Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Travel by numbers 18: Oslo-Berlin

Driven distance: seven hundred and twelve kilometres
Driving time: eight hours and twenty eight minutes
Sailing distance: four hundred and seventy three kilometres
Sailing time: fourteen hours
Idiot drivers: two enormous ones

So I tested my new friend and learned a few things:
1. I can drive uphill without slowing down.
2. a cup holder is crucial, but even more crucial is the right place to put one.

I got the tyres changed in a very small garage in Gothenburg, run by a very nice Iraqi man. He told me he'd been living in Sweden for 26 years, and almost never went back to Iraq because he found it too difficult and dangerous there. But his elderly parents still live there, so he does go back every couple of years to visit them. He made me coffee and we talked about the weather.
The biggest surprise there was the toilet. It was a tiny little room, painted in a very bright pink. I thought that was quite unusual for a garage.

Then I drove to the ferry.
I saw a truck lose its load in front of the check-in gates. First there was a loud crashing noise, and I didn't know what it was, then I looked over and saw the truck.

The trailer had come off the cabin and had hit the ground. Seconds later, the driver jumped out of the cabin, saw what had happened and grabbed his head with both hands. I felt really sorry for him.
He couldn't move, as the trailer was still lying partly on the tail end of his cabin. (I'm sure these things have proper names, but I'm not a trucker and I don't know them.)

Then a forklift came.

He lifted the trailer off the cabin and drove off again. To me it seemed like he could have been useful in putting the trailer back on as well, but what do I know.

The driver was on the phone running back and forth, into the building, back out, circled around his truck for a while.

All of this took about half an hour (check-in hadn't opened yet, so I was stuck there waiting - it's not as if I'd parked especially to witness the events unfold).

More truckers came to see what had happened, and they probably offered some advice.

This is the last thing I saw: the man trying to get the trailer back onto the truck.
Once I was on board, I could see the truck was no longer there, so he must have succeeded.