Magu Bee at World's End

A travel blog of one crazy Magu Bee traveling the globe.

I happened to get on the volunteering staff at the Roskilde Festival.

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It was all very last minute and so flying down to Denmark was out of the question - didn't even wanna check the airfaires. However, luck had it that the person I knew there, and the one thanks to whom I found out about the opportunity, was headed to Roskilde from Berlin. A quick glance at bus tickets and an even quicker online purchase later I was ready to hitchhike to the festival with Chloe (an Australian previously met in Kuala Lumpur and Bombay).

The pictures definitely are not exciting but the day was such without a doubt.

Getting a ride to Denmark turned out to be quite painless.
We set off from Wedding, the part of Berlin I was staying in, and having taken an Ubahn and a bus, reached a spot not far away from the highway we needed to get on. A short walk afterwards we got off the road and went into a forest running alongside the highway. The truth is, for a long while we weren't even sure we were walking in the right direction - neither Chloe nor me seem to have a good sense of distance and neither knew the exact directions how to get to the gas station we were looking for. As we later found out, it wouldn't be the only thing we weren't sure of that day..
Luckily, it turned out we got it right the first time around and after a short wait we got picked up by a very nice elderly couple with their grandchild onboard, going to ... Rostock! so exactly where we had to be. It's the place you want to be at if you're looking to catch a ferry to Gedser in Denmark.

The plan was to hitchhike the ferry as well but we didn't really know how to get around doing that. It's not much of a problem for the drivers, as they pay per car, not the number of people in it (128e per vehicle). After considering a couple of spots and not having luck at all (we were standing way too far away from the booths, at some traffic lights at the entrance to the harbour), plus beginning to be a bit short of time (the ferry was leaving in half an hour, in theory pedestrians should be there 15 mins prior to the departure), we decided to maybe play it safe this time and buy ourselves tickets. After all, it was just 7e and we weren't facing any expences in the next couple of days. However, when we go to the ticket counter we heard it would be 14e, but per person. That seemed like a lot, too much actually, so we decided to try to swing it or, in worst case scenario, wait for the next ferry, which would give us 2 hours to find a ride.
We positioned ourselves next to the booths, something we decided against in the beginning (though honestly - no idea why) and started asking drivers if they wouldn't be kind enough to take us along. Everyone seemed to be either full or going to Sweden and time was almost up. Chloe was on the phone with a friend wanting to ask if they managed to get a ride when another car pulled up. Two guys inside, Latvian plates. I knock on their window, see their fairly surprised expressions and, wearing my best you-really-want-to-like-me-and-do-what-I-ask-of-you smile asked if they were headed to Gedser. A very surprised look at my face, their heads turning one to another and the passanger says 'Da.' Oh-o, this should be fun! I think to myself.

Knowing that English alone wouldn't be of much use, I brought pantomime into the play. "Can two people get in and go with you?" my face and hands were asking. Another head spin and a, this time awaited, "Da" followed. We jumped in, realised the two had no idea where to go or how to communicate with anyone other than themselves, declined beer offerings they made and tried to escape them as soon as we got to the ferry itself.

We climbed the highest floor and went out on the deck to enjoy the unexpected sun and the expected breeze. The guys started taking pictures with us but it still was ok. They tried speaking to me, notcing that I could understand some Russian (and will be able to do so a lot more quite soon, btw), failing to notice I didn't wanna be taking part in any kind of conversation..

Chloe, the lucky non Russian speaker, blissfully fell asleep on my laps while I was trying to cope with the more and more annoying behaviour of our drivers.

A moment later we saw a group of cute elder people cheerfully taking a picture on the deck. We were seeing some of them earlier on and couldn't help but notice that they had the Swedish flag allover - on their baseball hats, on the plastic bags in their hands, on the key chains around their necks. It looked quite peculiar on a ferry going to Denmark. So when we saw a whole group of them Chloe smiled and asked: "Do you think they know we're not going to Sweden?" I was about to start laughing when suddenly
*instant realisation and fear in the eyes*
"Wait.. Do we know we are not going to Sweden?!"
It just so happens nobody ever checked our tickets (which was great in a way - neither of us had any kind of an ID..), there were two ferries leaving basically at the same time and our drivers had no idea which turn to take on the roundabout we were passing just before getting onboard. And right there and then we knew it - we were on the wrong ferry!

We ran back inside and started looking around for any kind of a hint as to the ferry's destination. Somehow all we could see was yellow ang blue - Swedish national colours. Neither of us speaks any Scandinavian language but the one all the signs were in definitely looked like Swedish, if you ask me! We ran one deck below to find someone we could ask the not-at-all-stupid-question that was drilling our minds for the last couple of minutes. I noticed a Polish guy I earlier saw taking pictures on the deck and approached him with this sheepish apologizing smile to ask "Ummm I'm sorry, I have a little question.. Where is this ferry going?". A puzzled look followed by a cautious "To Denmark." 
*sigh of relief*

We had already decided that as soon as we get off the ferry, we get out of the Latvian car. We did as we said and found ourselves standing by the side of the road close to the harbour. First things first - where are we exactly and which direction do we want to be going? Ummm.. Well.... Won't they know where Roskilde is and just tell us if we're on the right way? - Man, we're pro at this! 
Well, we wait for a car to come. And wait a bit more, and yet a bit. And.. we realised we were one before last while getting on the ferry - obviously, there aren't more cars coming till the new ferry comes! Dang, how do we ever get places? 
Luckily, there was a man travelling with his little son and they left their car on the harbour's parking lot, so we get our ride in the right direction.

A ride with another Latvian, this time a young professional living and working in Denmark, and we get off at a gas station in Roskilde. We follow the road and go over the highway to immediately see we've successfully arrived - tens of young people all heading in one direction. With backpacks, suitcases, trollies, on bikes and on foot, with cases of beer and bags of food. The party on the camp site started a couple of days back, whereas we got there just a day before the actual festival started.

It takes us over an hour to get our passes, because the person in charge of it has to take care of some emergency. That leaves us sitting at the gate (and by gate I mean a spot where the bars are opened for 24/7 and two volunteers are checking people's wristbands) and are exposed to all types of people coming to enjoy the event - hipsters, hippies, rockers, skaters, punks, fashionistas, oldies, teens, families with children..