I’m writing this today as I was totally shattered when I got home last night. I’ll not bother backdating it.
It was a very early start yesterday morning. I got up at four o’clock. I was only going to feed Ushi half her food then give her the other half when we arrived, but I decided since i got up so early I would chance giving her the full meal.
We were all ready for a quarter to 6, where the taxi came to pick us up. Dad was already in the front, so I sat in the back with Ushi. She was a bit hesitant to get in, but that was because she is used to being in the front. We got her in though, and she was reasonably comfy. My sister had to shift her legs at one point as she wanted to lie down.
We got to the belfast docs at around a quarter to 7. I put Ushi’s halty on getting out of the taxi since she is still quite pully getting out of cars. I kept it on until we got into the building, bu should have kept it on longer as she was very pully still. I then was fumbling that much to put it on that I ended up twisting it! Anyway the check in was surprisingly short. We just had to go up to the desk and that was basically it. I was expecting us to get searched and stuff.
When we were checking in, the staff said to us that there were alot of steps on the gangway. I thought they were just saying this because they were under the assumption that I couldn’t use steps, but they said they were metal. Ushi doesn’t like walking on metal at all. They said that they could arrange for a bus to come and collect us to take us to the boat. I said that that would probably be better after explaining that Ushi didn’t like metal, and they said they would come get us when it was ready. So we all headed off to the departure lounge.
I thought that it was probably like a ramp thing they would have, but when they came to collect us, there was like a shuttle bus you get at airports waiting for us. It is for elderly and disabled, as well as people with buggies and people with alot of luggage. I thought this was pritty cool. It took us right onto the car decks of the boat, where we were accompanied up to the main floor where everything was. When we were heading to the lift, the guy taking us kept telling us about little raised lumps that were used to keep the boat together i think. His colleague went to pet Ushi and the guy was like “You shouldn’t pet him, he’s working!”. He then explained that once the lift stopped that we got into, that the restaurant was on our left and the coffee shop was on our right. I thought that was nice.
We explored around a little first. There was nothing really in the shopping part of it, so we went outside onto the deck where the sun was shining. I kept expecting ushi to spend here since if we’re near water she needs to go for some reason, but she was a wee star and didn’t go at all. We then went down to the restaurant to get something to eat about half way through the journey. The restaurant was packed. Some of the other custumers were really nasty, and braught up their plates and just seemed to be very ignorant from what I heard.
The rest of the journey was just spent sitting around really. I wish i had braught something to occupy me, but I didn’t think at the time, and thought i’d be alright.
Eventually at about half 10, we arrived in Stranraer. Everyone else got off first, and we got the bus back off the boat. I really liked how helpful they were. I wasn’t sure if they were just being helpful cause we were all together, but I doubt they would be that bad. I was very impressed!
The first thing we did when we got off the boat was to look for somewhere to spend Ushi since she hadn’t spent since before we left home. (there was nowhere i could spend her at the docs).
Stranraer is sort of like a housing estate. I mean that it was very quiet and there was basically only one street. I think we were expecting much more. We did find a little park with a little beach where we spent most of our time. Ushi kept whining to get onto the beach because she saw other dogs. She doesn’t normally do that when we’re walking, but we were standing around alot since my sis wanted to take alot of pictures. We took her on to the beach and it wasn’t long before she wanted to get back onto solid ground.
There was one woman who came up to us who had a little puppy running around. I don’t know if she said this to her puppy or me, but i think it was to me. Ushi of course got excited seeing the pup and wanted to play. The woman then said “You should be better behaved than that” or something. I just said that although i had her harness on she wasn’t working. (I was just holding her lead with her harness on her back). For some reason that comment really annoyed me. I know that Ushi shouldn’t have tried to play with the dog, but you can’t fully stop a dog wanting to say hello to another dog. You can try, but at the end of the day, Ushi is still a dog. She just happens to be one that guides. What do you all think?
There was one part of the park that had a little train that went round it, but it wasn’t running yet. Another part of the park had a little man made lake with a pirate ship and a little you could go out to. You could also hire peddle boats. We were going to have a little fun on them, but decided not to. (Dad would have looked after Ushi).
We then went around the “town” part which was quite small. We then came back to the park.
At about three o’clock we went around the street again. (We had finished at about one o’clock so waited until then before going round again in case there was something we had missed). Unfortunately there wasn’t.
We headed back to the park again where we chilled before I fed Ushi. I was going to leav her until we got back to Belfast, but didn’t think we would have the time, and I didn’t want to leave her until we got home as it would have been about 10 o’clock and I thought that would be much too late. I stretched out ushi’s lead so she could eat in a bit of comfort. (I wasn’t going to let her off her lead to eat as we were still in the park). She did grand though and chilled after I spent her which was just what i wanted her to do since I don’t like her getting excited/having alot of exercise for an hour after food. (We were told to keep our dogs calm for at least an hour after food to stop them developing a twisted stomach).
At about a quarter to 5, we headed over to the docs again. We had to ask again for the bus but we didn’t mind that. While we were waiting though Ushi was getting a bit bored since we were just standing around. She kept wondering around me but eventually lay down. We then waited in the departure lounge again, until the staff came and got us for the bus.
Again the bus took us right onto the boat. It was a different boat going back. On the way to Stranraer it was a boat called
The Stena Navigator
But on the way back it was a boat called the
This ship seemed much posher and newer. The navigator was good, but this one didn’t seem as crowded and had a much nicer atmosphere. We had our dinner on the ship too. I had fish and chips. When your order was ready to be collected, they buzzed a little box on your table. It was nice to sit and eat in a relaxed atmosphere.
Ushi went straight to sleep. I had a wonder around and gave ushi to my sister but she didn’t even stirr when I came back.
When we were heading off the boat to get the bus, we were mobbed by about 10 little kids asking “Can i pet your dog?” I said they all could since they had asked. (Thank you parents!). Ushi must have thought all of her christmases had come at once because she was getting so much attention! Her tail never stopped wagging! We eventually said we had to go though.
We were orriginally going to get the train back home, but decided to just get a taxi. We got home about a quarter to 10.
I spent Ushi once we got in, and she promptly got on her bed and was soon asleep. About 10 minutes after we arrived she started to dream bark. She was deffinetly sleeping hard! She didn’t move until this morning.
It was a good day even though we found Stranraer a bit boring. It was a day out though. I think that if we didn’t have the ferry to catch then we could have maybe got the bus to other places, but unless you have a car or do get the bus, then it’s pritty boring. That could just have been our experience though. If we hadn’t gone we wouldn’t have known what it was like.
I’m so glad Ushi was so well behaved! Hopefully some other day we’ll get to explore more of Scotland.