Monday, 27 June 2011

The Stress of a Vacation

Part of the great fun of any vacation is the anticipation leading up to the day of departure.  The excitement builds until finally, the taxi is waiting and it is time to go to the airport.  But for some people the tension  builds and travelling can be quite a stressful time, "Where are the plane tickets?  Where is my passport?  Did I turn off the stove?  Did I pack my contact lenses?  What did I forget?  Did I leave the key for the cat sitter?"  After a while the journey seems to be one queue after another.  Wait for the checkin machine.  Wait for the baggage drop off.  Wait for security.  Wait at the gate. And then wondering, "Where's my boarding pass?  Did I leave my passport back at security?  I hope Fluffy doesn't starve while we're away."  Some people may go through three or more airports on the way to Greenland.  Endless queues.  Endless struggles with luggage.  The stress of it all.  Does it ever end?
Yes. Finally.  The last flight.  Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq Greenland.  After our Greenland air charter jet touched down in Kangerlussuaq, we walked 100 metres across the tarmac into the Kang' airport.  There to greet us were six members of the Expedition Team from the MV Fram.  Incredibly, they told us we didn't have to worry about our luggage.  The luggage would follow us to the ship in a truck. There was no lineup.   In fact, all we had to do was walk outside to a waiting motor coach and enjoy the 20 minute ride to the ship.  Indeed, you could define that as the precise moment when our holiday had well and truly started.  From now on we wouldn't have to wrestle with our luggage.  No more waiting in airports.  No more stress.
At the harbour there was coffee and snacks.  There was a team of people to help us into life jackets and then into nifty little craft called Polar Cirkel boats.  Okay.    There was a teensy little bit of stress for some people.  There were a few mosquitoes at the harbour checking people for blood type. But really, it's hardly even worth mentioning in a blog. A short brisk boat ride brought us to the ship. Once on the vessel we were efficiently issued our ship's ID and cabin keys and then escorted to our new home away from home.  Before a delicious buffet dinner we were each issued blue wind breaker jackets.  
At 20:30 we all attended a mandatory safety drill which was followed by the Captain's welcome cocktail in the Observation Lounge on deck seven where we were introduced to many of the key personnel on the ship.
Wow.  That was a long day!  But now you can kick back, relax and get ready to meet Greenland.