatose state. We then overheard the front desk guy telling someone else, that there are private rooms available this and the next night. We jumped to our feet and with the remaining energy upgraded to a double room. We were told that we could move there after the cleaning at 11, so we chilled a bit in the lobby, had some breakfast and did what we tried to do in Derry already: Wash our clothes.
The washing part was no issue in Derry, getting stuff wet is one of the easier tasks there, getting it dry on the other hand was close to impossible. We washed a pile of clothes quite early on and put it on a hanger to dry. As the building was not heated nor able to capture any stray sunlight, the building was cold and wet itself. After seven days on the hanger the clothes were still as wet as when they came out of the machine. We the used a hair dryer that frequently stopped working and an electrical heater to dry the stuff enough to pack it in our luggage.
The hostel was far better equipped, they did not only have a washing machine but also a tumble dryer and we quickly took advantage of that. While the clothes were drying we could get in the room, where we thankfully had a nap to recover some energy. I then picked up the dried and warm clothes to throw them onto Doro.
After absorbing all the heat from clothes we finally managed to leave the hostel to check out the northern are of Belfast, with its city centre and some sights to see.
Belfast is not what I would call a beautiful city. Apart from the big botanical garden it does not feature a lot of green stuff and there is so much industrial concrete everywhere. And as the whole are is struggling with economic breakdown it is also visible in the city that most buildings are empty or falling apart.
But not everything, apparently. In the city centre lies a large shopping mall with an open feeling to it. It is covered with a glass roof and has a visitor’s platform the overlooks parts of the city.
The yellow devices on the horizon are two big cranes, called Samson and Goliath, were build to construct the Titanic. It is not known how susceptible they are to attacks by tiny men with slingshots.
As mentioned before, the rest of the town rather looks like this. Charming, I know, but quite sad after a while.
This street leads to the Town Hall, that has been attacked several times during the Belfast riots. It is beautiful and splendid and decadent inside, with marble walls and expensive items on display.
We kind of felt that we saw most of the stuff the city itself had to offer. We were not to keen on taking one of the black taxi tours along the Belfast wall, because it is quite expensive and we got enough famous Walls in Berlin.
We got some reduced grub from a supermarket and enjoyed the rest of the evening in our private room with some channel 4 OD or BBC iPlayer on the computer, catching up on all of the cooking shows we missed while being in the German exile of shitty food shows.