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Cluj – Amsterdam Hitch

I intended to start hitching on Monday, sadly rain hit Cluj. I figured ill kick back for one more day and get going the next. It was a great choice, for Tuesday morning the weather was much better. I arrived at the hitch-hiking spot around 09:00 and got a ride in about 50 minutes towards Oradea. While driving the dude told me had had to make a little detour and do some buizness, Basically he was a salesman working for a concrete company, he had to drop of a sample at a nearby mobile concrete station. I figured, ill just join him, he seemed cool. Eventually he took me all the way to the Border crossing of Romania/Hungary, due to the detour though we arrived around 14:00

I walked the border and popped my sign with Budapest, Wien, High in the sky! There wasn’t that much traffic but eventually this fancy Italian car stopped. Inside though wasn’t an Italian, it was a Moldovan dude my age. He was going all the way to Salzburg Austria. Heall Yeah! The dude named Mihail (pronunced as Micheal) was pretty damn cool. He seemed to be of the Moldovan high class, for his car was fancy, he had some pretty bling bling watch. Basically he works as a driver. A friend of him got an accident in Austria, the reason he was heading there was to pick him up and bring him home. The road was quick for Mihail was quite the fast driver, even though of the high speeds he seemed to know what he was doing. Unlike some other Romanian rides I hitched :)) (no accidents occurred that day). Mihail was very fond of Karma, we had an extensive chat about the simple fact that What you Give is what you Get. If you are friendly to people around you and help them, people will be friendly to you and help you. If you are an asshole and fuck people up. Theres gonna be people fucking you up. Arriving In Hungary he wanted to get some food, Goulash is the stuff to eat here he said. The best one is here on the highway. Ill buy you one!

Arriving at the place I laughed, for I hitch-hiked on the other side of the highway a few times. I never stopped on this side of the highway though. Considering he invited me for dinner and I didn’t eat much that morning except for some Eggplant Salad la Ioana I gladly accepted the invite. Besides that, Traditional Hungarian Goulash, That stuff is just great. We ate and kept moving. Eventually he dropped me off in Linz around 22:00 that evening. Its a new record!! My luck ran out though, The place he dropped me off seemed perfect, Multiple gas stations, Big resting area, Big restaurant, Industrial area connected to it, Lots of traffic. Sadly enough only local traffic. It seemed I was right before this bigger intersection and nobody was taking the exit I needed to take. I walked around and asked people until midnight when I decided to find a place to pop my tent. I walked to the other side of the Industrial area, There on some farmland hidden between trees and Crops I slept.

I woke up before Sunrise, Packed my stuff and headed to the Autobahn

I woke up before Sunrise, Packed my stuff and headed to the Autobahn

Day 2

I got back to the Highway around 07:00, Ready to get to NL by the evening. I switched between 2 spots basically, but talking to the people and looking at their plates it were 99% locals, nobody heading towards Germany at all. For the first time since I have been hitch-hiking I kind of lost in Negative Ego Mental patterns . Last night I was stuck here, Now again no luck at all. The voice just kept on complaining, Dude your stuck here, Dude your never gonna get out, Dude there are no German cars here, Dude ya should have stayed in Romania. Then the light bulb popped up. Andy one of the volunteers who helped us digging the trench lives in Linz. I texted Victor for his number a gave him a call, problem solved! He was quite surprised to hear my voice, but he was glad to pick me up and help me on my way. It was great to see him really, I felt so much better getting out of another Oblivion. He advised me to take the local road to Passau rather then stay on the Autobahn. Its not as fast as the Autobahn, but local people are much more friendly so you get more short rides. So we drove inside Linz and he dropped me off on the road.

