Iceland & Scotland Day 4: I'm on a Ferry
I’m currently out to sea as I write this, and I mean that literally. Today was one of many travel days on this trip, beginning with a mini bus taxi and ending on a ferry with a rented van in between.
We left civilized Edinburgh this morning to explore what I’m hoping is more wild country like in romanticized tales of Scotland. A taxi driver picked us up in what can only be called a bus (a small one) to take us to the airport so that we didn’t have to attempt to drive on the wrong side of the road through city traffic. The cabby was great, particularly insightful in the local opinion of Brexit wherein the Scots’ opinion on their own freedom is concerned. It is quite interesting to hear how people from other countries stereotype those from other countries than them, and our driver exclaimed that he’d be happy to be free of the British because they’re mean; when he was last in London the people on the street cast their eyes down and frowned – a far cry from the friendly Scots.
I did get an update on my luggage when we reached the airport! When the clerk was checking on my tracking number he found the suitcase and was describing the contents, “blue converse hightops, a hair straightener, a tennis ball…?” making me entirely too excited about receiving my bag since it turns out its still in Iceland. Yes, you read that right, they didn’t even bother to attempt to get it into the correct country. Supposedly they’re sending it now (good luck finding us) but more than likely I’ll just pick it up in the Iceland airport at this rate.
For our drive up to Aberdeen where my aunt, cousins and I are taking a ferry to the Shetlands, we rented a mini van. The ride was quite diverting, beginning with my uncle announcing “I will now be taking my authoritah” before he started driving and ending with a weaving frenzied quest for a parking spot taking us halfway around the city. Strangely, the drive through the countryside looked much the same as my drive through East Tennessee: green as far as you can see with rolling hills in the background. I suppose that in reality, many lands with a similar climate look much the same, but it is still strange to think that of somewhere halfway around the world.
There were some differences, particularly in how the main road itself runs: more like a highway than an interstate as gas stations are set up right along the road instead of on exits, the street is lined with grass and trees rather than billboards and advertisements and speed limit signs are largely ignored. Ok, maybe that’s the same.
I finally got the chance to talk to my grandmother on the ride and in true road trip fashion we discussed everything from religion to politics to food. We also passed the coolest playground I’ve ever seen with a 20+ foot metal slide accessed only by a long flight of stairs. If we’d been able to stop, I would definitely not have been above pushing little children out of the way to get to that slide. Europeans really do know how to recess!
Aberdeen yielded difficult traffic patterns and no parking, but once we conquered both I did finally get to purchase a rain coat! Best of all, I match my little cousin, so we look like to very different-heighted twins. Before reaching the city, we mused on how we traveled before smart phones, and we got to find out firsthand when no one could hold a connection with Google Maps. Apparently, BSP was not pretty.
Our ferry looks more like a small cruise ship, not at all what I’d envisioned. Having never been on anything more than a little motor boat on the lake, I was curious of the experience, but I must say that this water bug loves being out on the sea! I don’t at all get motion sick, so the gentle rocking of the ship only bothers me in that it is constantly putting me to sleep.
This evening I escaped bedtime and stood out on the top deck, gazing out over the sun-kissed waves as the wind whipped my hair around my face. It was the quintessential cinematic peaceful scene, with me the only person braving the chill that I did not even feel as I was too far absorbed in doing absolutely nothing. As much as I love work – and I truly love what I do – it has been quite a welcome change not having my mind constantly whirring with to-do lists and getting to simply photography and philosophize instead.
Tomorrow we’ll feed the Shetland ponies. I’m sure we’re doing other things, but this is the only thing I know about the island! Ah, I do love exploring without having to plan for myself.
I wrote this thinking I wouldn’t be able to post it today, but we came into port so I’ve got wifi! I’m not entirely sure where we are, but it appears to be an island with rolling hills, dotted with houses and windmills.