Men bearing quadruplets on the ferry

Leaving the hotel and joining the queue to board the ferry to Rostock was very easy. It just goes to prove that if you scope it out first and plan ahead, things tend to go smoothly. In fact, someone asked Mirinda how to get to the ferry earlier. She pointed vaguely and said “Go along there and turn left.” Or similar.

Of course, everything was made so much easier given we’d scored a negative on our Covid PCR tests. Pity. I was kind of hoping it would be positive, so we’d be forced to remain in Sweden.

Once aboard – the automatic check-in and lack of passport nonsense because of Freedom of Movement made it all very smooth and easy – we went to our room and settled the dogs down. Then Mirinda went for a walk. Then I went for a walk. Then I took the girls to the toilet deck. Then we returned to the cabin.

On my various trips around the ferry, I was amazed by how many bald headed men with massive beer guts there were aboard. It was like a Gammon Convention. Not that they were British. I have no idea where they were from, but they were all huge. A few times I had to back up to a convenient space in the corridors, in order for them to pass.

It was harder getting by the groups of smokers who gathered around the entrances puffing out clouds of annoyance. Why they can’t stand at the stern or bow I don’t know. I felt like Larry David, making exaggerated waving motions with my hands to indicate how much I preferred fresh air. It made no difference.

Speaking of freedom of breathing, masks were mandatory when dealing with the staff so, naturally, I did all the buying and wandering. I did tell Mirinda that wearing a mask with a full beard was a pain because you spend a lot time with a mouthful of hair.

We arrived at Rostock without any problems. TT Lines is a very smooth and efficient operation. We left the ferry, then headed across Germany for our hotel near the Netherlands border.

It took close to six hours, including a few stops for dog walking and driver exercise. But eventually we pulled into the car park – for once Denise’s parking angel was with us as a single space appeared in an otherwise full car park – and checked in.

The drive, while most of the time very smooth and fast, was punctuated with lots of roadworks and a massive storm which cut visibility to almost nothing. Not that it stopped most German drivers on the autobahn. It was like being regularly passed by jet boats.

At the hotel, rather than go to the restaurant, we had room service and the food was delicious. The room was also very good. We were on the ground floor and the room had a big glass door leading out to a small terrace. This was perfect for the dogs.

We then collapsed into a travel induced coma until Emma woke us by running outside and barking at something in the early hours of the morning. See? Perfect for the dogs.

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