Road Trip, Part two – Landscape of my Soul

Destination: Finland

Travel Diary:

Here I am, sitting in front of the window in a ship called Finnmaid, watching different shades of blue: the sea, the sky, and the evening clouds. This is my favorite part of the trip – day at the sea. You see, I grew up nearby seashore and grew to love it, to respect it and to fear it. Love it for the sake of the salty smell, sand under my feet, fresh sea air, beautiful sunsets, roar of the waves, and sound of the sea birds. Respect the might and power of it and fear the ocean currents. I believe we all have a special place in our hearts for our childhood surroundings. We store familiar sounds, colors and smells into the depths of our hearts. For some of us the memories have an especially warm tone in them, for some others they might be cold or even chilly. For me… well, make a guess.

Before I get too sentimental, shall we land back to reality… It was a looong day driving through German autobahns. We left our home behind at six in the morning, and I am not even over exaggerating tiniest bit when I tell you that we had driven exactly 1.7 km when our charming little prince asked THE QUESTION for the first time: Mommy are we there yet? Oh boy… only 1000 more kilometers to go… The beginning didn’t promise too much, but all in all the day went better than expected. We only got stuck in traffic twice (both times because there were some accidents on the road) and the kids were mostly behaving very well. We had packed a bunch of new or borrowed car-suitable toys, magazines and books for their amusement and it actually worked. Last part of the drive was the most difficult one, since everyone just wanted to get to the ship. But we arrived to Travemünde at 8:00 pm. Had a snack in port house and changed the kids into their pajamas. We knew that the ship leaves the haven at 2:00 in the morning but unfortunately we didn’t realize to check beforehand what time we are allowed to drive into the ship. This resulted as a one and a half hours of very nervous waiting in the car, just sitting in line with all the other nervous drivers. Note to self: next time we can arrive to the port just before eleven and avoid the waiting part.

Finally in the ship, dead tired, and after finding our cabin the kids were sound asleep within a matter of seconds. None of us noticed the moment when the ship actually departed – we were sleeping like marmots. Shhhh… Meanwhile, let me tell you a little about our ship, Finnmaid. She (did you know that sailors always call their ships “she”?) is not an enormously big ship but has everything what one might need: there is a restaurant with delicious brunch in the morning (including a lot of lactose free food that our whole family can eat!), there is a kids playroom (with ball pond!!! no need to mention that little ones love that!), there is a sauna with Jacuzzi, there’s massage therapist if you like to make an appointment, and there’s a gym. And a little souvenir shop. Most of the travelers are professional truck drivers, who seem to value their peace and sleep so it is definitely not a party ship. Suits us! Only this time there were a bit more other folks as well since it is the holiday season.

After sleeping a good night sleep, we enjoyed the brunch in the restaurant. There was a friendly waitress welcoming us on the restaurant door and showing us to our table. What always strikes me a bit hilarious is that you meet this one person at restaurant door and then a few hours later you meet the same person in the cafe. And a few hours later she’s serving you at souvenir shop. Feels like there’s only one person running all the services at the ship. Okay, I know it is not true but so it seems… :) Anyway, we ate some brunch. And ate some more… and ate some more. Until the kids got too restless and the smaller one had filled up his diapers two times in a row. Right there we gave up and headed to the kids playroom. Both were absolutely amused with ball pond, and stayed there until their eyes were dropping and we decided it was time to have a nap. We put them to their beds in the cabin, and meanwhile the others were sleeping I ended up levitating in the air. Yes, little prince charming was taking so much space that I didn’t have a lot of options next to him. And ended up mastering my levitating skills… make a guess – did I get ANY rest…?

Everyone else woke up refreshed and it was time for some more ball pond. Some bigger German speaking kids were arranging a Second World War in the sea of balls and air space was full of balls plus some other plastic items flying around. After one Finnish lady was unsuccessfully trying to slow them down, I gathered all my authority and snapped at them with best High German I could come up with… and surprisingly it worked. That left me wondering – maybe I could have stopped the Second World War right in the beginning if I just happened to be there…? Well, too late. I was not there.

In the evening it was time for Sauna, shower and Jacuzzi, and of course the kids loved it. I personally found the dressing rooms a bit disgusting after all the people running back and forth the whole day with their wet feet and others obviously with not so clean shoes. But oh boy, was it nice to go to Sauna! Last time was too long ago… Clean and shiny, it was time for some more ball pond and there it was: the third world war was about to begin… well, guess what?! I stopped that one too!! J Gee… Kids played until they were all sweaty again and then, all too soon if you ask them, it was time for bed. Now it is all peaceful and we are taking turns with my dear husband, another one watching our precious little sleepyheads and another enjoying the view and the time at the sea. Tomorrow we have some more tiring, monotonous driving ahead but now it is time to relax and enjoy. A peaceful night ahead, slightly rocking waves singing lullabies to us…

Traveler’s Daily Verse:


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