Things were looking forward, After a little wait a cool dreaded girl picked me up who took me for 15 km, There another lady picked me up who took me for about 20, then a guy doing groceries another 15km further, from there I walked a bit until suddenly this car from the other side of the road stopped with seemingly a mother and a daughter, yelling. Heyyy! Wanna come with us. Wait here let me turn around! The daughter was going to Passau for shopping, but first she had to bring her mom home and pick up her sister. When I asked later, it seemed that they passed me while I was walking, Then suddenly the mom asked, shall we bring him? The daughter replied, yes lets do it! then they turned around and came back for me! The road was great, the main road to Passau was closed, so we had to take a detour through Austrian Country Side and parallel to the Donau. In the end they dropped me at the A3 Highway entrance on the other side of Passau. Quite fast I got a short ride to the first Gas station on the Autobahn.

Back on the Autobahn thing returned back to normal. Lots of people, lots of cars, lots of long distance travelers. I just had to find the right one! I mostly stood at the entrance of the shop and ask people filling up gas where they were going and whether they could take me. Eventually I got a ride to Nurnberg, The dude told me that there was a huge Traffic jam at the Austrian/German border due to the Refugee controls. I didn’t even notice at all for I kind of avoided the control taking the local roads. I did see some huge tent camps at the Hungarian border, and some random families chilling at Gas station. While driving the guy couldn’t find a hotel in Nurnberg to sleep in, instead he found a room not that far from where he picked me up. It was dark now too, He dropped me of at a seemingly good spot, but at arrival I noticed the emptiness of this place. Damn I felt like I was in the Apocalypse.

Deserted Gas station trying to Hitch-hike at night.

Deserted Gas station trying to Hitch-hike at night.

Even though it was night and empty, I didn’t wanna stop trying until midnight at least. I started walking around searching for some truckers. but as expected they were getting ready to sleep. I applied my usual tactic, To park my backpack and myself at the shops entrance, then walk and talk to people filling up gas. It was a very empty gas station, very little cars coming in. There were also police patrols every 30 minutes or so. The few cars that did stop seemed rather friendly but were not going in my direction. Eventually the Police came to check on me to. They drove some circles when eventually stopping right in front of me. It was quite fun actually, They rolled down the window, before they were able to say anything I said to them in German, Good evening, I’m Hitchhiking to Nurnberg, are you heading in that direction maybe? (I don’t know how to write it in German) They started laughing. Basically we had a little chat, they were curious where I came from what I was doing here etc. I told them I’m hitch-hiking and that I got somewhat stuck on this gas station due to no cars. In the end they wished me good luck and left me in peace.

Eventually just chillin at this deserted Post-Apocaplypse gas station, two Romanian vans stopped. This is my chance I figured. I walked to the fist dude and started talking to him in Romanian. Its quite weird, when I’m in Romania, I have some trouble properly using the language, especially in a group. one on one its somewhat oke. But when I’m by myself it goes so much better. I managed to properly communicate with him, when I told him I’m from The Netherlands he was quite amazed and complimented my Romanian speaking :)). In the end I managed to get the ride approximately 100km, for 5 euro. Considering I wanted to get out of there I decided to pay. The ride was amusing, communication was in Romanian, He couldn’t not believe i’m hitchhiking and Volunteering like this. He was like, you’re from NL go and work there for Big moneh! Eventually they dropped me of on a bigger far better gas station next to Nurnberg. It was getting late though, After scouting the area and trying to talk to a few more people, I headed into the forest and popped my tent for a good nights rest.

Day 3

That morning I overslept a little, Usually pack my stuff before sunrise. Apparently I slept through my alarm this morning and it was just after sunrise. Well fair enough, I packed my stuff and headed to the Gas Station. I walked around a bit to check what cars were present, A few of them were actually Dutch plates, No people nearby though. I walked around some more talking to people, when all of the sudden I see this dude get into his Volkswagen van. I ran like crazy for he was heading to NL for sure. I waved, he rolled down his window while starting his car and with a big smile I asked him. I bet you are going back to The Netherlands! May I join you:))))))? Healyeah he replied, Hop in. I used to hitch-hike a lot back in the days. You cant imagine how great this feeling is, of waking up next to the road and almost instantly find a long ride “home”!

The dude was pretty cool, He explained me how he got sick of The Netherlands. Last year he and his wife bought a few hectares of land in Hungary, Now he is building his own stuff, has some chickens, pigs and goats, and lots of fruit trees. living life more like life is supposed to look like. He was going back to NL to work for two months so he can invest it in his property after.

