Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tallinn to Stockholm

We hate boats. The whole lot of us. The prospect of taking a ferry to Stockholm - particularly one we were expected to sleep in - was very much something to endure, not enjoy.

Slowly, prospects improved. This looked like quite a nice boat.

Helen looked up the forecast for the Baltic Sea - waves up to 10cm - should be OK.

Our pricey (€210) four berth cabin (with window, Helen gets a little claustrophobic on boats) was roomy, spacious even, with a clean en-suite.

If sleep didn't come, we could take a salsa workshop, boogie at the all night disco, or just drink ourselves into oblivion in one of the bars. And hey! Lee was even able to get a manicure on board.
Despite the water being bathtub flat, Shane and Helen 'felt' the non existent movement of the boat within minutes, followed by Lee and Tom. We all took an anti-motion sickness tablet, hilarious really! Whether it was because (a) we washed them down with half price beer/wine/perry or (b) the tablets were Chinese, Lee, Shane and Helen were completely wired at nighttime and couldn't sleep. Helen took a midnight stroll to get some water and considered taking on the disco, but the smell of alcohol by now permeating the ship together with under dressed girls and leering blokes sent her back to the cabin.
Waking up less than perky, we were soon swanning it at the buffet.

We settled into a table right up the front (bow?) and thoroughly enjoyed watching the scenery pass by as we moved through the archipelago's narrow waterways in our ridiculously large ferry.

The sticky-up bit (stack?) of the ferry in front, peeping over the treetops, indicated our passage. This was all enjoyed over poached salmon with juniper berries, smoked salmon, herring, various other fish; berries, yoghurt, fruit and cereals; eggs, potato rosti, salads. We all over-ate - Lee considered it her most voluminous meal of the trip. We were so satisfied in all regards that we declared our table a home-school zone and didn't move for three hours!

Finding our hostel on Skeppsholmen was so much easier than we had grown accustomed to (three stops on the metro followed by bus 65), with everyone speaking English, signs displayed in English, and our packs much reduced (we mailed over 20kg of Siberian-weight clothing, kids lightweight beds, various Asia/hygiene related thingummyjigs and two excessively heavy khukri knives). We were also amused for an insane amount of time by an amusing Swedish word at our bus stop.

Shane, Helen, Rosie, Tom and Lee

Location:Stockholm, Sweden

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