Earlier this year I contemplated for a couple of days whether to visit Edinburgh or Glasgow as my first independent trip away. As the posts suggest I went to Edinburgh and it was the best, biggest learning curve of my year to date.
It was in my year’s intentions to “Visit Scotland” and when I say that, I meant Edinburgh, Glasgow and Lockerbie – I didn’t have much other interests in anywhere else. Although when I was in Edinburgh I went to a village in Fife – North Queensferry – and fell in love. I have since had this idealisation that the rest of Scotland would be just as idyllic, therefore when the opportunity to go on a day trip to Glasgow arose I jumped at it.
It was early August and the guy I was dating worked for Stena Line, an intercontinental ferry company that offers ferries to/from Ireland, Britain and Europe. The day after I just met him he had asked me if I wanted to go to Glasgow with him on a Day Trip, given the fact that I hadn’t even told anyone that he existed I figured it was too soon. Two months passed and the opportunity came up again…
I booked the day off work and arranged to stay in Belfast the night before at ETAP, a quaint boutique hotel in a city centre location that is part of the Accor Hotel Group. Unfortunately sleeping did not come easy in a hotel room situated right above a populated bar/nightclub.
My lack of sleep made the 5.30am rise a lot more difficult.
Still just dating Him; he picked me up and we headed out of the city and to the Docks for our 7.30am sailing. The Day Trip for foot passengers tickets cost just £15 and entitled us to a Return Ferry trip and Return Coach to Glasgow from Loch Ryan (Cairnryan) Docks.
The check-in/security process was quick and there was very little waiting around. It’s quite a long walkway to cross before getting onto the boat but that is to be expected. Once on board we immediately went for breakfast at Stena’s Taste Restaurant, where they had a wide range of food and drink at reasonable prices.
The Restaurant offers Eggs Benedict, Fruit Salads, Fry Ups, Cereals, Bread Baskets and Pancakes.
As a veggie I opted for the Vegetarian Fry; A slice of toast, beans, two veggie sausages, a fried egg and a tomato, alongside a Latte. His fussy appetite had him eating Pancakes with Butter and orange juice.
Deck 10 will take you to the Spa area and access to outside. I struggled walking about the boat because I could feel the movement, therefore I wasn’t steady on my feet. I don’t recommend walking about if you are inclined to be travel or sea sick, so just take a seat or check into the Stena Plus lounge for comfy sofas, free WiFi, a quieter space, iMacs, newspapers/magazines and complimentary drinks and snacks.
Belfast from £10 Return: Stena Line has great deals on Day Trips.
We arrived into Loch Ryan (Cairnryan) Docks at 9.52am and boarded a bus to Glasgow which took roughly two hours. It felt like a long journey but since we were up very early we decided to sleep. We arrived at Glasgow Buchanan Station around midday tired and hungry and were told to be back on the bus for 4.45pm sharp. Which meant we only really had around four hours to explore the city.
We did not plan this trip in the slightest, I never really plan trips – or I do but I never stick to them plans. I wanted to see Glasgow Caledonian University as it was a University that I considered going to at one stage, and it was a pretty campus.
We ventured down into the city and immediately I thanked my past self for choosing to visit Edinburgh instead of Glasgow. Initially I wasn’t struck on this city, it was concrete jungle with tacky shopping streets.
However in those couple of hours we were able to buy a return metro ticket. The metro in Glasgow circles the inner and outer city and there is only two directions it can go, so it is simple to use. A return ticket was £3 and we used it to head out to IBROX – home of the Rangers Football Team’s Stadium. It’s place you should see, even if you aren’t into the team or even football because the grounds itself are massive and it’s somewhat a tourist attraction I suppose.
Back into the city and lunch was at a victorian style restaurant in Glasgow Central Station (a train station, of all places!). We also did a spot of shopping and then had to resort to a mad run through the streets of Glasgow to get to the bus.
It was there on a coach parked up at Loch Ryan docks that we became a couple.
The return boat sailed at 7.30pm and arrived back into Belfast shortly before 10pm. Overall I loved exploring a different country, even just for a day!