Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Enterprise to Belfast (With Unwanted Bustitution)

This morning, we packed out of the Holiday Inn Express. I won't miss it, I'm afraid. I let us sleep in too long, so when I got back from breakfast I found we were running a bit short on time. It took a long time to pack up our room — long enough that we couldn't afford to use the rest of our Leap card credit to take the Luas, and instead we spent €10 to take a taxi from our hotel to Connolly Station. We could also have walked, but we have a lot of luggage, and even that relatively short walk was too much in these circumstances.


The train from Dublin to Belfast is called the Enterprise, and here it is sitting at the buffers at Dublin Connolly about fifteen minutes before departure. We lumped all of our bags on board and took our seats.

The trip by train was nice, but unfortunately due to track work on the Northern Ireland side of the Border, we had to get off short of the Border and board a bus for Belfast. As it happens, Lisa and I were among the very last people off the train, and were two of only three passengers on the last bus. The bus was comfortable enough, had wi-fi, and a USB charger at each seat. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of the way to Belfast, our bus stalled at a junction. Although they did eventually get it restarted, they decided that the bus could not be operated with passengers, and had us join the following bus, although our luggage continued on the bus on which we were riding.

Many of our friends were on that following bus, but it was no bargain. There was no wi-fi, and the ventilation wasn't working. It was a muggy, miserable trip to Belfast Layton Place.

Cheryl met us at the station and helped Lisa and I make our way over to Great Victoria Street, the other major station, across from which was our hotel. (She's staying across the street.)

Room With a Train View

We are at the Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre. Unlike the Express, we got a room with a bathtub, and in fact got a Platinum member upgrade to a larger room. This was a big relief after the limited Express room. I'm surprised to find that even the Holiday Inn doesn't have much storage space. This is the view from our eighth-floor room, which looks down toward Great Victoria Street station and trains coming and going to it.

While Lisa took a very-much-needed-bath, I took our laundry down to Spin City, a coin-operated laundry not too far from the hotel. Cheryl and helpfully given me GBP coins and some extra money. (I later gave her the demonetized ten-pound note and one-pound coins I had from previous trips; she can exchange them at her bank later.) It took about an hour to do our laundry and a little bit longer to get back to the hotel, where Lisa, who has been in a considerable pain (TMI not shared), felt much better after a long bath and a pizza from room service.

Lisa and I then went back out for a walk around the immediate area so we could both be familiar with it. Returning to the hotel, we had dinner in the restaurant (I have an offer for bonus IHG points for eating there). I all but inhaled dinner, but felt a lot better afterwards.

I'm glad to have the extra room. I also hope that over the next few days I will be able to get more than three or four hours of sleep each night.
Tags: hotels, ireland, lisa, trains

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