Home sweet hostel for my stay in Belfast was in quiet Queen’s Quarter (and look what I just did there), a 15 minute walk south of the Europa Buscentre, the main transportation hub for the city. I found Belfast to be rather tranquil on the whole (though conflicts would break out in Western Belfast only days after my departure); nevertheless, I still appreciated the relative calm of Queen’s Quarter after a day of traveling. For most of the day my empty room suggested that I had snagged a single by default, but I returned from a late dinner to find that I did indeed have a roommate for the night, an amiable American who was making her way out of the country just as I was beginning my adventure. Unfortunately for me, she’d be getting up by 6 am the following morning to get to the airport. Such is the hostel life.
Between my roommate stirring and the sun announcing its presence through the skylight in my bedroom, I found myself wide awake before 7 am, still more than an hour before breakfast. Solution? Spend an hour enjoying the architecture of Queen’s University Belfast and the enchanting Botanical Gardens adjacent to the campus.