A bit of poetry in Duke of York...
83 Botanic Ave
What it looks like when you are passing through the entries
- City Centre - Where else begin than in the centre. We wandered around for about two hours, strolling through the main streets (passing the beautiful City Hall) and exploring narrow alleyways called 'Belfast Entries', where you can find plenty of bars and amazing street art (and a lot of fairy lights. But you get to see those everywhere, so get ready for one of the most magical nights!).
- H&W Cranes - I was laughing when my friend pointed out the significantly yellow cranes hanging in the shipyard. But that's because I did not realize that Belfast is an industrial city famous for building ships (yes, including Titanic, although these two cranes you get to see did not actually take part in the Titanic's construction) ready to cruise the world. They are visible from various points in the city and towards the end of my visit I couldn't help myself but fall in love with them (and yes, I also got a postcard depicting these yellow beauties!).
- Peace Walls - I had read about them in my books for the university. Yet, it was something completely different to actually see them. I did not take any photos here, because I wanted to remember the place rather than mindlessly take snaps. If you are planning a visit to Belfast, find out a little bit about its history (for example by reading the powerful book Bear in Mind These Dead by Susan McKay, which could help you to understand the purpose of these walls) and pay a visit to this place. I got a tour guided by Anna's dad, for which I am incredibly grateful. He told us a lot of interesting stories, which gave me a whole new perspective. So thank you for that!
- Queen's University Campus + Ulster Museum + Botanic Gardens - All of these are basically next to each other, so start in front of the university, continue to the Ulster museum (if you are a Game of Thrones' fan, have a look on the museum's program - the last time I was there with Anna, there was a themed exhibition about this popular TV show) and then walk through the Botanic Gardens and wander around. The whole area is super cute looking with great atmosphere and a lot of students.
- No Alibis Bookstore (83 Botanic Ave) - You know me - books, books, books and bookshops. Anna's mom gave her the tip to take me into this bookshop in the student quarter of the city (thank you Jane for that!) and I obviously got myself a book (Half of a Yellow Sun by my favourite Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie).
- Commercial Court - This wee street has my favourite pub and a little courtyard with hanging yellow umbrellas in its entrance hall and graffiti on its walls, depicting all the famous people from Northern Ireland (so yes, you will get to see Jamie Dornan, among others).
Places to go for a drink:
- The Spaniard (3 Skipper St) - My motto is always listen to the locals when it comes to exploring cities, and this is one of Anna's favourite places in Belfast to get a drink in! Plus, now the outside facade of the bar is painted, looking like the space, and surrounded with lightbulbs.
- Duke of York (Commercial Court) - They have beer stickers and beer coasters all over the place (including walls and ceiling), and they have poetry on the stairs leading to the toilets. Need I say more?
- Muriel's Bar (12-14 Church Ln) - Perfect place for lovely cocktails. Amazing atmosphere and knickers hanging from the ceiling (no, I am not joking, and yes, it looks really cool!!!).
Btw, my friend, who studies her final year of medicine, also sings and plays piano. You can listen to her album here on Spotify.