Recover And Return

After last nights crazy shenanigans we rose a little late and a little sore. Gay bars are amazingly fun places to go out. There isn’t any judgement, no matter how crazily you dance, which plays right into my hands! Unfortunately no one was sober enough to engage in any Ceroc, but that’s fine, I just wiggled away on my own. Dancing till about 3 am meant that my legs were knackered this morning and ached all day long.

Our flight wasn’t till 8pm. We had the best part of the day to explore Belfast so we checked out and started to hobble into town with a girl we met at breakfast. She had had a lot of life… we all exchanged embarrassing stories about nights out and tricky situations but as soon as she mentioned she had been homeless, we had lost the competition. A really nice chick, we had a great time quizzing her on what she had been up to and her various lives wandering around the US and Europe. Some people live truly different and, in their own way, exciting lives. Her type of excitement wasn’t quite up my alley. I’d never taze myself for the craic as an example… Or shoot myself in the face with pepper spray to see if i could get used to it… twice… We left her to continue her travels and find new and exciting ways to injure herself. Her life will make a fantastic book one day!

We found Robinsons Bar, one of the oldest pubs in Belfast and famed for having the most Titanic memorabilia on display under one roof. It was a nicely appointed bar, with glass cabinets around the edge with all sorts of interesting artifacts in them. China plates, letters, postcards, plaques from lifeboats and disturbingly, a life jacket. Although, we found out the life jacket was a replica that was used in the film Titanic, rather that one that had been lifted from a frozen corpse, so that was a little less morbid.

We were there for lunch and walked in and went to order some food. The ghostly looking chap behind the counter serving us wore a maroon apron and white formal shirt. His sleeves held taught by armbands and a historically embroidered waistcoat. His greeting was as spectral as his appearance. He was cold and unhelpful and generally seemed to be annoyed at having to serve us… in a nearly empty bar… at lunchtime. I regard myself as quite a polite person so to have received this response was a bit shocking as i hadn’t thought i’d done anything wrong?! Maybe there is something about being English in that pub that i didn’t know?

Anyway, we got the food and had a look around and moved on, clearly not welcome. I was still wearing the snap-back cap from the races and started to wonder if that was associating me with a sub-genre of society not known for its polite conduct? I decided to make a study of it and for the next interaction with an Irishman i removed and hid the potentially offensive article in my bag. The security guard at the Belfast City Hall couldn’t have been more helpful and I’m sure i didn’t approach him any differently to the bartender?! Who knows, maybe he was just having a bad day and took it out on me, or maybe it was the hat tarring me with its chavy brush. Either way, it doesn’t really suit me so i doubt i’ll be wearing it again.

The City Hall was a truly magnificent building. You see pictures of Italian marble opulence in Rome or Venice. Its always surrounded by blue skys, leafy salads and girls in floaty dresses. Somewhat different to the emotionless steel grey of the skys in Belfast that deliver sneezes of rain over a modern city blighted by 60’s architecture in its expansive suburbs. The halls powerful towers of solid stone and domed central green copper peak area all detailed beautifully. Like a jewel in the middle of the city, its wonderful to just stop and look at it shining. Inside, the marble is used wonderful; different tones are used to pick out and paint the rooms detail in shiny stone. It also really satisfied my personal need for symmetry.

It was the end of the day so we only had time for a quick tour of the museum. This shows a glimpse into the historical trading past of Belfast. I’d have liked to spend a great deal more time here reading the information but it was time to go. We had a plane to catch. One i hoped i would be able to get all of my stuff onto!