Saturday 5 May 2012

Coming is Going

No, this is not a typo - everything in nature and in life is following the slow heaving rhythm of coming and going, the tides of existence. Why should it be different with happy events? Holidays are only a special time - well, because they are a special time, having a beginning and an end. 
Of course, this thought is easier to handle for the arriving bunch than for our nice group trudging down the gangway, in order to catch bus, taxi or shuttle. The skies have covered themselves in dark grey, a chilly wind is bringing out the atmosphere of departure. At least it's not raining much, just a baby shower. But in spite of the built-in melancholy: Many have been here before, so they know, there will be a coming back, will be another special time.
As soon as the ship is empty, a big busy chaos breaks loose - there is so much to do before the new arrival. Cabins have to be cleaned, stocks replenished, equipment prepared, storages emptied, others filled. All in high speed, all with a lot of talking and shoving and milling around each other.
A short stroll in town is in order, few pictures of the mix between old and modern architecture, then back to the ship.
And then we jump into our uniforms again - the busses have arrived!
Although it may seem like a very repetitive procedure, welcoming day is never the same, as it entirely depends on the arriving group. There's not two of them alike, so the usual handling of cruise card, expedition jacket and luggage is fun, not duty.
As soon as everybody is there (boarding completed), we start with the safety drill, where the assembling at the muster stations is trained and the lifesaver suits are demonstrated.
And as if the heavens try to orchestrate the coming and going accordingly, they open up, showing fluffy white clouds and clear blue, while we are heading out of the Oslo Fjord.
And if that isn't enough, the flaming sunset gets a silent, majestic counterpart on the other side of the horizon - the full moon is rising.