If only we had known that we could not get to Belfast from Clifden, we could have saved over €70 by buying the cheaper round trip bus tickets from Clifden to Galway, and then Galway to Dublin where we took the train to Belfast.
We arrived in Belfast around 7 PM. There were no city maps in the station and the Tourist Center was closed, as were most restaurants and cafes in the area. Without an internet location, we could not search room availability.
If only we had known that Belfast was hosting the World Police and Fire Games, we might have made alternate plans. With over 10, 000 participants, many with friends and relatives, the city’s accommodations were nil– we got the last room in the city for a whopping £130 ($200). For that price, you would expect a clean fully functional room and free WiFi. What a rip off!
On our way to the hotel, we passed St. Anne’s Cathedral (of the Church of Ireland) with its Spire of Hope (pictured above, left). Dennis commented that it looked like the world’s biggest lightening rod. Across from the street is Writer’s Square (left). There are quotations from 27 deceased Northern Ireland authors inscribed in stones around the square. Dennis and I are glad to note that our names are not in there, especially since we are not deceased, even if we don’t qualify as Irish.