Today was an exciting one. We finally set off on our journey to Iceland. We left our campsite this morning, and headed the short distance to the ferry terminal in Hirtshals. There were plenty of other campervans in the queue with us, including a number of Californias. Once at the terminal, Howard and I had to separate, since only the driver was allowed to board the ferry via the car deck. I had to join other passengers and be taken by coach to the gangplank – it was all a bit complicated, but I managed to work out where to go, and by the time I got onto the ferry, Howard was already there waiting for me. Our cabin is tiny, but perfectly comfortable, and at least we have a window.
Once onboard, I took my Stugeron, and was really no trouble thereafter. Following a coffee, we sat up on the deck in the sunshine, and apparently I fell asleep. Howard, on the other hand, was like a caged animal, even before we had left the port. I have concluded that cruising is really not for him. He was like a small child, asking what he could do next. In the end, we resorted to dividing the time into fifteen minute aliquots, and filled each fifteen minutes with a different activity – walking round the deck, visiting the shop, climbing the stairs, checking out the restaurants. It turns out, there is a large group of people on board who are here doing a ‘North Atlantic Cruise’ for a week with the Viking Line – travelling on the ferry with us to the Faroe Islands and Iceland and back again. Howard was so bored, he decided to join in the briefing for these passengers – which was in Danish! But he did return with their itinerary, and managed to cadge a free welcome drink! He also discovered that they have some informative films planned – so I suspect he will be gate-crashing those too.
I must confess to being rather ignorant about this whole ferry trip. Although we booked it way back last summer (in fact, it was the only thing we had booked for the whole year), it had always seemed sometimes in the distant future. As a result, when a friend texted and asked how long the crossing was, I replied I thought it was about 48 hours. As it turns out, it is in fact 60 hours, with an eight hour stop-over in the Faroes. I didn’t even know if we were allowed off the ferry at the Faroes. In my ignorance I asked the man at the information desk if I could get off the boat, he looked at me incredulously. ‘Of course’, he replied – ‘there are excursions planned’. So – it turns out that I am going to the Faroe Islands, as well as Iceland – yippee!!
Things looked up even more, when I realised that the gin that they sell on board is Hendricks. This trip was meant to be!
Whilst I slept off my Stugeron /gin combo, I opened one eye to see Howard dancing on the deck – apparently good for his step count. The other passengers are now eyeing us up suspiciously, and I fear we’ve been labelled as ‘that odd couple, with the unconscious wife and the dancing husband’!
I’m already getting into this ‘cruising’ lark. When an announcement came over the tannoy that lottery tickets were for sale, and the prize was an upgrade to a luxury suite, I leapt at the chance. Sadly, though, I did not win. We ended the day with a buffet supper, followed by live music in the lounge. He’s playing songs that I haven’t heard for at least four, possibly five decades.
We are now retiring to our postage-stamp sized cabin, whilst the lady who bought her ticket two people after me, is now off to her luxury suite. Some people get all the luck!