The night before, there was a fire alarm. Two times, one at 3AM and one at 6AM. Both times false alarm, but still I feel sleepy as I embark onto the giant ferry along with the other 200 people who are going to the north island. the last stop will be Christchurch so I’ve got about 10 hours of travel through the beautiful landscape of New Zealand before me.
I am fast enough to grab myself a seat at the window where I sit down and fall asleep before I notice it. When I wake up 20 minutes later, we have already departed. I grab the sandwiches I prepared the night before. The couple next to me got some hot coffee, and sandwiches as well. I take another bite and look out the window when the first big waves start to hit the ferry. The woman at the table across starts to laugh at her husband who gets white in the face as the ship goes up and down. It feels like sitting in an elevator which moves quickly and lets your heart drop. At first I am amused as well, but then I start to get sick. Really sick. I remember that I heard somewhere that you should look at the horizon and at a fixed point when you get seasick, but the window I am looking out of is stained and it is difficult to concentrate on a fixed point. I am about to barf, so I pack my things and stumble on the top deck. The strong, cold wind hits me, but I can breathe. I have an iron fist in my stomach and the wind blows salt drops on my face, but I can breathe and I know everything will be good.
I stumble from one side of the deck to the other and there are other people, maybe people like me. Although they seem to be fine. I look at the horizon and the ship stops moving. I start walking around more confidently and the man next to me points down at the ocean. “Dolphins” he says and for the first time in my life I see live dolphins. Not on TV, not in the zoo, but free ones. They seem to be happy and they go from one side of the ship to the other.
After about an hour, the first small islands start to appear and the sea gets calmer. More people come on deck and we all start taking pictures of the beautiful green islands that become bigger and bigger until I can see the north island and Picton a small picturesque town with huge ships and ferries – at least huge in comparison to the town.
I get down to the train station where there is already a line of people waiting to hop on. I get my ticket and on I go to Christchurch. I see green hills, vast salt lakes, vinyards, the New Zealand Alps, entertwining rivers, bridges, seals which are lying in the afternoon sun. I eat some apples, some chips and fall asleep again. When I wake up I am already at Christchurch.