Thursday, 7 August 2008

Summer Holiday: The Itinerary

Well, plans for the summer holiday are coming along swimmingly, and the excitement is building. One person already has so far asked for a postcard; I recommend that if you want one, you should sign up fast, as they are clearly going to be popular.

When deciding what to do, I felt that it was important to visit both well-known and lesser-known attractions; so, having acquired as many leaflets as I could respectably carry from the tourist place, eliminated everything that I'd already visited and everything I had to pay for (these overlapped quite a lot; my father's financial astuteness meant that most of my childhood days out were spent at free places), I came up with a list of possible options. These were grouped according to location, and travel etc. was considered.

Thus I have formed an itinerary, and present it to you now: (please note that the days might not happen in order; it depends on opening times etc)

Day 1: City Centre - mostly churches
St. Malachy's Church, Albert Street (although this is possibly closed for repair)
St George's Church, High Street
War Memorial and Home Front Exhibition
Writers' Square (possibly have lunch here or hereabouts)
St Anne's Cathedral
Sinclair Seamen's Church
War Memorial Building
Belfast Exposed Exhibition
If I have time left over, I will also visit the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Linenhall Library and Central Library.

Day 2: West Belfast
Fernhill House - the people's museum, which costs £2 to get in, but which houses 'the largest collection of Loyal Orders Memorabilia in the world' and cannot, therefore, reasonably be missed.
Clonard Monastery
Belfast Castle, Cave Hill and perhaps the zoo

Day 3: Bits and Bobs (to be done by bike)
St Peter's Cathedral (possibly this will move to Day 2 if there is time)
Laganside Art Trail - I will endeavour to find and photograph each piece of art (I may do a few of these during the other days, since, for example, there is one in Writers' Square)
Aunt Sandra's Candy Factory - ho, yes, sweeties

So this is the plan. I'm not sure about travel arrangements for Day 2; whether to drive or take the bus. If anyone can tell me how to get to Clonard Monastery from a bus route, I'd be grateful. Day 3, being navigated by bike, is rather weather-dependent, so it may have to wait if next week is very wet. Also, I had forgotten that I promised I'd visit my parents next week, so I may have to postpone some of the activities until the following week. But I will keep you informed.


Sean said...

After looking at your itinerary, I thought I would visit Fernhill House (which I had not heard of before) to find it all locked up and by virtue of the fact that it has a number of smashed windows, it may well have been closed for some time. May be worth checking this out before making your way up there.

Ended up doing the Causeway coastal route instead.

whynotsmile said...

Ah, thanks for the tip! It still has an active website - odd that they haven't updated that!

Maybe I'll take in some murals instead...

Sean said...

I could be wrong and it may have been closed for a special occasion that I didn't know about.

The domain name expires on 20th August. If it is not renewed, it doesn't look good for it still being open.

On a slightly related note, on the Causeway coastal route around 12.15pm, we stopped at a little pub that advertised "food served all day". When we perused the menu and went to order, we were told the kitchen wasn't open yet. Northern Ireland still has some way to go when dealing with tourists.