Late Morning Start in Belfast
After sleeping in this morning, we didn’t get a start on our day until around 10am. We were hungry, and I needed some coffee so we walked to a local coffee shop for breakfast. I ordered a macchiato…it was not at all what I expected. We had to order a cafe Americano as well to dilute the espresso. The rest of meal was delicious! Breakfast totaled 18.05 pounds.
Belfast Castle – The Wrong Way!
We drove into town to see the Belfast castle. Our GPS has been great in helping us navigate the one way roads and through all the roundabouts, except when taking us to Belfast castle. We were headed up a one way, narrow, winding, steep street…the WRONG WAY! Thank God no one was coming! We toured the grounds of the beautiful castle that sits on top of Cave Hill. The castle is now managed by the city council and so the interior has been renovated to serve as banquet rooms and office spaces. Unfortunately the visitor’s center was closed since they were preparing for a wedding.
Maybe We Should Have Changed Some Money to Pounds?
We left the castle grounds and tried to go to the children’s playground/park located near our car. The kids were so excited seeing the zip line and a spiderweb climbing area…unfortunately we didn’t have any currency in pounds to pay for our admission. No credit card was accepted! Cue my daughter pouting. But we assured the kids we would find lots of neat things at the local area market, so headed to park our car in the town center. The Titanic museum is located within walking distance, and my husband and I thought it would be neat to visit this museum as it’s one of the “World’s Leading Tourist Attractions of 2016.” The kids though had no interest in seeing the museum though, so we looked at the infamous yellow cranes and the exterior museum from afar.
Caught Again with No Money (Pounds) In Our Pocket
We headed to the much awaited St George’s Market. As we walked in we could hear the sounds of the crowd talking and the live music and smell the delicious aromas of all the freshly prepared items. We decided to try one of these interesting looking seasoned potato chips on a stick…only to find out they do not accept credit cards. Much to our dismay the vast majority of the vendors do not accept credit cards and no one knew where we could exchange our american dollars for pounds locally :-(. So, we walked around the whole market torturing ourselves while salivating at the delicious aromas. Cue my daughter and son pouting now.
Victoria Square Mall Almost Seems Like an Amusement Park
Only a few blocks from St George’s Market is Victoria Square. This mall is unbelievable! It has a viewing platform through a dome where you can see most of the city and the mall is partially outside and partially inside. The mall has all the typical stores and restaurants, and we enjoyed looking around. My son is determined to purchase an Ipad, so he and my husband went to the apple store and did some browsing and trying out the merchandise. Not that my husband has any remote intention to buy him one, but he thought it would be fun to at least look at them.
Needless to say we didn’t purchase an Ipad today :-). While they were playing around in the apple store, my daughter and I enjoyed the free entertainment. Evian was handing out free water and had a Playstation system with the controllers with the colored balls on the end set up with a tennis game. My daughter got in line to play the game and registered to win a free fit-bit. While she played the event coordinator talked to me about everything from my job in the states, to the availability of physiotherapists (what the Europeans call Physical Therapists) in Northern Ireland, and must do’s while in Belfast!
We had dinner at a restaurant in the mall called Frankie and Benny’s. It was a great place and the kids meals came with dessert! My husband and I shared an appetizer and the kids ate their own meals and it cost us 21.65 pounds. After dinner we walked over to the Belfast City Hall, which was the one absolute must do recommendations from the event coordinator. Wow! The building is breathtaking, we didn’t get to take a tour as it was closed already! I also found it interesting that at least 200 people were relaxing and lying on the lawn of the City Hall after hours. In the states these government buildings are fenced and guarded.
Cool City Street Art in Belfast
We walked around the city for a little searching for street art and found a couple of neat ones.
We finished the night with ice cream for dinner at a local ice cream shop near the apartment. I had a waffle with ice cream and Nutella. The kids and my husband had 2 desserts each! The total we spent on dinner/dessert was 20.25 pounds.
Tomorrow morning we have another early day as we are heading north to see a lot of much anticipated sights and then south west, ending up almost exactly west of Belfast, to stay the night.