Stavanger to Aarhus
I had a pretty leisurely day ahead of me. I didn’t have to catch the ferry to Hirtshals until much later that afternoon. I started by waking up for breakfast which was a full breakfast including cold meats, cheese, boiled eggs, breads and WAFFLES again. I tried to fill myself up as much as I could but I had only given myself half an hour to get up and eat which really just wasn’t enough time. When I finished breakfast, I skyped home for about and hour and a half before packing up and checking out.
I took my bag and did the usual wander around and just see what I could find. I headed for the old old town first. I was a little disappointed to be honest. It was nice as all the buildings were made of wood and people took care of their small plot of land well but it was all residential. I still walked through for a bit and then headed back to the new old town but is all shops of different sorts. Eventually, I stopped and had some lunch which was a similar thing to the cinnamon roll I had the day before but with crushed almond over the top as well. I continued to walk around for a while, looking at places that sold fruit as well as anything else that I could take on the boat for the night and also for the following day as I had planned a bit more of a journey after I had arrived in Denmark. I was also looking at sleeping bags, and ended up buying one, as I had been looking at doing some couchsurfing and had places lined up for both Aarhus and Copenhagen. I figure if I have my own sleeping equipment, then it will be easier to find places.
I came back to the B&B with heaps of time to spare. I got all my belongings together and headed for the bus. The tourist info had told me the day before that I needed bus number 9 leaving from stop 16 or whatever it was so that’s what I got on. Exactly as she said. I had used up most of my Norwegian money and didn’t quite have enough for the bus so instead of going and getting far too much out, I asked if I could have some from someone getting on the bus as well. It wasn’t much, less than $2 and she was happy to give it to me. I talked to her all the way until she needed to get off and I continued on. I was waiting for a nice, big ferry terminal to appear in front of me but it just never happened. I knew the name of the stop but they didn’t have names and there were no road signs either (not that I had a name of a road anyway). The lady had told me that it would arrive at my stop at 5:30 and it was only 5:20 when we got to the airport and I know I had gone to far then. I got out and started talking to some people who had just gotten off. One of them said that I had gone past and if I went back in the same direction, and told the bus driver, then I would be ok. So I waited for the next bus to go back. I had a bit of “getting lost” time built in so was doing ok. When the bus arrived, I asked him to tell me when we had gotten to the stop and he said that he wasn’t going past it. I could not believe it. I asked which one I needed and he just said “maybe the next one”. THE NEXT WHAT? TELEPORTATION DEVICE?! i was starting to run out of time I went into the airport and asked at a counter. The lady was very helpful except she said the only way was to go back into Stavanger (which was going to be another 30 mins) and catch a different bus out. Basically, the lady at the tourist info gave me the wrong bus number…. She is one double edged sward that woman. First she hands me great accommodation then cuts me down by sending me to the wrong place.
I didn’t have the time to catch 2 different buses so I decided to take a cab. I told him where I wanted to go and after much confusion about the destination as apparently there is a place that sounds very similar. (I can understand really. He was picking me up from the airport and I wanted to go to a ferry terminal which doesn’t make all that much sense) I eventually made it. I got on the ferry only about 20 minutes before it was due to leave even though they ask you to be there one hour before. I found my seat. It was only a seat but there were lots of empty ones so I was able to spread out over 3. Well more like 30 if I wanted, it was that empty. I went for a bit of a walk to see what the place offered which was pretty much nothing for free, except the toilets.
I pretty much just spent the night sitting in my chair and occasionally getting up to have a look at different things. The ‘nightclub’ was actually really packed with people. It was a friday night and I think there would have been lots of people heading to Denmark for the weekend so there was a fair bit of drinking going on. I wasn’t really in the mood as while I was settling in, I had discovered that my sleeping bag was not exactly an adults sized one. I was looking for one that was cheap and smaller in size. I got the cheapest and it wasn’t exactly small but I thought it would be ok but it turns out that it might not be too comfortable. I can’t even unzip it to make it a blanket. Fail purchase, fail getting to the ferry, fail getting cheap accommodation and as it turns out I didnt even need to go to that town as the ferry started in Bergen where I had been staying and was very happy and paying far less.
The only upside was that I actually slept reasonably well. The ride was a lot smoother than I imagined. The boat was a lot bigger than I imagined. It was a 5 story thing so pretty heavy which meant the swell didn’t seem to affect it too much. It was rocking around too much to lay on the floor however which is what I really wanted to do. At some point while I was asleep, some guy woke me up and said I was using his seat. I was in a bit of a daze and just apologized and…I don’t know, maybe offered to move my stuff, basically avoided confrontation where I could. He eventually said he would take one of the other seats (oh, you mean…you mean of those hundred other ones? oh, you’re so kind…) The worst part was he had woken me proper and so I had to read to kill more time before I was ready to go back to sleep. Why didn’t he just go straight to another seat? Why did he have to wake me? Prick.
