Belfast - It's Christmas Time in the City

Belfast had advertised a 'Continental' Christmas Market near City Hall which is one of the key reasons we decided to make the journey there at this time of year.  We were looking forward to a little glühwein to warm up from the cold rain.

Getting into the spirit, we waved to Santa as the Santa Bus drove past.
The citizens of Belfast are a hearty bunch and there were a decent number of people out despite the bad weather.  The only thing missing was the signature souvenir mug that you'd expect to find at a 'continental' market.  We were even more disappointed because the advertisement for the market specifically said that there would be mugs!  Oh well...perhaps they were so popular that they sold out two weeks before Christmas.
We decided to decamp to the Cathedral Quarter to the intriguing Bittles Bar.
The place was packed but we timed it well and managed to find a small table tucked in the corner.  It was here as we were logged into the free wi-fi that we discovered that a bomb had gone off in this very neighborhood the night before.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.  It's sad that The Troubles still continue in this part of the world.  The good thing is that most people seemed undeterred by the previous day's excitement.  In fact, two parents and their pre-teen daughter sat at the table next to us.  We tried a few of the craft brews and ciders on offer including Pig Island Pale from Ards Brewing Company...
...and MacIvor's Cider.
We admired the paintings of various Irish writers and politicians surrounding us on all sides.
We felt an additional bit of Christmas spirit when the family at the next table busted out McCoy's Salt and Malt Vinegar Potato Chips and proceeded to hand us two personal sized bags.  My favorite!  We enjoyed a brief chat before rushing out to catch our train back to Dublin.
What a nice conclusion to our Northern Irish day trip.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Belfast - It's Christmas Time in the City
Belfast - It's Christmas Time in the City
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