When ingress announced the sites for the 2023 anomalies, I thought, I’d get to Reims and that’s it. Then I got an Athens trip as a gift – and after rucking in Athens I kind of had to figure out how to go to Oslo or Madrid.
Flying for a pixel-in-scanner game… yes I flew to Rome for a weekend, everything else always was connected to vacations. So flying to Oslo was not really an option and with Madrid I’m not so sure either. So the thought about using only public transport minus airplanes formed in my mind and – again – I found a connection via bus – Oslo and back. I booked it, signed up and then I got the info that there’s a ferry between Kiel and Oslo.
Having in mind that the trip costs me 1.5 days each – no washing, shower, bed in between, I gladly rescheduled and planned my trip for bus-ferry – including bike transport (yeah. I wanted to bike in Oslo and I wanted to take the next step towards exploring Europe – switching from PanEuropean to Eurovelo Bike path.
That was the plan: Combine travel for ingress with travel for exploring Europe by bike, only open: what am I doing with my GORUCK gear when I am on bike tour.
I have never been in Norway, was in Sweden and Danmark for Ironman races. Norway was new for me. Yet I’d really like to go there some time – far far north, seeing Aurora or experiencing the darkness of the day in Winter. But that’s for another day.
So, Tuesday after work I collected my bike at home, had a coffee, made my way to Heidelberg, where my bus would take off. Packing for GORUCK plus tour really was a challenge – I was not sure if my „fix the GORUCK back on top f the luggage rack on top of the hanging bags“ system would easily work.
It worked. But this was way to much weight. and the next trip will be definitely lighter.
My bus eventually came by, half an hour delay, roughly. Plus – when I entered there was a family – mom, two kids, wityh gigantic suitcases – who wanted to board. The driver was not amused – the cases were quite heavy. Mom defended with „well, we have no on-board luggage“ – and the driver at first refused to lift the heavy things, and then asked for the additional-luggage price.
Yeah – also I had two pieces of inside-the-bus luggage but they were only the small bike bags. So strictly I did not follow the requirements but I always could have connected my bags together to make them one item.
Now watching the escalating discussion I wondered if the topic was that the family was colored and that therefore they could not bend rules while nobody cared if me fifty-something years old white did. Yet the lady immedially escvalated in voice, got really loud while the driver tried to find a solution. Then I wondered if she was over reacting for she gets denied more in mostly-white Germany then other citizens do. It really was a very convoluted situation which led to Police being called, the suitcases ending in the bus (I don’t know if payd or not) and the family climbing up into the bus as well and me asking myself, why my first thought had been if the conflict had to do anything with racism. This is a very strange world but the bus at least could start an hour late.
Good that the times between buses are always calculated for delays so we ended at Essen a bit late, but there was plenty of time for the next bus to Kiel. Sleep was no option – the bus was populated with a large family speeking – I think – Greek where the kids couldn’t stay at their spaces (which I understand on a long trip) Dad sitting in the front (whyever – there had been space), mom with kids on the back and the kids rushing from here to there.
I work with elementary kids so loud kids are no issue for me. Loud parents conversing over the length of the bus are – and unfortunately I had left my noise cancelling headphones our of reach.
No sleep. Lotsa insta feed and useless videos. until we arrived in Essen.
Essen at the bus stop – last time I was in Essen I already noticed many many people asking for change money. Also here – after midnight some guy passed through in need for money.
Next bus off to Kiel. To keep my daily mile I needed to figure out a way when to run – and when – after a smooth and silend bus ride Iarrived in Kiel, there was a chance. Kiel Station has places for luggage storage, I scrambled a few coins together, dumped my things, went on a mile run and then had a decent breakfast at the next best bakery, sitting outside, watching people, On my run I had explored the pathway to the ferry terminal, as well, asked – was met by super friendly personnell, so I could use the rest of the waiting time with a coffee and good and delicious foods. There also was a small super market where I got me some foods for on the boat.
The ferry. They told me that bording started around 11:30, so I finished breakfast, picked up my stuff, my bike, rode to the terminal, showed my ID, and was sent to the front of the line. Advantage of having a small vehicle 🙂 Mine was the collection place for cyclists, then , it was in the bright sun but it was not overwhelmingly warm. Eventually we were led inside, got a space in the Car deck, parked our vehicles, and found our cabins which still were in the process of being cleaned.
So I sat down at a table at some window. Waiting a bit until the cabins were all opened.
After that short night I was very grateful for ahe super dark cabin, dumped my thinks, crashed on the bed and slept for an hour.