I can see the attraction that our loyal followers have for the couch. I have spent most of the afternoon ensconced in one in the Naust café & lounge on the M/F Norrona as we head to the Faroes. I have eaten, slept and spent time starting the redrafting the three pages on motorcycle equipment camping equipment etc to better reflect the passage of time since they were first written back in 2014. It is a lot more comfortable than being in the saddle all day. Any one want to swap?
We sailed out of Hirtshals on a bright sunny day onto a calm sea with Streak and Storm lashed to the deck down below after a little struggle with the securing ropes. It took me a while to realise that the locking mechanisms did not work for many of the straps and old fashioned knots were the go. We have 36 hours before we reach the Faroe Islands so time to relax and enjoy the many restaurants and bars. Our travelling companions include a fleet of RV’s from Italy, about 40 motorcycles including a couple of Nimbus motorcycles, a 1936 and 1955, and I thought that a Nimbus was a magic flying broom used in Quiditch games from a Harry Potter movie.
Looking at my phone, which was using global roaming via the extra AU$5 per day Vodaphone package I see I am still connected to the phone and 3G out to sea. Maritime Roaming? Eeek! I switch off the Global Roaming and phone to flight mode. I see a message from Vodaphone advising me that I will be charged AU$5 per minute for calls, AU0.75 for text and AU$5 per 1MB for data. It was just a seamless transition, lucky I am not a heavy mobile app user. A trap for the unwary, such as me.
Due to our late booking we were only able to secure a “couchette” for the first leg of this journey. Anne’s view of the couchette experience: Our 6 birth ‘cabin’ is on deck 2, burried in the bowels of the ship, below both car decks that is 2 levels below the cars. If that wasn‘t bad enough, the saloon type swing doors from the couchette room open inwards, that means that in an emergency, you would have to remember to pull into the room rather than push out. Being claustrophic, that is a double whammy that I don’t know I’ll be able to cope with. I tried sleeping on the top deck, but being the kids’ area, and with mostly citizens of a culture where kids rule, kids can play all night and make as much noise as they want even after midnight (while their parents sleep peacefully in their own room), so in the end, I relented and joined Anthony in our illustrious couchette room. It wasn’t all bad, because we had the whole room to ourselves. And I did sleep.
Apart from the couchette room doors opening inwardly, we are very impressed with the ferry. It has several comfortable seating areas, 2 eating areas, one ‘cheap’ cafetatia type and one with more luxury dining. We even had live ‘pub music’ in the bar last night. Breakfast in the Diner/cafetaria was ‘free’ for couchette passengers and quite adequate. Different brochures on the Faroes and Iceland kept being resupplied. There is an information desk where you can buy various tours, if they not already fully booked 😦 as I found out yesterday. Oh well… there might still be a cancellation for us to get to Mykines.
If you have forgotten anything, fret not, the duty free shop has it all, from butterfly/packable ladies shoes, to the all important motorcycle stickers, wollen and hiking clothing, underwear, jewellery, wool and knitting needles, architecture Lego, electronic spares, alcohol and chocolates.
On the way back, we’ll try and remember to take our swimmers out so that we can enjoy the scenery from the top deck, from the comfort and warmth of the hot spas!
We spend the first day at sea skirting the Norwegian coast with the possibility of a glimpse of the Orkneys promised at five am tomorrow. I think I will give that a miss and just buy the postcard. The sea is so calm barely a white cap in sight all day. We are so lucky as neither of us are great seafarers and we have avoided shipborne travel wherever possible. I am surprised to see water running down the windows on the opposite side of the ship given the calm seas, no big waves but regular window washing to keep the view clear for all us passengers. Great Service.The next day, we arrive at Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. This is the weather we are expecting for the next week. One of the first off the ferry, we head straight to our hotel – thought a night in a hotel would be good after the overnight ferry. We get a very odd greeting, with the owner/manager telling us he has booked us into another hotel – no explanation, no apology, just “this is a very nice hotel”. Back into town we go, and this new hotel definitely has a fabulous location! We could just fall into bed and sleep but we have a shower and decide to explore the capital before treating ourselves to a rather delicious dinner at Aarstova restaurant. Despite the dreary weather, we are both looking forward to the coming week on the Faroes although Anne is more excited than Anthony at the idea of camping in those conditions. Anne & Anthony