It was great talking to him, When I started asking about this Hitch-hiking experiences I found out he hitch-hiked from Europe to Australia 40 years ago, it almost took him 2 years. For he hitch-hiked without a plan, he just threw his thumb in  Eastern direction going with the flow. I got to learn a lot about his experiences, he had great stories to tell. He told me though, he would not do I again in times like these. Back then things were different he said. We were getting close to Arnhem though, I was heading to Amsterdam, He was heading North. There our paths split.

Retired Awesomenaut, doing his Awesomenaut things.

Retired Awesomenaut, doing his Awesomenaut things.

I called my brother from anotha Mother Sascha to inform him on my arrival in NL. I figured I could try and hitch it, or take a train. Instead he offered to pick me up. for he likes driving, and even though Amsterdam/Border sounds like a long ride, its basically only about one hour :). We were enjoying our Fries with Peanut Sauce around 19:00 that evening!

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Onward to Praha

Monday morning when everybody got ready for work I woke up as well, gather all my stuff and got ready for the road towards Praha. I took the U-bahn to Frankfurter Allee, where I took the S-Bahn to S Altglienicke. There was supposed to be a quite busy road with loads of traffic heading south and an emergency lane with enough space to stop for car and truck. I climbed down the side of the bridge, crossed the road, wrote on my shield Dresden and threw out my thumb right in front of the Traffic sign which said Dresden. I cant recal howlong I stood there, but eventually a trucker stopped for me. He was going towards Dresden and could drop me of about 60km before at a gas station. This was awesome, Besides that he was the first Truck I was about to hitch. Even though he didn’t really speak English, and my German isn’t that flawless either, we managed to get a good conversation going.

Sadly I forgot his name, but I remember him well. He was very awesome, when I told him he was the first trucker I was hitchhiking and I didn’t know that much about trucks he basically started to explain me everything about it. For example what he can see via his mirrors and which parts are the dead-spots and quite dangerous to stand or drive in. His truck was quite modern, When he would cross the white line on either left or right side on the road the speakers on either these sides would make a buzzing sounds, he said it was a backup to wake you up instead of falling asleep. Also there were some fancy mathematical shizzles going on on his dashboard. Calculating the distance in between the truck and the car who was driving in front of him up until 1km. he had wifi, a coffee machine, a cooler, 2 beds, A Serious sound installation! He even sounded his huge ass Trucker horn which quite scared the shit out of me, He even had a regular horn which he uses when he is inside the City for obvious reasons :))

Mr, Awesome German truck driver

Mr, Awesome German truck driver

After a few hours we reached the petrol station close to Dresden, when we arrived I got a little scared. Although it was a huge petrol station there were almost no people at all, I headed to the exit ramp of the station and started thumbing, obviously most of the time there were no cars, so I practiced my owl sound a bit, found an oak tree and whistled on the oak caps a bit, read some messages written on the streetlight by other hitchhikers (most of them were very negative). After some time but not more then a hour, an Romanian couple stopped. My shield said Dresden, so they expected me to go there, when I asked where they were going they said Praha to meet up with some Romanian friends of them. I could stay with them for the duration of the ride to Praha.

Radu and his wife were pretty cool, they were traveling for a short time to some capital cities and planned to go back to RO after Praha, Towards Praha we had conversation about lots of things, and they thought me some Romanian pronunciations. Instead of following the Autobahn for the last few km to Praha we had a detour via Czech country side, Eventually they dropped me in the center of Praha, where we said our goodbye. Time for me to adventure the Praha!!

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Berlin Reunion

That afternoon (Friday the 9th of April) we arrived in Berlin, Even though Leifur had to go to the more outskirts of the city to meet his friends, he decided to get a haircut first, which was almost in the center of the center of Berlin, it took some time to find a parking spot but eventually we did, there we said our goodbye and our paths split.

