The bus came to a stop on Main Street at 12,10h, across the road and a block away from where we were standing as the rain drizzled overhead. Having already missed the bus a few steps from our cottage twenty minutes prior, we ran to the other bus and handed the driver the £7.90 each for our round trip ticket to Belfast.
The crazy man was on our bus. The one who approached us earlier at the bus stop flailing his arms and talking to himself as he lit his cigarette and staggered across the road. He appeared more than drunk and plopped himself down next to an unlucky passenger as he talked all the way to Newtownards where he took his time getting off the bus and somehow made his way across the street without getting hit by a car.
We continued onto Belfast and arrived almost an hour after we boarded the bus in Greyabbey. Our first mission was finding Established Coffee. The coffeehouse was recommended to my boyfriend by Conor from Suas CoffeeHouse in Ennis just before he left to meet me in Dublin.
As soon as he told me about the place, I looked it up and put it on our list of things to do in Belfast. Though it took us longer than it should have to find the remote coffeehouse at the end of Hill Street, the coffee did not disappoint. It was well worth the trek around city centre in the rain, though my boyfriend had a different viewpoint.
We ordered cappuccinos, a chicken sandwich for him, and a vegetable and lentil soup for me along with a slice of banana bread. The soup was tasty though I still wonder why I expect soups in Ireland to have identifiable ingredients. I will never understand their need to puree everything but every country has its ways.
The rain started up again as we left the coffeehouse and we walked around hoping that at some point the rain would stop. It continued at a steady drizzle for the remainder of the afternoon. I stopped by the road to make a photo of the Christmas tree and lights in the distance, narrowly missing getting hit by a bus. As one bus after another passed by, my photo opportunity was lost though we returned half an hour later.
Due to a miscommunication, we ended up walking to the Europa bus station. The entire time I kept wondering the reason. He wondered the same. 'Why are we here' I finally asked as we made our way to the waiting area. 'I thought you wanted to come here' he looked at me with confusion. We turned around and walked back towards the City Hall.
'Ah, heaven' I exclaimed as we approached Easons bookstore. 'For some' he replied and we walked in and spent some time perusing the books and gift section. Though I prefer the smaller independent shops the selection of books at this chain store was great. I made a mental note to return on our next trip to Belfast.
As we planned to return later in the week, we decided to buy the essential ingredients at Tesco for soup, homemade pizza, and a potato gratin. The rest we would have to plan. We stopped by a 'much deserved' pint of Guinness at a pub by the bus station. At 16,45h we boarded the bus and headed back to the cottage. Crazy guy made it on the bus as well. After our dinner of potato gratin and mixed raw vegetables on top of wild rocket, my boyfriend and I enjoyed the rest of our evening at our cozy cottage in Greyabbey.