In Sweden the water is free

What a horrendous night we had. First up, having all fallen asleep, Freya decided she wanted to go to the loo at half past midnight. Obviously, Emma suddenly wanted to as well. I put my shoes on and took them down.

The hotel room in Trelleborg is three floors up and across a big cavernous hall, where the foot passengers wait for the ferries. Then you go through two automatic doors.

Emma, being well versed in automatic doors, led the way outside. Having peed as much as they needed, we headed back up to the room. We were all asleep very quickly.

Then, some time later, a clearly distressed Freya woke us both up. Mirinda took her into the bathroom where Freya frantically looked around for some grass. Mirinda tried to tell her it was okay to go inside this once. She didn’t need any more encouragement.

A lot of liquid poured out of poor Freya’s butt, giving Mirinda a lovely job, cleaning it up. While it wasn’t pleasant for Mirinda, Freya was delighted. Mind you, she did sleep on my arm for the rest of the night.

This, however, wasn’t the worst thing today. No, that honour goes to Hans.

Back when we decided on a date to leave, I tried to book the same hotel we used last time, quite near the German/Netherlands border but, sadly, it was full. I found another one quite close which also took dogs. I booked it through Airbnb without reading the fine print.

Then, this morning, I realised that check in closed at 8pm. The earliest we could be there would be 10pm. I quickly wrote to Hans, asking him if we could still check in.

I knew it was my fault and figured if he said no, I could then book something else and take the loss. It wasn’t the only time I tried to contact Hans.

After writing to Hans, then checking out of the hotel, we headed for the labyrinthine maze that is the boarding procedure at the ro-ro port, until we reached out waiting lane where, along with everyone else, we waited.

Mirinda was very pleased we were catching the Nils Holgersson TT Line ferry. Built in 2022 and flying the German flag, it’s named after the Selma Lagerlöf book about a boy (Nils) and his goose. And has an appropriate painted mural.

During the crossing, Mirinda was surprised that they charged for water. “You must be Swedish,” The German server said. “In Sweden, the water is free.”

The new ferry is eco friendly and they don’t use plastic. Water is desalinated out of the Baltic which comes at a cost. That cost is passed on to the drinking public. Mirinda, on the other hand, was very pleased to be mistaken for a Swede.

Eventually, the ferry arrived at Rostock and we all sat waiting to drive off. We all sat for almost an hour. I don’t know why it took so long. At any rate, I didn’t hear from Hans.

We took off, dashing down the autobahns, dodging suicidal trucks and avoiding the death wish rockets in the super fast lane. Mirinda did really well and took a few well earned rests along the way.

By 8pm, I still hadn’t heard from Hans. I did hear from Airbnb asking if check in went okay because, they said, ‘Hans, is a great person to contact if you need anything during your stay – but if you ever need us, we’re here 24/7.’

I told the bot exactly what I thought of Hans and I was directed to a human operator called Karisa. And what a brilliant operator she was. She tried to contact Hans then, failing that, cancelled the booking and refunded us the money. It was a delight and I hope they give Hans what he deserves for being so incommunicado.

Of course, we then had to find accommodation for the night somewhere close to where we were. Osnabruck turned out to be just the place.

As we raced into the darkening night, I emailed the Holiday Inn and waited impatiently for a response. Eventually it came and, yes, they had a room and they loved dogs.

There was a bit of confusion over the parking but, finally, exhausted, we fell onto the bed. Sleep consumed us all.

It was rather windy on the ferry.

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