Finally, after five days of getting pampered and sheltered in Copenhagen with breakfasts, dinners, afternoon walks, cups of tea, [failed] snowball fight, a Royal Opera performance, and the warmth of Merete’s candlelit sitting room, we are now on the road (and currently almost by the sea) to Berlin, Germany and after a few days, to Prague, Czech Republic.
At about 630am this morning, Niklas and I boarded the quite comfortable (nice reclining seats, wide legroom, heater) Eurolines Bus leaving Copenhagen and arriving at Berlin by 230pm. Yep, this bus travel is about 730 hours, more or less the same time (not sure about distance) on the bus from Manila to Ilocos Sur, maybe even until Vigan. The difference: we are crossing countries and not provinces or regions. Also, we are boarding a ferry for an almost 2-hour crossing of the Baltic Sea from Denmark to Germany.
By about 830, we reached the port where Scandlines’ M/F Prins Joachim was docked and waiting for passengers. On the way, when I opened my eyes from a not so deep slumber, I saw the Danish countryside — in it’s full glory. I kid you not. Picture this (since I wasn’t able to take a photo):
Green fields of grass spanning hectares and hectares. Leafless trees lining the dirt road and forming a semi-forest that’s called home by deers. A small red brick Hansel and Gretel or Snow White type of cottage with smoke coming from it’s chimney, with the next white stone house about 500 meters away. A farm pen with horse, cow, and I think, bison — first I’ve seen ever. Windmills turning over and over again. And on my left, the trees in a glorious silhouette formed by the rising sun, glaring in a manner much like the setting sun by Manila Bay. (Could it be that it’s because 830am here is 330 in the Philippines?)
If you were able to imagine that, then, welcome to countryside Denmark, wanderer! 🙂 As we continued our journey, the M/F Prins Joachim allowed us to board (RORO style) at around 850. We departed at around 915 I think.
Once we have parked, the conductor announced that everybody must get off the bus during the voyage for our safety and go up to the parlors and decks. In there, you can sit in one of the many dining tables and chairs, buy some breakfast (a lot of choices) at the Central Cafe (coffee at 29 krone and to save, combine it with 10 krone muffin or Danish pastry — which sells at 21 krone a la carte), and enjoy the sea voyage.
Don’t worry, you can still sit even if you didn’t buy any. There are also several sitting areas everywhere aboard the ship — you can even take the outside benches if you’re brave enough to enjoy the 2 degree Celsius cold plus crazy wind. We weren’t. 🙂 if you are a value-for-money person and you think you can eat that much, you might wanna go for the all-inclusive buffets 129, 159 and 179 krone for morgen (breakfast), frokost (lunch) and aften (dinner), respectively.
When you’re bored inside, there are also other things to do — play arcade games, shop (tax-free and kind of cheaper than in a Denmark goods), or sleep. Niklas took a nap after we had breakfast and I decided to check out the travel shop.
After curiously and carefully looking around and converting DKK to EUR or to PHP (not really cause I was being a miser but more of to understand how much the items cost), I decided to spend my first 9.63 euros (yep, told you we’ve been pampered; and since bus tickets were booked online, haven’t paid my share yet) to shop for some items which I think are important (like, chocolates!) for this trip.
After almost two hours, we reached Rostock Port in Rostock, Germany! 🙂 I loved how they use big rocks for the breakwater/pond-ish area. It looked so rustic. Of course, we only saw it from the ship and we haven’t set foot in Germany yet (since we boarded the bus before it disembarked). But hey, we can say we are in Germany already eh!
Rostock, I think, being a port city, is quite busy and full of life. Of course, it could also be because it’s already 11 when we headed out. After we navigated a bit through the city, we were out in the open highway, driving at about 80kms/hour (our estimates).
The Germany countryside is kind of similar to Denmark, but with much lesser houses (I think we went 5-10kms without seeing another house, but I guess it’s also cause the highway is really out of the way from the localities).
There’s also the “forest” filled with trees (about 5-10m tall) both without and with leaves (you know Christmas trees? That kind!), and more windmills (like a lot at some points) and occasional solar energy panels (I like how they’re advanced in harnessing renewable energy).
The sun is also trying to break out from the mostly grey but sometimes blue clouds and it hits the trees with the perfect rays of light. So pretty. 🙂
Obviously, I can’t sleep. I’m kind of tired and sleepy actually but I guess I’m just too excited so I’m just writing this post while we travel. We are now about 167kms away (yep, just saw the sign) and 2 hours (it’s 12nn now) from our ETA at ZOB Am Funkturn (aka the Berlin bus stop). From there, we’ll make our way to our friend Alex’s friend Annalie’s flat (our Pinay/German host for a night or two) and hopefully, by the time we get there, I’ve had some nap already and ready to explore Berlin, after uploading this post of course! 🙂
PS. We made it! 🙂 look at our not-so-geographically-unique-or-identifiable Berlin selfie on our way to the ICC/Messe S Bahn that was the closest to the ZOB!