I’d been so excited about this trip! It was initially meant to be a ‘mini-break’ in the inflatable canvas house but, after the last so-cold-the-humans-thought-I’d-died camping trip, it was decided that maybe we should stay in a hotel. And so we did, my first ever hotel stay! Not my first trip to Wales (I ate the tassel off a rug in a country cottage on my first trip when I was ‘one slightly badly behaved puppy’) but now that I’m ‘one well behaved dog’ (nearly always) I have progressed to a Welsh city break.
We travelled in the car. My special seat in the back was taken up by a ridiculous quantity of human things (seriously, why do they have to wear pants? I manage perfectly well without pants, although I do know a dog that wears shoes……I digress) so I had to sit in my bed on the back seat (not so bad actually). The first I knew of our arrival in a FOREIGN COUNTRY (super exciting) was the humans complaining that you had to pay a whole six pounds fifty to get in. To be fair, that is a lot of sausages. Apparently it was ok that no one had remembered to pack my (as yet, unused) passport. You don’t need them in Wales, very strange. But anyway, on we went (without passports) to Cardiff.
Now welsh dogs you won’t know what I’m barking on about here because you call Cardiff, ‘Caerdydd’, which is a much more exciting name altogether. Also, in Cardiff I’m no longer handsome, I’m now ‘lush’ (thank you ladies of Cardiff!). So that’s any language issues ironed out early on.
When we arrived in Cardiff we went straight to the Travelodge at Cardiff Bay (super posh executive hotel, I’m assuming) to ‘check-in’. Then we had a little explore of the city and I met some strange looking chaps on a wall (‘gargoyles’ apparently) before peeing on things and getting a little exercise in Bute park.
Then we were off to an old faithful dog-friendly favourite; BrewDog, where I finally got to have my packed-dinner and a nap. From their it was on to Urban Tap House, where the humans had their dinner (and didn’t share!), then back to the Travelodge to watch the tiny humans on the box on the wall, do a little bit of barking at people in the corridor (postmen?), and then have a really good sleep.
I woke up bright and early (as usual) the next morning and human-1 offered to take me back to Bute park for a run around while human-2 had a ‘lie-in’ (partly on account of me barking at the postmen in the corridor again). While we were out human-1 saw signs for a ‘boat trip’ back to Cardiff bay that had a big green tick next to a (unflattering) picture of a dog, and got unnecessarily excited. I helped some moles with their holes. Then we met up with human-2 and had breakfast at Waterloo Tea, or rather they did (having mine is a prerequisite for leaving the house in the morning). After breakfast we headed back to Bute park (yet again, AMAZING!).
We had to run so we would catch the 10:30 Cardiff Boat back to Cardiff Bay. This was my first experience on a moving boat. It was essentially like the bus back in Northfields, except there were ducks outside the window and there wasn’t an old human sitting behind offering me a share of her chocolate bar (as has been known to happen on the 207). All very odd. Was slightly concerned that I was under the recommended minimum weight for the life jackets (will raise this as a safety issue requiring increased portion sizes).
We disembarked, thankfully without the need for ill-fitting species-specific life jackets, and then I was directed towards my special seat in the car. From this point my memory is a little hazy (napping?). Next thing I knew I was out the car and walking up a fairly (although from looking at the humans you would assume very) steep path by a river in Afan Forest Park. I kept trying to get down to the river even though there was, admittedly, quite a steep and sudden drop. But the river really did look good! And there could have been a Coot (my favourite of the river birds). One particularly determined attempt ended in some screeching from human-2 and me back on my dog string when I returned. Spoil-sports.
After our walk it was back to the car and on to the beach at Newton. I LOVE the beach. It smells sooo good and sometimes there are dead fish and they are the absolute best to snack on/ roll in. Sadly no dead fish on this occasion but there were loads of ‘rock pools’. The humans entertained themselves by jumping from one sandbank to another (small brains) while I got on with some very important sniffing (superior brain and olfactory system). Instead of heading straight back to Cardiff we took a detour to Barry Island because the humans wanted chips (how very cultured). I liked Barry Island even though by this point I was VERY tired. We went in Carousel arcade: seriously the weirdest thing ever. It was full of machines making strange and loud noises (very loud when you have superior hearing). The humans put some money in a machine and then we left (another wasted sausage fund). I then defended the human’s chips from a frankly frighteningly large bird (‘seagull’). Then I posed with a doughnut. Because this is what the internet has done to dog kind:
Finally we drove back to the Travelodge and I was fed a mere matter of minutes before starvation set in. I settled down in my bed for a nap but was rudely awoken to be dragged back out into Cardiff city centre (hard work this ‘mini break’ thing). First up was The Cambrian Tap where I was the first dog in (ever).A pioneer for dog-kind! I suppose I should add that they had only opened the day before so this was more by luck than personal accolade. Still good though. The humans had a pork pie (didn’t share), then we were back in BrewDog where I made friends with a Welsh doggy who was recovering from concussion(or that’s what he said, but we were in the pub so I’m not convinced). I was so tired by this point that I didn’t notice when human-2 got up to go to the bar which is, and should remain, a NEVER EVENT. Worrying. I managed to keep my eyes open long enough for the walk back to the Travelodge and, much to the delight of the humans, decided that I’d leave the corridor postmen to it for the night (frankly, if they want to deliver post at three am, let them).
The next morning it was time to leave Cardiff (sad spaniel eyes), but not before another run around Bute park and breakfast at Waterloo Tea (creatures of habit my humans). I settled on to the back seat of the car as there were just as many human things in my spot as on the way. Thankfully, however, St David’s shopping centre doesn’t allow dogs in and this ensured that my back seat was not covered with new human things in bags. Just when I thought it was all over the car stopped and I was led out to a familiar,amazing smell: Pets at Home. I LOVE pets at home, mainly because,like in most pubs, a human behind a counter gives me a biscuit. When we had picked up my big bag of dinners (very important) and a packet of the bags the humans use when they collect my poo to save for later (ridiculous), we went to the counter and I sat perfectly, adopting hungry eyes (I had clocked the bowl of biscuits). There was nearly a CATASTROPHE when the human behind the counter seemed to forget (1) that I was there, (2) that I’d sat very well, and (3) that I was hungry, but human-2 sorted that one out for me and asked if I could have a biscuit. And that really was the end of our ‘mini break’. Back to Northfields now to re-scent my route to the park and catch up on some nap time ahead of the big trip to France……will keep you posted.