Parting is such sweet sorrow, today was my final day in Belfast. I started out with a final breakfast at the cafe.
What constantly surprised me is places I thought were just for hostel guests, as in they were connected or just inexpensive food, but locals came and ate at the cafe too.
I don’t know, eating at a youth hostel or YMCA equivalent seems odd to me. I can’t place my reason for this opinion to this point, but clearly I was wrong. It was good food.
I never really saw or talked to any of my roommates, and there were a couple groups who passed through. Like passing ships in the night I suppose.
Checking out the train options for some reason I elected to walk to the main station vs. hopping on at the small station close by. I think this had to do with extra cost to some degree, or maybe I just wanted to walk through the city 1 more time.
The walk along the River Langan passes by the main rail station so that was the path I chose, one away from cars and traffic.
I’d just missed a train by about 5 minutes so I had to wait for about an hour for another 1. There weren’t many tracks at this station, maybe 3 I want to say.
Ireland sure is green and pretty. I do enjoy a train ride. Play some tunes and watch the countryside rolling by is nice.
A short ride to Dublin. Nice to have good weather for a change. Well it wasn’t overcast down in Dublin anyway.
For once I took my hostel’s location in relation to the train station, so it was a short walk.
It seemed to be about writers here as I walked on James Joyce Street to my hostel.
Check-in was a breeze and I was soon greeted by a guy and a gal laying on their bunks in the room. The girl was just as pretty as the guy was creepy. I mean dude turned out to be a step away from only wearing a long raincoat.
We chatted a bit about where we were from. The guy was Austrian, shaggy greasy dirty blonde haired guy who would just fire odd questions at you for a few moments before saying, ‘I must go smoke,” then leave for a bit, return as if nothing happened and resumed talking.
The girl related she was just beginning her trip through the island and through the UK.
I bade them a goodnight and headed out to see what was good in Dublin. 1st order of business was to get a Guinness, brewed right here.
A main street close to the hostel was severely under construction. I noted about 3 tough looking pubs on this side of the street.
Soon I was walking on O’Connell Street and encountered the Spire. It’s a big spike in the middle of a street, mainly used as a meeting place or orientation spot.
Ah a bridge over the River Liffey, I paused on the bridge to watch a ship pass under.
Wow, Dublin was beautiful, very cool city already and I just arrived. Continuing on the path I begin to keep an eye out for a cool pub.
I found one, a couple seats at the bar, right near the tap. I could watch the bartender pour Guinness, maybe learn a proper pouring technique.
Probably in my head but the Guinness here was very good, creamy malty. Different than I can remember even compared to Belfast.
The place was full of people, eyes tuned to TV’s with a sport I’ve never seen before. It looks like rugby but with sticks. Ah because rugby clearly isn’t violent enough, let’s give them a weapon too.
These guys were charging at each other full speed, trying to knock the ball holder down to get the ball back. Slashing their sticks while they ran.
I was watching the all Ireland hurling championships and by the sound of things, a lot of people here were well invested in the game.
There is always lots of singing, chanting at oversea events, made me wish we had something similar for baseball games in the US. Makes games much more of a group experience.
I decided to finish out the match here before heading out. 1 more perfectly poured pint of Guinness my good man!
Pint after pint, all Guinness, all night, my goodness! Tray after tray kept going out.
A huge cheer, Tipperary were the winners! A victory song was sung.
I give a nod to the bartender while saying thank you and back on the streets I went.
A bit hungry for some more fun or more like it I was just physically hungry.
There was a corner spot called Doyle’s that looked perfect. Fairly small place with not many seats, but there were some around the bar so I took a seat and scanned the taps.
They had it, Tubög! A beer I’d had a lot when I was in Copenhagen a couple years ago.
I’ve not seen it since, but the reality is it isn’t a great beer, just a good memory in a pint.
A guy sitting next to me commented on the beer, ‘that’s where I am from! Why do you like it?’ he asked.
I told him about my Copenhagen trip and we traded some info about the city as I’d only seen a small portion of it. He had grown up there but was now seemed to always be traveling for business. I think he was a banker.
He knew a lot about Dublin and filled me in pretty well whilst I enjoyed a burger, he just drank, like a machine, beer after beer.
“See Dublin College, don’t go to Jameson tour, Guinness is good, get an Irish fry up at least once, it is my favorite thing to eat in Dublin. So so good!’ he said.
By this point, he had a 3/4ths full pint in front of him. He chugged the pint, then hit the streets. Time to go.
After another pint for me, it was time for me to leave as well.
Once at the bridge, I paused just staring at the water. I don’t know how long I was out there looking at the water but I found some peace in that water, if only for a moment.
Song: My Bloody Valentine When You Sleep