I had hoped to be in London. I went to book on the first day that flights went on sale, and it was over £100 just to get on the plane in Belfast, so that dream bit the dust.
So, what to do over the July Holiday Weekend?
I ummed and ahhed and had the idea of Tallinn with a day trip to Helsinki thrown in. I had left it too late by this point, and the prices had shot up.
Eventually, I settled on Waterford, checking out Street Art, going to a football match and cycling along Waterford Greenway.
And then Coronavirus got involved.
So, I was left with five days off work and nowhere to go, so I decided to go for a walk up a hill in West Belfast.
This was a walk that I had been wanting to do for a while, but I didn’t even know how to get there, so I decided to look up how to get there and managed to find it quite easily, which is quite impressive for me.
Regular readers will know i’ve been Cavehilling it recently, and the same rules applied. Get there early to get a parking space and avoid crowds. I didn’t actually see anybody until I was on my way down.
It’s a lot different from Cavehill. For a start, there’s a Cafe at the entrance. However, there are no benches so if you get tired on the way up, tough.
As with my most recent visit to Cavehill, I encountered cows when out walking. Although, they weren’t blocking my path this time.
I headed first up Divis Mountain, to the Divis Transmitter and then over to Blackmountain, admiring the views over Belfast.
One such view was that of Windsor Park, somewhere I sadly won’t be for a while after it was announced this week that all Preliminary Stage matches of UEFA Club Competition in 2020-2021 will be played behind closed doors.
Concerts are another thing I won’t be doing for a while either, with this week bringing confirmation of a third concert I have tickets for (after Paul Weller and Lightning Seeds) being moved to 2021, this time Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott.
So, it looks like that hillwalks are going to be the only form of social activity i’m going to be having for a while.
Of course, as I made my way back down from Blackmountain, it started raining.
That was despite me checking the weather forecast in advance, which said it would be dry while I was out. I was ill prepared. Thankfully, it was only a brief shower. Let that be a lesson learnt.
Despite the fact I walked so much that it felt like my feet were on fire, it was a worthwhile and enjoyable trek, i’ll definitely plan on making a return visit at some point in the future.
The next day, waking up with my legs aching but not as bad as they were the previous day, I headed for a walk up Cavehill. I had said in my most recent Cavehill blog that I would be heading there over the July Holidays.
The weather was dull and didn’t make for good photos, so I won’t be doing a separate blog for Cavehill.
I was tempted to leave it a day and go cycling instead. Of course, Sunday morning saw beautiful sunshine that would have been perfect for photos. Although, I would have been driving through North Belfast in the aftermath of a riot.
Once I got to the top, I headed downward via Carnmoney Hills, something I had never done before, which turned out the be a long and at times perilous method of getting to Belfast Castle. Come of the scenery made for decent photos though, if not how I wanted them to look due to the lack of daylight.
Next up, is a cycle to Comber, though I might leave it for a few days so that my legs can recover.
Monday will see the announcement of the revised League Of Ireland fixture list. If things calm down, I might head to the Republic of Ireland for a few days. Bray Head is on my hitlist. But that’s only if things calm down. A big if.
Hillwalks are the only form of entertainment I have.
Thankfully, this one didn’t have any cows blocking my path. It did though, have a dog walk over to me and lick my leg.