“Sinking head down. Come soon as possible.”
Titanic to Olympic, 1:10 am, April 15, 1912
We enjoyed our last breakfast at the Anchor House B&B in Dublin this morning. Both Susan and I had poached eggs on toast with beans. I’ve had more eggs and beans the last while than I’ve had for a long time 😀.
We left just before 9 am and walked about 10 minutes in the rain to Connolly train station, where we entered the code into the machines and got our tickets for the train to Belfast (we had booked the train tickets online). After a short while we boarded our train and found our seats. Most of the seating is laid out with four seats facing each other, with a table in between. A sweet older couple from Newry, Northern Ireland, sat across from us. It was quite comfortable, but a little squishy, with not much leg between us and the couple across from us. Despite the rain, the scenery was quite pretty as we left Dublin.
The train stopped at Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry (where the couple got off), and Portadown, before arriving at the Lanyon station in Belfast. We asked an
attendant about whether to take the bus or get a taxi to our hotel and he suggested a taxi as we’d have to walk 10 minutes or so if we took the bus (and it was raining quite hard at this point). I could barely understand the attendant, he had a very different accent from the people in Dublin. We had a very nice taxi driver, and it only cost 4 pounds for the short ride. Our hotel, the Bullitt, is very nice, and rather posh after our B&Bs. We settled into our room, and went for a walk around the area. It was steadily raining all this time. We went for lunch at a restaurant quite close by (Waldorf salad and a Harp lager). The salad was a nice change. We wandered for little while, popping into some shops on the way back to the hotel.
We zipped in quickly to our room for a bathroom break and then got a taxi to the Titanic Quarter, just in time for our 3 pm timed entry to the Titanic Exhibit. We had also booked the audio tour online, and the audio tour turned out to be fantastic. I would
Waldorf salad and Harp Lager
definitely recommend it for anyone visiting the Exhibit. We spent about 3 hours in total at the Exhibit, including visiting the SS Nomadic (tender for the 1st and 2nd class passengers on the Titanic and the Olympic). The Exhibit was really good, and we enjoyed it a lot. It was a self-guided tour (much enhanced by the audio tour) through a series of exhibits starting with the history of Belfast, to the the conception, design, and construction of the Titanic, and onto the maiden voyage, the collision, the sinking, and the aftermath. It was really well done, and quite moving.
We finished about 6 pm, and called for a taxi, but were told the wait would be 1/2 hour, so we ended up walking all the way back. It was an interesting walk along the docks and Lagan River, through the Lagan Weir, over a foot bridge back to central Belfast. It was pouring rain the whole time, and so we stopped at McHugh’s, a pub founded in 1711 (!) for a fortifying Guinness, before returning to the Bullitt. Since it was quite late at this time, and still pouring rain, we decided to eat in the hotel’s restaurant.
We had a really nice meal of two vegetarian dishes (gnocchi, and a curry), along with a gin and tonic each, followed by delicious Irish coffee (I think I’m becoming addicted to Irish coffees), and a really nice pistachio cake.
We were happy to return to our room and get to bed. We are hoping the weather improves for our day tour to the Giant’s Causeway tomorrow!
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