Travel Blogs from Belfast
... spent walking around and checking out a few things that the old lady had told us about. We visited the area where the Titanic was built and also saw the big newspaper fish. We then made our way to the botanic garden and the Queens University of Belfast.
On the wednesday we were on our way to Giant's Causeway! The first stop was at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. We walked over the tiny, swaying bridge to a small island ...
... place. We drove in and parked and were told we would have over two hours there. Seemed a bit overkill but we started the walk down to the causeway (of course the annoying people in front of us took the bus). We saw the camel (a rock formation that looks kind of like a...camel) and the old lady (same thing but old lady) and got to the causeway itself. It all of a sudden changes from normal coastline into black hexagonal blocks stacked up on top of each other like legos. ****'s ...
... It was a very interesting tour and opened my eyes up to the events that went on in Ireland. I can not speak of the history as I am uneducated on the events but here is a run down of our day. We first went to the Catholic side where Paddy (our taxi driver, not a tour guide, who grew up in Ireland in the times of the troubles) gave us a run down of the conflict. "The Troubles" refers to the three decades of violence between the ...
... the folk heroes of the Troubles, and popular Irish history.
One of the murals stuck out in particular. Called the Mona Lisa of Belfast, it features a Protestant paramilitary soldier pointing a gun at the viewer. No matter where you stand the riffle is always pointing at you - a visceral visual reminder of just how real the conflict was.
From Shankill, we were taken to the "peace wall" which divides the two neighbourhoods. The Protestant side ...
... who kept stopping every 5 minutes to show us one photo or another. On the way back we passed HEAPS of heavily armed policemen, who were all around the streets. Apparently there had been a bit of a protest or a fight or something going down around the area, and there were extra police in the area tightening security, because Obama was visiting the next day for the G8 summit. We eventually made our way back to the hostel, via a "shortcut", and went to ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews CitiLodge Belfast
We went to Belfast for Tennets Vitail and since Helga House was close by it seemed the prefect place. it was very quaint but clean and comfortible. the slice of ham at Breakfast was a bit weird but everything else was ok. i would go back, i felt relaxed and in good suroundings. not to bad at all, plenty of hot water and the sheets and towels where nice and fresh.
Stayed at the Helga Lodge, (unfortunately) room tiny, decor awful, ensuite shower room so small you could not dry yourself without doing yourself an injury. Every thing including breakfast cheap and basic, do yourself a favour do not stay here. £25 per person per night is way, way to expensive.
I stayed in Helga Lodge for 2 nights with a group of friends. I think we all had the same complaints about it. My room was freezing cold when I got there, luckily there was a small heater in the room. The common areas were unheated which in february made them freezing. The decor in the room was really dated with clashing patterns and colours. The ensuite resembled a wardrobe with a toilet and shower. There was no hot water on the firts morning, and no shampoo or shower gel. The towels smelled of cigarette smoke which was quite unpleasant. Some of our group who were supposed to have ensuites had just a shower cubicle in their room which if you were sharing with friends would be rather awkward. The breakfast was awful - like the other reviews I was amazed to find ham instead of bacon. Luckily the toast was edible. I would not recommend staying there to anyone. £50 seems like a complete rip-off when you see this place.
Under no circumstances stay in the Helga Lodge. The place is awful, run down and unpleasant. Our room was cold, damp and PINK (walls, carpet, ceiling, sheets, sink, toilet, soap, curtains, all pink) Inside of shower was covered with lino which was black and rotten at the bottom and not a place to expose your bare skin!
Breakfast was awful (slices of wafer thin ham instead of bacon - what's that about??)
Believe me, I can tell you more, but that should be sufficient to deter you.
We went up for the Xfactor auditions and found the staff great, the room was like something out of the 60's all pink and all..but we loved it. There was a tv, sink, loads of storage space, and we found the tray very danty. It was clean and affordable at £30 a nite for a double room and on a Saturday nite also it was cheap and cheerful. The breakfast was small but nice.
We booked into this hotel because one of the houses used to be my family home, so it was to be a nostalgia experience. From this point of view it was successful since the present conditions are very much like the cold, grime and general discomfort of a 1950s/1960s Belfast childhood. Do not even think of going to this awful hotel, it is absolutely the worst I have ever stayed at. The cost of £50 for a very cold (electric bar heater on the wall) , horribly decorated and grimy twin room was not cheap, particularly since we were not brave enough to attempt the breakfast. The common areas were awful too. The receptionist was very pleasant, but that was not enough. This place badly needs a re-fit .
We made a reservation by telephone on 23 July 2005 for a double room for 6 August 2005. We at the time told the hotel management that we would be arriving late in the evening of Aug. 6 as we were taking the late afternoon ferry from Stranraer in Scotland. We were assured that this was not a problem but, just to be sure that all would be fine, we sent an email from Scotland in the morning of the 6th to inform the hotel management that we would be arriving at around 10 PM.
I had stayed at the Helga some years ago and enjoyed a very comfortable stay in a pleasant part of the city, just a short walk from the centre. But under new ownership standards have plummeted to rock-bottom. Having booked by e-mail and confirmed by phone some weeks before, we found that our rooms had been let to others. After some half an hour standing in the lobby whilst the rather embarrassed receptionist tried to persuade my friend and I to share a room, we were asked to speak to the owner by phone. He accused me of not confirming the booking but eventually "discovered" that there were two singles available after all. We were shown to our rather scruffy rooms and directed to the shared toilet and shower facilities. The toilet seat was boken and the beds had clearly been slept in, so a quick exit was made to find more acceptable accommodation. We ended up paying £70 at the nearby Madison's Hotel instead of the anticipated £25 each, but the extra cost was worthwhile! It's generally true that you get what you pay for!
Helga was not a first option but they had space for a single traveller. I stayed 2 nights here in a twin ensuite for £37 pn, as doubles would be £50. A cooked breakfast is included- i recommend opting for scrambled not fried eggs, but hey, find out for yourself!