August 26th, 2019

Beware of Trains

All The Stations (Belfast Edition)

Today we had a full day and no commitments and a Belfast Metro Area bus/rail pass. Aside from sleeping in an extra half-hour, we had nothing to do today, so we set out to cover at least the rest of the area our train pass happened. Thanks to a couple of friendly NI Railways train managers, we got more than our money's worth out our passes.

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We could have stayed on the train from Lisburn, which reverses at Great Victoria Street and goes out the Bangor line, but that's where we went yesterday when we went to the Railway Museum. There was still one more line to ride. But it's an easy transfer to a train bound for Larne Harbour here.

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Coming back in to Belfast, we got final looks at places we've been a lot the past few days.

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I popped out for drinks from Tesco Express and a burrito while Lisa took a bath. After I ate, she ordered a pizza from the hotel. When it was ready, I went down and collected it (saving a room service charge), and also redeemed a coupon the hotel had given me for my birthday (which is tomorrow) for a free beverage. (I'm a cheap coupon, as I don't drink alcohol.)

After dinner, Lisa and I did most of our packing except for what has to be done after we get up in the morning. The alarm is set for 4:30 AM for me. Our bus from Europa is at 6:45 AM for an 8:45 arrival at Dublin Airport, and our Saga class seats to Iceland await.

It's been a great week in Belfast. It would have been a nicer week in Dublin as well if I'd made the right decision about hotels. Knowing what we know now, had we paid for a room in the Gibson (using my IHG credit card) and stayed here in the Holiday Inn Belfast (again using the IHG card), the resulting points would probably have pushed me up to IHG Spire status for the rest of this year and all of next year, and I would have been in a better position to stay in Wellington on points if all went well. There's nothing that can be done about it now, but I can say that should travel bring me to Belfast again, the Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre will be my first choice to stay.

Meanwhile, maybe I'd better get some sleep.