I geared up and started walking, I recognized some buildings from my Berlin visit last year but I wasn’t sure where I actually was, I just felt like chilling in a park, Leifur recommended me one close by, I headed in that direction he pointed me to until I reached the park, James Simon Park to be exact. there I dropped my back, kicked back and relaxed. It was around mid-day, but still had a vew hours for Joel to finish working which was around 6. I had a nap, wrote some mentionable things down when eventually this very cool guy started playing some music. the time passed by as if it were just a few minutes.

Around 6 I reunited with Joel after which we took the U-bahn to his place, did some groceries and waited for Bart to arrive and join the Reunion. Seeing Bart and Joel after such a long period of time was awesome, Me n Bart used to play in Greyscales together with Theo, but for the past year due to my travels and him moving to Berlin, while Theo stayed in The Netherlands we didn’t really play or see each other at all. The night was good, We enjoyed delicious cheap ass wine and jamming out on da Guitars, for dinner we made our self’s a Patatje Oorlog.  Eventually we ended up listening to LPs and playing Shithead for the remainder of the night. Even though I made good friends back in LT, It was damn good to see some Good “old” faces again.

That Saturday we went to a park which was on some sort of “must visit” list of Berlin to kick back and drink some beers, this turned out to be a kids playground, making it somewhat funny, imagine 4 dudes hanging out at this kids playground, what would those parents have thought. Anyway some other friends joined us when we went to the James Simon park again. Another somewhat funny detail was that all those people that joined us later were All Dutch people, “Hey man, how was Berlin? yeah cool, didn’t speak to any German dude but besides that, Great!” The only German dude I did actually spoke to was the friend of the roommate of Joel…. Ah well. (soort zoekt soort eh) Somewhere in the afternoon when Joel left for some crazy Techno-ish Party, we sticked around the park and waited for Bart his Lady to finish working. when she finished her work we met nearby, “sadly” it started raining, so we headed to Bart his place. when we arrived, the rain was practically gone which made us come to the decision to load up our bags with some more beers and just wander around Berlin see what happens. We ended up walking for about 5 hours to random places until a bit after midnight when we met up at a bar in the center with another friend (which happened to be dutch, who had a friend who was also dutch…..:)

Sunday we did what most cool people do in Berlin, which is to visit Mauerpark. every Sunday Mauerpark turns into this festival basically, Musicians gather and play their cool shizzle, there is a market with loads of different things, there is an amphitheater where some performances are done.  people are chilling, having a BBQ and lots of entertainment. When we arrived there was this drum duo playing, they were very awesome and quite familiar around Berlin. We also checked some very cool lady writing her own songs. when everybody arrived at Mauerpark and the pact was complete we chilled some more and eventually went to the best Kebab place in Berlin for of course I had to try it out! After delicious Kebab it was time to say goodbye to da Bartels. for tomorrow my Journey would continue to Prague.

The weekend was really amazing, I had to adapt a bit to the crowded city life of Berlin, living for a year in silence away from the city it was really a slap in the face when I arrived here. but actually after the first day it was quite oke, Instead of disappearing in nature and being away from everything, you just disappear within the masses of the people living their daily city life, waiting for the traffic lights to hit green. Until we meet again!

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Da Weekend in Berlin

Its Saturday 19th of April, Me n my Belgian brothers had a nice breakfast, but the time came for our paths to split again. I thanked them for the hospitality and of course the HH lessons/Tour de Berlin. I had a great time with them!

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I send and sms to my elder, checking where he would be. They were chillin on a Terras. I took the metro there. When I arrived, told them what i have been doing and the roadsz i hitchhiked in the past 3 dayZ. They were sleeping in a hotel nearby, after the introduction we went to the hotel so I could drop my pack. Then we started walking through Berlin, they had been here before multiple times, for me it was the first time. Lau basically only showed me the awesome stuff and Squats where i was interested in.

My elder though, he felt like showing me the more Touristy thingz.
We walked around, passed allot of markets. Berlin haz allot of awesome markets. My elder and hiz Lady-friends like coffee, I’m not really a coffee kind of dude. So here n there we took a terras for a lil break so they could drink some coffee.

