There are no left luggage facilities at the bus and train stations in Belfast for security reasons, too easy to plant an incendary device and leg it.
I do not know where in town you can have left luggage, it is probably just best to grin and bear it really.
With the sea as flat as glass Barbara and I found these signs warning of Danger of 'Unexpected Waves' intriguing. I suppose at certain times this could be a problem as the coastal path is right down at beach level in places. Also large high-speed passenger catarmaran vessels in the lough leave a wake to watch out for, (ususally long after they have passed by!).
I'm embarrassed to admit what I did but I hope my embarrassment might prevent injury or worse to a fellow traveler.
On my last night in Belfast I went to a local pub to get a bite and a pint or two. As my usual habit I took a newspaper with me and read while passing time. After a bit a fellow in a beret and with a knapsack approached and asked if I'd watch his bag while he went to the loo.
OK, Now the alarm bells should have gone off, right? But, oh no, Mr. Congeniality said, "sure, I'll watch it for you."
Well, nothing happened that you would read about in the papers, but afterwords I said to myself, "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?" That bag could have held a bomb set to go off, considering where I was!!
Anyway, to make a long story short the fellow returned, bought me a pint and start to ramble on about The Troubles and his buddies in Columbia. I listened politely for a bit, bought the bloke a pint and made excuses for leaving.
So, the lesson to be learned, if it hasn't soaked in already: DON'T WATCH LUGGAGE FOR SOMEONE ELSE!!
Race attacks are on a steep increase throughout the province,there has been a large number of attacks on ethnic minority owned homes in the Village area just off the Donegall Road mainly orchestrated by the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) but these attacks are not just confined to Belfast,there has been a number of incidents in Craigavon,Co.Armagh and elsewhere,despite the friendliness of all loyalists,they are but not all are quite xenophobic about anyone who is not white,protestant n heterosexual.
With sectarianism and related troubles aside,Belfast is probably in my mind the safest city in the UK,the people are ever so friendly n chatty,u can walk around the city centre at night even alone without any fear whatsoever,unless u do something stupid lol.
Travelling to the nationalist enclave area of Ligoniel in North Belfast may cause headaches as loyalist youths usually fuelled by drink n drugs handed out by 'shabeens' (illegal drinking dens) run by the UDA (Ulster Defense Association) are known to attack any vehicles heading in the direction of Ligoniel by the junction of the Upper Crumlin Road and the Ballysillan Road,usually these attacks occur during night but beware it can happen at any time!
There really is nothing to be worried about when visiting Belfast. It is not a war zone, people are not highly sensitive when talking about the troubles and you won't have to dodge bombs and bullets.
It is really a nice place and you will find that even in working class areas people are very welcoming.
The good thing about Belfast is that it is relatively undiscovered by Tourists who often opt for the south of the island.
What you see is what you get and I can guarantee you will have a great time and taste real Northern Ireland!
Try an Ulster Fry at least once, go shopping (Castle Court is good as too is Donegall Place), Got to the Crown, Lavery's and do venture up to the leafty university area to get a glimpse of the stunning Queens Uni building.
If you do want to see murals and hear about the troubles then get a black taxi tour, it's better craic, more personal and you may even get taken out that evening by the driver himself.
Enjoy and tell all your friends
You may already know that July is not the best time of year to visit Belfast. If there is any tension in the city, it will be during this time. It is not dangerous to be here but it can be very disruptive. Be sure to check with the tourist board before travelling into the city centre to avoid trouble spots. Do not go into these areas! July 2003 passed very peacefully so fingers crossed for more peaceful times.
If you are planning to be in Northern Ireland during July, skip Belfast and head to the countryside. You may find the traffic slow because this is when nearly everyone in Belfast leaves town for their holidays, but there is still plenty of unspoiled countryside to relax in.
During our summer months we have celebrations which take place on the 11th and 12th of July it can cause alot of anger and violence between Potestant and Catholics. The celebrations kick off on the 11th of July with a bonnfire. You can see here the collection of wood which will be prepared for the bonnfire in a loyalist area
Belfast is the safest place to be in the uk. It has the lowest rate of violent crime and personal attack of any uk city. Yes it HAD troubles (terrorism), but primarily only those involved were targeted.
You can walk about any area of the centre, university area and where all the popular bars are until any hour of the morning.
There are drunk people around at 1am, but where doesn't?? I spent time in Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh and there are loads of areas you wouldn't dare go. All the guiness good craic (pronounced crack..good fun) and music chills everyone out.
Ignore those melodramatic people who love to tell tall tales of danger and get over here now! There are bus tours of the old troubles areas for goodness sake...BUS TOURS!! Its ok to come to Belfast!!!!
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