Monday, June 20, 2016

Ireland - Day 1 (Belfast)

Our honeymoon trip! We got married on June 5, 2016 and we left for Ireland on June 6, 2016 and will be coming back to Toronto on June 18, 2016. We will be visiting Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Dingle, Cork, and Dublin on this trip and we will be renting a car.

Our rental for the next 11 days, a Renault Clio.
We arrived at the airport around 9:45pm and check in was quick again. I really don't quite understand why it is busy and you should be there early and when it is not so that you can take your time. Terminal 3 of Pearson Airport looks like it has lots of renovations happening and it will be nice when completed.

Random art we saw on the way to Belfast.
Our flight to Ireland was full and we are with Air Transat again much like our first trip to Italy. I couldn't really fall asleep on the flight even though it was a midnight flight. Dinner was provided which was a choice of sandwich and some cookies, we got a slice of pound cake just before arrival. The seating is really tight from what I recall and I think that we won't be taking Air Transat again. Unfortunately, Allison was seated next to someone that was a bit bigger and they were oozing into her and it didn't help that I was doing the same on the other side =( Hopefully I look back at this post and remember to just pay extra for a better airline.

Queen's University Belfast building.
Behind us was a father and son who were going to Ireland to see Neil Young. It was a bit odd since if I didn't look back, I swear he sounded like Conan O'Brien in how he talks and made ridiculous comments and claims. The row in front had a really drunk person who was trying to order drinks before they were even served. Once they were, he passed out and smelled of alcohol. Quite the trip!

Random church in Belfast.
We arrived at the border at 11:30am and it took us 30 minutes. We were lucky because we were row 12 of 30 on the plane, so we beat a lot of people there.

Our rental was with Sixt which we used while in Europe and we knew that it would be expensive for car insurance, but we felt that it was safer to just pay for it so that it would be dealt with instead of using the insurance that is included with my credit card. Maybe at the end of the trip I'll appreciate our choice but better safe than sorry. It cost us 350 € for 11 days.

Belfast City Hall.
Driving in Ireland means that we drive on the left instead of the right. Again, lucky for us, the car rental exits to the highway and it is highway for a majority of the drive to Belfast and that gave me some time to get used to sitting and driving on the opposite side. Once it got to city, it was a bit weird, but it didn't feel as bad as I thought it would, maybe that insurance will be used after all?

Our hub will be at The Gregory House in Belfast which is roughly 20-25 minutes by foot to the city center. After we checked in and got some information, we walked to the city center to have a look around and maybe do the Titanic Museum.

We got to the tourist information site and got a lot of information and decided to eat, wander the area a bit and try to do the Black Cab Tour after. Dinner was at Flame on Howard St and between 5:00pm and 6:30pm there is a pre-theater special which is 14£ for two course or 19£ for three. I ordered the Chilli 'N' Garlic Dough Balls to start and the Chicken 65 for my main, Allison got the Duck Pate to start and the Salmon as the main. Allison liked her dishes, however, I thought mine was pretty boring. I wouldn't suggest this restaurant based on what I got.

Dough Balls on top, duck pate on the bottom. 
Salmon on the left, chicken on the right.
After dinner, we realized that we were both pretty tired and decided to walk back to the hotel and call it a night even though there was still plenty of daylight left, little did we know that the sun doesn't set until 11:00pm right now in Ireland.

Tomorrow, we visit Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede bridge!