20140419_185506Lau showed me the Berlin wall with the lots of Graffiti on it, I loved it. But there is also a part of the wall that they kept like it “originally” was. We will get to that soon! All the other parts of wall they took down had to be memorized. Imagine bricks and plates like this crossing roads n buildings n gardens n everything to show where the wall originally stood before they took it down.

We kept walking, more markets, more crazy things.
Then we got to this place (see below). When you arrive basically you have no idea dafuq it isz. Its this very big Square with all these Blocks on it, you can run through them, walk over them. Some are super high. Some are low, also the roads in between are wobbly. Due to my new tour guide who likes to know allot about things, I found out it was the Holoc@ust Memorial. Apparently it was not allowed to walk over them, there was even a guard walking around. They are afraid you fall down and break a leg. but he didn’t bother me.

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I’m maybe confusing Saturday n Sunday a bit. we also used the car a to drive around, Berlin is very big. But it doesn’t matter that much atm. you can get an idea of what we did/have seen in those 2 days, and that’s what matters!

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We finally got to the the Wall, and I was rather amazed. I just couldn’t imagine a wall like this ran through all of Berlin, splitting West from East n when you tried to pass it, you most likely would get shot. There were guard towers like shown above every vew hundred meters, Searchlights. Mines, dogs, military all kinds of crazy shit.

As usual my guide had to explain it to me in details. Apparently these pictures are rather amusing for peepz that know me and my elder. so that’s why i share.

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I also had to try to climb the wall, this was rather easy. Its not so high as you think. But I figured I should just leap over the edge to check it out instead of actually jumping over it

dviam007Later we went on checking other things in Berlin, in case you might wonder what all the blue is, Its a rather new Church. And some look like that nowadays.

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That night we had dinner across this nice building, I like the architecture! They even manged to convince me to join them to some Salsa place somewhere in Berlin. I’m not so much of a Salsa dude either, but I enjoyed watching all the peepz dancing, got a lil taste of the Salsa nightlife of Berlin.

Sunday we had more funz. We randomly found a huge park whit lots of dudes n dettes. Lots of chillin, Live music. BBQing. Partying. Sportz, Theatering. It was very enjoyable.

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CIMG0494My elder likes to do crazy pictures. he was trying to jump while taking this picture. He does this on a regular basis, this one is not so amazing as others he made on different trips around the world.  But its was a rather amusing moment anywayz.

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That night we had some Thai dinner, which was not bad at all in my opinion. I should eat more Thai food. i dig coconut, n warm fruits. n spices.

After dinner we went for a Classic Berlin Beer, because the next day I planned on leaving Berlin to continue on my journey again. So after tonight I probably wont see them for a while! it was fun.

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I really enjoyed the first weekend of my Journey, Crazy belgiansz, my elder.
I never was really close with my elder, my family is a bit weird, maybe my experience of my family is weird, maybe I’m just not a family kinda dude or maybe its all because of the way i handle family buizniss that I experience it as weird. What is normal anyway? whoever says he is normal is weird. Because no one is normal.  Nothing is Normal. Anywayz. my point is.

I had a good time! Chillin with my elder this weekend was different then usual. More natural and fun in some way.

Tomorrow im heading to Warszawa Whoohooo!!
Check it out!

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Off to Berlin!

Its about 8 o clockz in da morning.

The day has come. my Journey will start, most things have been arranged, and I’m mentally ready to go, my backpack turned out to be 17 kilos. this will be my bro for a while. hopefully I will be able to reduce his weight. but i don’t care so much at this moment. this is all new to me. ill figure it out on the way.

Basically it haz a tent, a sleeping pad, the most awesome sleeping bag you can imagine full of fluffy duck feathers, some clothes, a big map to pinpoint my route, and a bookmap for easy use inside the car. some writing toolz, some food for a vew dayZ, and of course delicious LemonWater (2liters). (also some basic survival stuff like water-filter, fire-starter, first aid bla bla)

My lovely mother was so kind enough (actually she insisted) to drop me off at the highway, to make our last goodbye. This was at a gas station at the A1 towards the East.

