Hey-o! It’s been an exhausting few days, but since the real tourism begins tomorrow, I thought I’d post a couple photos of the neighborhood where I’m staying in east Belfast. The photo on the left is of the street where my AirBnb is located. I’m renting a room in a condo with an administrative assistant-slash-photographer-slash-native Belfaster (ian?).
The two days it took to get here were insane! Flew out of Tucson at 10 a.m., spent much of the day sitting on the ground in Terminal 2 of LAX because I couldn’t check in early (why are there no seats there??), then had a ten-hour nonstop to Dublin. The airline was decent and the person sitting next to me was a 56-year-old Californian woman traveling to Edinburgh to meet her boyfriend, who she hopes will propose to her. We didn’t spend the entire flight talking, thankfully, or my brain would’ve been mush. I had a hard time as is pulling myself together for immigration at Dublin. The immigration officer was super unfriendly and seemed to think I was an idiot. I told him I was sightseeing and he asked, “But what are you going to be doing during your visit?” SEEING THINGS IS DOING SOMETHING, FRIEND.
Then the 2-hour bus to Belfast, a 2.5 hour wait and taxi ride that my cabbie said was horrific–multiple accidents downtown and torrential rain. “I’ve never seen it this bad,” he told me. So by the time I arrived, the small intact segment of my brain had also turned to mush. But my Airbnb host has a dog, a chocolate lab named Heidi that I’ve bribed into friendship with treats (which are just her kibble, dispersed one piece at a time.)
I’ve been exploring the neighborhood, shopping at Tesco superstore and the Asian supermarket. I love trying new random things from foreign grocery stores. Tomorrow I’m going on a walking tour called “Troubles: Walls & Bridges” and possible a tour of City Hall.