Departure to Islay was around noon on July 12, 2019, and we arrived in Belfast in the early morning of July 13, 2019 at 0:30 a.m. With that everything is said. The journey was calm, we always had a pleasant, clear wind and did not have to do any maneuvers, except to set sail and recover ten hours, because we ran out of wind just before Belfast.

The entrance to the industrial port, at the far end of which is the marina, is a bit adventurous, because the big pots take the same entrance. You use radio channel 12 to communicate with the traffic control center. The Reeds Nautical Almanac unfortunately only wrote that one should listen. The Northern Irish didn't think that was great, they would have preferred to register via radio. We'll know better next time.

Our way to Belfast

They housed the marina in a former basin of the industrial port. This is in the middle of a new development area, the Titanic Quarter.

Belfast Marina in the Titanic Quarter

As many know, the Titanic was built in Belfast, had its transfer journey to Southampton and then the last journey. An entire district now lives from this legend. Tourists flock through the district in droves, and there is nothing left of the old docks where the Titanic was laid down. The more information boards there are. Also the Titanic film studios, lots of Titanic cafes and so on.

A big plus point of this marina are the showers, they are spacious, clean and modern. The water runs as long as you want at any desired temperature. This is how I imagine marina showers in a good harbor.

The walk from the marina to the city center is also short. You only cross a bridge for a short time and you are already in the middle of the hustle and bustle. And that's where my problem with Belfast begins - it's a big city with all the hustle and bustle. There are people, cars, buses and tourists everywhere. Everything is full of tourists, at least when you take a walk through the city center.

Leaning Tower of Belfast - as in Pisa, the foundation has sagged

Many modern buildings and few old buildings and a lot of traffic in between. I am a big city plant and cannot imagine the permanent life in a village at all. Especially not within the United Kingdom, where everyone watches everyone more than I know it from us. Nevertheless, I felt the bustle of the city oppressive and we both had to be careful not to be hit by one of the many cars. Left-hand traffic is an additional problem here. The air in the city is also stuffy, especially if you have been breathing the finest sea air for weeks.

Tourist in Belfast

So we made the best of it. We walked through the town with our cameras like the usual tourists. The pub district was not that hard to find. We already knew the beer bikes from Frankfurt, which are in large numbers in Belfast. Here is an example with a hen party.

The Pest - Belfast party bike with hen party

We never came across the line reminiscent of the “Troubles”. We were too tired from the drive, the late arrival and the short night. Instead we followed our motto and also a recommendation from another sailor. We found Kelly's Cellar, a quaint pub.

Kelly's Cellar

In addition to a beautiful old dining room, Kelly's Cellar also has an outdoor area where you can drink beer (not of course in .uk) and where live music is played. We were allowed to enjoy that in the most beautiful afternoon sun. We also enjoyed talking to the Irish at our table. We were able to learn that Kelly's Cellar is a neutral place, so it cannot be attributed to either the Protestants or the Catholics. I would definitely count it as a drinker. But we couldn't drink too much, because Jens and I decided to turn our back on Belfast after only 24 hours and steer Sissi towards the Isle of Man. Shortly after midnight we could expect the right tide and good wind.

Greasy buffer against excess beer

So we lay on our ears for a few more hours and declared the Belfast experiment a failure around midnight. We are strange urban plants. But the people we met in the pub were great. I don't know if I'm going to Belfast again. If I do that, I'll take the train.