August 25th, 2019

Beware of Trains

To The Trains! (Again!)

We worked out that we need to catch a 6:45 AM bus pm Tuesday morning from Europa Bus Terminal (across the street from our hotel) to be at Dublin Airport for 8:45 for our 11:45 AM flight to Reykjavik. We've won our bid for a Saga class upgrade for this flight, which means we'll have access to an airport lounge, and thus we should be able to get breakfast there. This is good because we have to leave too early to get the breakfast we already paid for at the Holiday Inn. To my relief, the hotel front desk was able to take the £20 off our bill for that final morning.

After checking at Europa about how to book the bus to Dublin Airport, Lisa and I boarded a train at Great Victoria Street heading toward Lanyon Place. As it happens, it was the same train (but one hour earlier) that we planned to take out toward Cultra and the Ulster Transport Museum. We went to the Hilton and waited in the lobby, socializing with fans who were around that morning. I also downloaded the Translink app and while waiting managed to book Lisa and me for the bus on Tuesday morning.

Feòrag NicBhrìde joined us and we headed out to Cultra. The reason Lisa and I bought local bus-rail cards is that they include trains on that line as far as Cultra, which is convenient.

Collapse )

After traversing a gallery about the Titanic and its sister ships, including the class ship Olympic, we moved in to the Bus and Tram Gallery.

Collapse )

We moved on to the Automobile gallery.

Collapse )

And almost finally, the Air Gallery.

Collapse )

I did not get any pictures of the horse-drawn carriages gallery. There is one full-sized ship on the grounds of the museum.

Collapse )

We spend more than four hours here, stopping back in the train gallery for a snack.

Collapse )

Returning to the gift shop, we managed to escape buying only two train books. I'm glad I sent a few kilograms of stuff home by mail, so there's no question that there's enough room for a couple of small train and air books.

Collapse )

At the Hilton, we said goodbye to Feòrag and sat down in the Eurocon social space on the first floor, socializing with some of the people who had not gone off on the convention's all-day bus tour. When I tweeted out that we'd settled in, Cheryl Morgan headed over from her hotel, having dressed to impress for that evening's Game of Thrones-inspired banquet.

Collapse )

We hung around for a while socializing as the various bus groups returned and things got busy again. When the doors opened for the banquet, I gave Cheryl a goodbye hug and Lisa and I joined Sharon Sbarsky looking for our own dinner (none of us having booked for the banquet). We headed for Fish City, located about 750 m from the Hilton.

Collapse )

We've had a lot of fish and chips on this trip, but the ones we had at Fish City, plus the seafood chowder, was among the best of the lot. I'm willing to admit that our exhaustion from all of our walking today (13K steps) may have improved the savor, and that it was improved by the company and by the lack of time pressure. After dinner, we took a taxi back to the hotel and headed back to Lanyon Place.

Trains don't run as often on Sundays and Bank Holidays (like tomorrow), and if the gate staff hadn't radioed ahead to have the crew on the platform hold the train that was arriving just as we came through the gate, we would have had a 40 minute wait for the next one. (Which in practice means that we would have walked "home" instead.)

Unlike most of our friends who have either left already or are on their way home tomorrow, we have one more day in Belfast tomorrow before we move on to our next stop: Iceland. We haven't figured out what we're going do to on Monday, but that's okay. We can't be out that long anyway due to the early morning departure on Tuesday.