Eventually, we arrived. At 6:00 and in 4 different languages (which was kind of cool that he could speak 4 different languages) the very thoughtful person on the P.A annouced that the buffet was open for breakfast now (at a cost) and that we were expected to arrive in Hirtshals at 7:30 and then told us that the weather was good. It was relatively clear and not too cold. He then told us the score of the football game that happened the night before. He then went on to talk about his wife and kids and how all he does is try to support them in a constantly more and more difficult economic world and that his boss just doesn’t seem to understand his issues and that he really needs a pay rise so that he can survive and that Fredrik got one even though that it is well known within the company that his father is high up in the corporate ladder in one of the oil firms based in Stavanger and that, that same boss always had it in for him and he (the P.A guy) always got the shitty jobs and had to fight tooth and nail for any recognition and he had been “with this company for over 25 years”. And what has he got to show for it readers? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He lives in the butt end of a town in Denmark (I can’t remember the name of it. I couldn’t really understand it even when he said it 4 times in different languages), with his eldest son about to finish school with no real ambition and always off with his “drughead” friends. And it was all his fault (the P.A guy). He was always off on a boat somewhere, trying to earn enough money to get his family through so he wasn’t able to spend time with his son and now it’s all gone….. all gone. But then on the other hand (he continued) it wasn’t his fault at all. It was that boss of his. That “Vjorn”. It was his fault. He always hated me. Him and his little bitch, Fredrik. They were ganging up against him. but they were only the ring leaders. They were all appart of it. They all had a hand in it. All of them. They all had it in for the ‘little man’. Well, they had it coming for them. They didn’t know it yet, but they did. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could even be in a year, but it was coming….
So yeah, that’s pretty much what he said every half hour until we arrived. Waking me up each time he did it. In the last ten minutes I had started talking to some people that were in the same area of the boat as me. I was asking them where they were headed (as you really don’t want to stay in the town the ferry gets into) and it turns out we were headed in the same direction. When we got out of the ferry terminal, there was a bus that could take us to the centre of Hirtshals. The two people I had just met decided they were going to just try hitchhiking back to their town which was Aalborg. I asked the driver if it was free but it wasn’t. It was going to cost NOK (Norwegian Krone) or Danish currency to get on, of which I had neither. I asked about Euro and he said it was 2Euro. Again, I didn’t have that. I had 10 but he didn’t have the change. After asking people if they could change my note, I went back to him and offered him 1.50Euro, which is all I had. Luckily he accepted it. I jumped on and he took us to the train station.
There was actually only 2 of us on this train and when we got off, we walked to the platform. The one other person was from Switzerland and it turns out he was quite strange in a way. He was 18, and worked at a train station in Bonn selling tickets and had been training to do it for 3 years. He was on his way home and was going to try to get home, to Bonn that day using trains taking 18 hours or something. The train turned up and we got on. Only a minute before we left, the Swiss guy realised he had left his luggage on the bus so he went sprinting off and I didn’t see him again.
I continued on, the last survivor of the ferry ride, without a ticket. It’s like a cowboy travelling without a gun. It’s dangerous and the coppers could nap you at any time. That actually turned out a little better than I thought. Well, actually, I didn’t think about it at all. It just happened. Good work Jacob.
I arrived at the town that connects the area to wider Denmark and lucky for me there was a direct train to Aarhus. I did have to wait an hour for it but that didn’t matter. I had some breakfast out of my food bag and read for a bit before going outside. And guess who was there. All 3 of the people I had met. The 2 that were ‘hitchhiking’ (they got bored of waiting) and the Swiss guy that lost his luggage with his luggage (Luckiest man alive?). The two different groups didn’t know each other but I kind of introduced them as I just introduced them to you now. I never ask for peoples names because I only forget them while they remember mine and then it is awkward. Turns out that even though we were all going to different destinations, we all had to catch the same train so when it arrived, we got a booth together. The two people (from Belgium that were studying in Aalborg) were stopping in Aalborg while me and Switzerland (Name people by their destinations. Helpful during zombie apocalypse apparently) were going to the end, to Aarhus. I offered around the food bag and everyone helped themselves to fruit. Turns out, the Belgians got pretty bad seasick even though they don’t normally get it at all. Go Jacob again. Winner. Not only did I not get seasick, but I actually slept relatively well.
When we reached Aarhus, Switzerland had to catch his connection (I made sure he had his luggage) and I exited the train station. There was no tourist info at the station which was annoying because there was no way I could find my way. I was staying with a couchsurfer and I had also realised I didn’t have his address but I did have a phone number which I had messaged, with no reply. I wanted to find a tourist info or an internet place so that I could find the other one. If I found an internet place, then I could google tourist info and also get in contact with Anders (couchsurfer) and if I found a Tourist info, they could tell me where there was internet and I could also get a map. I searched for both of these things for well over an hour. I tried maccas for internet but they didn’t appear to have any and I asked at a few cafes with no success. I tried to follow signs to the old town which is always a good place to be for tourists but they just seemed to send me in circles as if there was no direct route to old town. Eventually, I got tired and hungry and frustrated so I went to a Burger King (in the hope of internet) and just ordered food and sat down. Collect my thoughts I guess.
When I had finished, I really didn’t want to leave. It was so warm in there and I was sick of carrying around my bag. I felt like there had been so many things that had gone wrong in the last couple of days and all I wanted was for something to work. I didn’t exactly mind this whole, waiting, ummm, walking and… stuffing around, as long as I got somewhere to stay at the end of it but I just wanted it to over with and gone, out of the way. So bored with it. Anyway, I did leave Burger King and went around the corner where I was lucky enough to find a cafe that had internet. I didn’t even buy anything. It was a busy chain place so I just sat down and none of the staff would have noticed me. (BS. I stick out like politician on a talk show). While i was there, I sent Anders a message over couchsurfing and told him I couldn’t seem to contact him and so I gave him my mobile. Not 10 minutes later, I got a call from him. Turns out he had been out and his phone had died. He told me how to get to his house on a bus. He met me at the bus stop near his house and we walked back to his.
Anders lives in a large apartment block but it actually really nice. The place is huge and there is only 2 of them in here. You could probably fit 4 comfortably if you partitioned it off a bit. I was happy that it was over and I was somewhere. Him and his housemate are really nice people and I think there will be some more of their mates coming around a bit later. For now though, I am just going to put this up. This was a massive post but it covers 2 days. With a lot of useless gibber gabber in the middle. And a lack of photos for those who are less literate.