Thursday, 5 November 2015
MEIN SCHIFF 4, 7th September 2015, Part 6
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Today is a cause for celebration for many of us, with our much-loved Queen Elizabeth II becoming the United Kingdom's longest serving Monarch. I put my celebratory magazine picture out on my dressing table for the day, which I knew would interest and please my two cabin stewards - I met them the other day and they were very happy to speak in English. I learned that one cleans just the cabin bathrooms and the other has responsibility for everything else in the cabins.
Today though I was up early for breakfast because some of us were getting off the ship as soon as we had docked in Gothenburg in Sweden. We met at 8.45 a.m. as arranged and took the first shuttle coach into the city. The ship automatically charged me for the shuttle bus when I showed my ship card on boarding the bus, which saved such a lot of time and effort. We had berthed way down river , west from Gothenburg city, in the cargo terminal area, so it was some miles to travel. Once in the city we could walk into a bus and ferry agent and buy combined bus and ferry tickets for a trip out to the islands. The times were checked and we were soon hurrying out to catch a bus to the ferry port of Saltholmen. I feel so lucky with my friends, that they contrive to arrange these delightful extra outings.
Some of the local ferries were already in port but we were aiming to catch the 10.55 a.m. RIVO from Saltholmen south to Kopstadso and back again. The sky was blue, the air clear, the water still and the only sounds were small waves glancing against the quays or nearby rocks.
It had taken us about two hours to get to this little port, but just a few miles across the water and beyond the rocks we could actually see our ship, looming large at her berth. RIVO arrived and passengers disembarked and we all embarked, sitting in the main lounge.
We were intrigued to see our wake from the little aft deck area, our route on the display board, and then our location. We disembarked at Kopstadso and barely had our feet touched the quay than the ship was up and away.
We noticed a white-painted box nearby which had the word GODS writ large upon the front, but soon realised the Swedish word translated to freight or goods in English. We also noticed the wheelbarrows.
We turned round again and there was our next ferry coming alongside - the SILVERTARNAN - and we set off back to Saltholmens.
There were islands and rocks to be seen, various sized small vessels around, birds in the air and on the rocks, and long-distance and short-distance views to be seen everywhere - it was beautiful, and an excellent way and day to be at sea.
Back at Saltholmens we sat happily on a bench in the sunshine and waited for our next ferry to arrive.
This time we boarded VESTA and sailed off south again to visit several islands on this trip. We called at Kopstadso, Styrso Bratten, Styrso Skaret, Donso, Sjumans-holmen, Karholmen, Vrango, Donso, Stytrso Skaret, Styrso Bratten, Kopstadso yet again, before sailing back to Saltholmens Brygga. It had been a fascinating sail, with lunch on board, and lots to see and admire all the time.
Rather reluctantly we caught a bus back to the city, although this was enlivened by trying to count the number of puppies that came on board with a dog handler and sat very quietly under her seat: I think we counted eight in total, all different breeds.
Back in the city of Gothenburg we made our way to the shuttle bus and the trip home to the ship. It had been a wonderful day out to the Gothenburg Archipelago.
Some of our group of seven went to Surf & Turf Restaurant for dinner, whilst some of us went to the Brasserie, but all enjoyed the food and service. Overnight we will continue our way north, and should arrive tomorrow morning in Oslo, Norway.
Ships seen: Rivo, Silvertarnan, Vesta, Ylva, Vipan, Valo, Gota II, Lyron, Stena Scandinavica, Mein Schiff 4, Arlan, Transkar, Ask of Stena Line, Stena Charisma, Stena Danica, Stena Jutlandica, Stena Scanrail, Marieholm the 1934-built little passenger ship now berthed in Gothenburg city, Tor Fionia
To be continued...