The final countdown
You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way! – dr. Seuss
I love dr. Seuss, but I’m sure he left out the crucial point of preparing for your trip. Or maybe his character had better planning skills. Either way, for me the day before leaving is usually so crazy that I almost forget about the trip itself.
This is what happened to me on Monday. My ferry was set to depart at 18:45 and I wanted to be there around half past five. I only had a few things to do… like pack. Now what I haven’t told you yet is that I was packing for a three month holiday and I was set on only taking my backpack.
*34 because we were out till 3am and I was too tired to get up at seven.
Early Sunday morning and I had a list as long as my arm of things that needed to be done. So I did what any reasonable person would do:
- Made a list
- Did something entirely different
I ended up booking two more hostels, made lunch and went to the park for my friend’s farewell.
After a long (and some might say tearful) goodbye, I headed home just in time for my laundry slot. With it being exams, I didn’t do any the past week and a half – so I needed to do laundry before I could pack.
T-11 hours (so 8am)
I managed to only sleep 15 minutes longer than my last (of 3) alarm. With clean clothes, I could finally start packing. Now came the challenge. 1 hiking backpack. 86 days travel. Longest in one place: 7 days. Air travel that might require a maximum weight allowance of 7kg (haha, not a chance). After packing out every piece of clothing I have, carefully selecting each piece and rolling them (apparently this saves space #traveltip) I squeezed everything into my bag. And no packing session would be complete without the process of weighing, doubting, unpacking and repacking (with no change from before). So take two ended in a somewhat satisfactory result. I just needed shampoo (which by the way, I already bought months before and forgot about).
T-8 hours (11 am)
An hour later than planned, I headed to the mall with a simple threefold mission. Transfer money between accounts, buy data, buy shampoo. An hour later (record time, I should add) I had enough money in my account for rent, bought data enough to support a small village forever, bought a travel wallet and got shampoo (and a toothbrush, new hair brush, cappuccino and a lunch box). So yes, I went slightly off script there, but I was still on time.
T-4 hours (3pm already)
I only had lunch and 2 hours had passed – still not sure how that happened. But I had 4 hours before departure left , which meant 2 hours before I had to be on my bus. And I still needed to clean, pack the last things, clean a SD card (or seven) and make space on my phone.
If you think that seems ridiculous – you are right. I’d also have you know that I got to most of it – just not emptying my phone’s memory. That is really no big deal though. Apart from a permanent notification saying “Storage space running out; some system functions may not work” (I am sure it is nothing).
T-… oh who I am kidding? I am running late
With 15 mins left, I was still drying dishes and taking out the trash and putting away my laptop. I was more stressed than before my exam a week ago. But I made it. In fact I had to wait for the bus about two minutes. And I have not yet remembered something I left behind. Off course the connecting tram was cancelled and I waited ahout 10 minutes for the next one, but that gave me time to get a water (okay, I just realised I lied – I did forget my water).
Ferry from Gothenburg to Kiel, Germany
Best decision ever. *
*Perhaps this is a good time to inform you that I am easily excited. Everything is pretty. And a lot of decisions can (and will) be described as the best ever. Descriptive words like awesome, amazing, fantastic (etc.) will also be common – refer back to the fact that everything is pretty.
Anyway, I am really glad I decided to go with the ferry rather than, well anything else. Boarding was easy enough; finding my cabin slightly more challenging. There are a lot of cabins! So after lying on my super white bed, then lying on the couch (I was tired from running around like a beheaded chicken the past two hours, okay) I finally made my way out to the sun deck. And this is where I spent most of the evening. Two guys from Germany (father and son) shared a beer with me and I got to see an amazing sunset over the Baltic.
A bit about the ferry: I travelled with Stena Germanica going to Kiel. If memory serves, it was something like €75 for this trip with an inside cabin. Drinks were expensive, as expected. But the store was superbly cheap – well that is if you compare prices to Sweden. There was wifi onboard, which I could not connect to – in all fairness though, I think the fault was with my phone not the wifi.
The next morning I was lazy to get up, but I finally made it to the deck in time to see us arriving to Germany. Another hour and a half and we were disembarking. I was in Germany.
Kiel train station
I cannot really comment on Kiel. I saw the port and the train station. Walking between these two is quite possible – I mean I did it with a 10+kg backpack – but there is a free bus also. I only saw this when I actually crossed the road to the station…
The people working at the DB counters were super helpful and the station is quite easy to navigate. Within 20 minutes I was getting on my first train – pass validated (again), basic German skills activated and all hyped up for the trip to come.
Check back on the next post to see about my next stop.