You may wonder why I’m showing you a picture of my (dusty) VW Golf. Indeed and you’d be right. This is just opposite my office at Queen’s University in Belfast. I’ve gotten sick of paying WAY over the odds for a car parking space at Belfast City Airport. When you’re away for a couple of weeks, it really adds up. Plus, it’s pretty safe to park at the University. So poor Marjorie was left here to suffer the vicissitudes of Belfast student life.

If I’m staying in Belfast overnight, I usually park just here (if I can – lots of people get the same idea!) and stay around the corner in a hotel that’s really familiar to me (it’s nearly a home from home!) – the Ibis Queens Quarter in Belfast.

It’s really just around the corner from my office at Queens University – it’s usually a great price – and it’s near my favourite place for falafel on Botanic Avenue (Umi Falafel). The staff are SUPER friendly at this place. The room is perfectly comfortable for most overnight or short stays, but I have to say that it’s not a resort hotel (it’s not pretending to be one) so there is no pool or gym.

I’ve stayed so often that I’ve managed to acquire ‘silver status’ with Accor Hotels (Ibis is one of their brands). That means not much except that I can check out a bit later, I think, and I get a free drink voucher. This gets you a pint, a glass of wine or a soft drink. More often than not, I get a bottle of water as it’s mid-week. But this time, I enjoyed a pint of shandy to accompany my (inevitable) falafel supper.

As you may know, I have a travel vlog over on YouTube. I have picked that back up recently and the team at the Ibis were so interested to see that I was filming and amazingly fine with being on camera (normally I don’t ask or assume, so I don’t generally show staff members in my films). I think you’ll see how lovely Sinéad and her colleagues are!

If you have a few minutes (this one is short), check out the wee video about the Ibis. And – if it’s your thing – subscribe (it’s free) and like the video… it helps me out. Click below:

Take care, wherever you are.

Patrick xo

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