Weekend in Belfast - Day 1

There are three options to get from Dublin to Belfast: car, train, and bus.  We don't have a car and the train is pretty expensive so we decided to take the bus.
After about 2.5 hours (with no bathroom on the bus!), we arrived in Belfast.  I liked this colorful waterfall statue in the station that doubles as a bench.
Right outside, we saw this Monument to the Unknown Woman Worker.
We were intrigued by a Slovak grocery store (Slovak Point) that we passed.  The Boston Bruins hockey team had recently been in town for an exhibition game and Zdeno Chara has stopped in and signed their wall.
We felt very welcome in Belfast, even before we encountered this neon sign.
We passed Ulster Hall (home of the Belfast City Council) which sported a colorful crest on top.
Cupcakes seem to be quite popular in Belfast.  We couldn't resist stopping into the Little Cupcake Cafe.
We tried two unique flavors -- apple toffee, and pear caramel.  Both are highly recommended autumn flavors.
The architecture in the city is beautiful -- especially the Belfast City Hall and surrounding square.
Ulster History Circles dot the city.  I liked this one for John Boyd Dunlop.  He was a veterinarian from Belfast who also invented the modern tire.
We love a good weekend market so were excited to check out St. George's Market in the heart of town.
We sampled some excellent Indian food from Goloka Catering.
We spotted a variety of eye-catching items for sale and to eat.

We walked for a while along the River Lagan with some beautiful lampposts and statues along the banks.
I spotted this Sail and Tentmakers shop.  I wonder how much business they do these days.
We saw this geodesic dome in the distance.  We could only imagine what might be inside -- a biosphere project?  a planetarium?
This clock-tower helped us get our bearings as we explored the city.
We saw quite a bit of graffiti around including this evil blue chipmunk glancing askew.
Looking down a side alley, we saw a familiar statue -- it's Jim Larkin who also sits very prominently in the same pose on O'Connell Street in Dublin.
A black-and-white mural dedicated to Belfast led us back to the main road.
We saw another familiar looking site.  The Spire in Dublin rises along O'Connell Street.  Here we saw a similar 'needle' rising out of a local church.
We walked along Commercial Court -- a charming back-street featuring more colorful art.  Some was inspired by Salvador Dali.
We noticed a bit of Art Deco sprinkled around town among the predominantly Victorian era buildings.
Another impressive site was the inside of this Tesco supermarket built in the former First Trust Bank.  I'm inspired by the work Tesco did to preserve the elegance of the space.
We had a light lunch at the Fountain Tavern.  I noticed this sign for the Warwickshire Cockfighting Association:  "All cocks must be inspected before entering the ring".  It was an amusing and unexpected sight.
After sundown, we saw this twisted metal statue in the center of the pedestrian district.
We also spotted a roof that reminded us of the geodesic dome we'd seen earlier.
We went inside and found it -- it wasn't a biosphere or planetarium but rather a mall!  We did enjoy trekking to the top of the sci-fi-esque structure for panoramic views of the Belfast.
We covered over 5.5 miles in our jaunt around town with more to come in the evening - stay tuned.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Weekend in Belfast - Day 1
Weekend in Belfast - Day 1
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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