Once they(she and her friend) left. I went into the gas station shop to ask for some cardboard, wrote down A1 Berlin, (in very unreadable and ugly writing) and started walking around the gas station to find my first ride evah. Time was not of importance, so I can’t tell for how long I stood there. Eventually I met this younger couple who were going to the “Apenheul“  with their 2 kids. we had a short conversation, eventually I could join them for about 2 gas stations. It was a short ride but they were very kind. The dude used to hitchhike way back then. I sat in the back with the 2 kids (they were playing angry birds on their fancy Ipads) and had a chat with the couple.  they dropped me of close to Apeldoorn

The next gas station was not so crowded. I decided to stand next to the exit, after a while a mid age lady stopped. She was going to her mother for Easter n felt like some company. Again it was no long distance, but well first time trying, I didn’t care, 2 gas stations was cool with me. I ended up right after Deventer.

This next gas station was rather crowded. I started walking around asking people for a ride but I was not so lucky at first. The truckers were a pain in the ass. so eventually I decided to go for passenger cars. Neither much luck here. Maybe my convo was not so interesting, I had lots to learn. After trying for a while I took my sign and stood at the exit. Not much later some dude stopped with a rather nice looking emergency stop.
I was the first hitchhiker he ever picked up. He was working as an engineer heading home, which was close to German borders. He drove me all the way to last gas station before the German border.

I felt great. Almost out of the country, I started around 10:00 if I recall correctly, and got to the border around 14:00. I decided to take a lil break, eat some dried fruit, chill at a bench, write a new sign to the next near town (apparently my Berlin sign failed really bad) and send some sms before I would leave the country.

After a bit I started walking and I noticed a dude waving at me. At the moment I didn’t realize he was actually waving at me, for some reason I just walked in his direction.
it were 2 Belgian dudes, hitchhiking to Berlin like me. there was n instant connection of awesomeness. They just got a ride and asked the driver if I could join them. And so I could.
I joined the 2 Belgian dudes called Brecht n Jules into German Territory. Our ride wasn’t that long. but at least we crossed the border and the dude was kind enough to drop us at a Autohoff close to Osnabrück.

Usually I’m always awkward meeting new peepz. Always need some “getting used to the person”  but with Brecht and Jules this was not the case at all. It was as if i knew them for a long time and things were all fun cool n chillin from the moment our auras fused.

Jules is a freelance ICT website whatever. He blogz also. This makes this party EZ for me. Basically you can read the rest of the dayZ on his blog
Jules Awesome Blogz
Jules Awesome Blogz p2
Its with picturesz Yay! Also he writes really funny.

I joined the Belgians for the next 3 dayZ. They had a Belgian friend with a German girlfriend in Berlin He was Oke with me crashing at his place for a night or 2. Brecht is a pro hitchhiker, I learned allot of him, he told me the tricks of the trade so to say. Around Saturday afternoon our paths split. This was because my crazy father decided to do a weekend Berlin with his 2 fellow lady friends the same weekend I would probably arrive in Berlin through hitchhiking. (read BDWM to know what was in between)

Or skip to Saturday afternoon.

The pictures below I took on friday when Lau (our Berlin host) and his lady took me for a Tour de Berlin when Jules n Brecht were acting like 80y olds and felt like they should sleep some more. In the middle of the afternoon..

Berlin is really awesome and it has allot of Squats which I’m rather interested in. Checked the wall, allot of graffiti and ate so much Eco Foodzies. Berlin is like Hipster Eco Heaven a la Alternative. Imagine allot of crazy looking peepz. awesome Healthy Foodzies. graffiti ERYWHERE, live music ERYWHERE and very nice parks.

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So my first Hitchhiking day in a nutshell:

I got to Berlin (actually a gas station 40 km before Berlin where we pitched our tent for the night) in 7 hikes and 1 hike the next morning. Met some crazy Belgian dudes at the Dutch/German border and sticked with them for about 3 dayZ. learning the tricks of the trade, and had lots of funzies!