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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday May 28:

As ‘promised,’ we were woken by the Captain at 6:30 this morning, who reminded us that we required to leave our cabin by 7am. Yuck. We crawled out of bed and had gotten half way out of our room by 7:05, which wasn’t early enough for housekeeping, who all but kicked us out.

We took our bags down by where we’d be getting off, and settled in to wait, making a sign that said ‘we are two girls looking for a ride to Copenhagen. Please let us know if you’d like to help.’ While it didn’t get us a ride right off the bat, we did meet a lovely older couple from Cologne and had a nice chat with them. They weren’t headed in our direction or I think they would have taken us. We got off the ferry around 9 and were plopped into the most boring industrial port ever. And again, no customs just like in the Faeroes. We aren’t doing too well with getting our passports stamped! We decided to take our ‘Copenhagen’ sign to where all of the cars were driving off (we really didn’t want to spend 70$ on a train ticket and we’d read hitching in Denmark is considered safe and easy), put our thumbs out, and looked hopeful. After several members of the motorcycle club that were on the ferry jokingly offered us rides on the back of their bikes, a man in a truck with a trailer pulled up and offered us a ride. He was really nice, if quiet, and we had an uneventful ride with him for about five hours—he took us most of the way to Copenhagen, which was great. He lived in Denmark for 20 years, but is back in the Faeros now, with 1.5, 14, and 20 year-old children. I think he was a contractor or something similar to that.

We were laughing as we had started in Hirtshals, which is the VERY north of the country, and were aiming for the very bottom of the East coast. It was basically tantamount to walking off a ferry in Victoria, holding out a sign saying ‘St. John’s’ and hoping for the best. After he dropped us off at a big gas station/rest stop 70km out of Copenhagen, we had a brief snack and then headed back out to the road for another ride. It was only about 10 minutes before we got picked up again, and this time taken to within a 15 minute ride of the city centre. It was funny as the guy didn’t speak English, German, French, or Japanese, which are the languages we can offer, and our Danish is pretty shite, so we managed to say ‘chugga chugga choo choo’ and get dropped off at a station. 8$, four stops, and some free wifi on the train later, we were at the central Copenhagen Station. Not a bad price for traveling roughly 600km across the country! Probably the end of our hitching career, though, since we’re leaving Scandinavia soon and too chicken/smart to hitch into eastern Europe, as tempting as all of these free rides might be!

We figured out where our hostel was, and set off, wandering for around 25 minutes through the city with our fairly big packs before we discovered that the hostel we had wanted to stay in was fully booked. We had chosen not to book anything in Copenhagen because we hadn’t known if we’d been getting out of Iceland, and then hadn’t been near a computer with internet, so we didn’t have a bed, oops. The woman in that hostel was really nice and called a couple of close hostels for us, so we ended up walking to City Youth Hostel, where for about 23$ a night, we are the proud renters of bunks in a 66-bed (!) mixed dorm. It’s somewhat like staying in a semi-permanent shelter in a high school, but it should be OK for two nights. As a bonus, there was a free pot of newly-cooked and very tasty pot of spaghetti in the kitchen! Almost makes up for the 8$ diet coke I accidentally bought tonight. Sadly, the wifi is down so we’ve had very limited internet access all around. We did end up going to a café with wifi, but I didn’t have very much battery power, so we really only had time to book a ferry ticket to get to Riga and fail at booking our train tickets for Monday (I don’t think it like our Canadian cards). Back at the hostel, I downloaded some photos and wrote this for later posting—we’ll be getting an early start tomorrow as it’s our only day in the city, so I should probably get going…



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