post

To da Land of Mountains, Zacuscă n Țuica

So yeah, It has been a while again since I last wrote something, It was in Ireland to be exact. To make sure the story doesn’t have a few empty pages let me nutshell the last couple of months for you.

Ireland was nice, and the Carriage project was interesting too, But due to unforeseen consequences I had to head back to NL which I did around Christmas. With the intention to stay for a couple of weeks and head to Wales somewhere in January things turned out to go completely different. In the end, the Project in wales got Delayed, I kicked back in NL until end February. Had a Roadtrip to Berlin with Brothas, Solo Hitch to Brussels meeting LT friends. Eventually I ended up on the road again, Thumbing East, Onward to Transylvania! Let me tell you how that went, I have to pre-warn though. not much pictures have been taken due to being in the moment and thus its gonna be a boring lecture of text for your amusement.

Adam Sunset

NL sunset, before I left. Amsterdam in the Horizon

Its Monday, the 29th of February. The journey started with a ride from my mother and her partner, She had a day off work and offered to help me on my way and drop me at gas station. Even though the intended gas station was around Utrecht, Due to missing it, a closed gas station and construction stuff we ended up in Arnhem. I got my backpack, we said our bye’s, the usual selfy stuff and off they went. I turned myself 360degrees and noticed a German plate. I approached the dude who just arrived at his car. He was heading just beyond Frankfurt and agreed to take me with. Awwyeah! what a great start! Waiting time: 3 minutes

Mister used to be a Lawyer, but due to being in the 60s he is now working as a notary. He has a boat in Harlingen, every once in a while, he drives from Frankfurt to Harlingen, this time because his boat needed to chance harbor. So he went to the Northern Netherlands to find a new place for his boat.  He was quite open to the whole Natural Building concept and actually knew of some interesting places and Traditional building techniques in Germany, We discussed multiple subjects until we reached Frankfurt.

He slowly drove away, while i’m working on my shoulder straps of my backpack to get them in a comfortable position I’m also scouting all nearby plates. No Romanians yet, ah well. I approached the nearest dude, his trunk was open so I couldn’t see his plate. very soon it became quite clear he was a Dutchman. A Dutchman living in Switzerland. He offered me a ride to Basel, not exactly my Direction. Though Switzerland is, and the Dude seemed pretty cool I friendly Declined. I walked towards the Trucks, the first truck was a Czech. He said he spoke a little bit German and he seemed to understand that I wanted to go in the direction of Nurnberg. He didnt seem to like talking via the window though and told me to come in the cabin to check the map. Even though his German wasn’t as great as it seemed. He agreed to take me to Nurnberg.

The ride wasn’t that special. Due to our language barrier and both our lack of German vocabulary it was mostly quiet. We drove and drove at an easy pase of 90, Occasionally 70 due to the snow and wind. At some point he had to take a 45min break, where he started making coffee. I made a picture of him making coffee, So there will be at least a little bit of Visual experiences to this post eh.

I asked for Permission, No he did not look so Mad all the time :))

I asked for Permission, No he did not look so Mad all the time :))

Around 20:00 he dropped me at an Autohof just beyond Regensburg. That is when hitchhiking seemed to be done for the day. All truckers were getting ready to sleep, the autohof guy assisting the truckers didn’t seem to like my presence to much, nor were there any other cars. The autohof was quite far from the highway you see but 8pm is a bit to early to go to sleep. I waited to see what happened. Not much later a Belgian plate entered the gas station. A long haired bearded dude got out, in dutch “A very good evening, I don’t suppose you are heading to Austria are you?” he started laughing and said: no, Thats where I just came from. But damn dude, your on a real shitty place man. I agreed, but what to do, it was just the way it is. Meanwhile we started talking about some random things and thats where the magic happened

“You know what dude, I’ll bring you to the next Gas station directly next to the A3 towards Austria. I know I’m heading in the other direction, but its only about 15km back. Its fine. Hop in!”

Such a random act of kindness, I have had similar things happen to me in the past two years, These Random acts of Kindness. Although sometimes I feel really bad about accepting them, It became quite clear to me that I should simply not. For these people that offer these random acts of kindness do this out of good will. It makes them happy to help a brother out, like with food. I often get offered food, Most of the time great food, but sometimes food that I simply don’t eat. If this is the case I try to decline one time, if they accept great! if they don’t, basically I just accept the food. For I will simply pass it on to another person  I will meet on the road who would love to accept said food.

The ride was short indeed, But the chat was Great. We even chatted for a while arriving at the gas station before he went on his way onward to Belgium. The Gas station was much better also, Super crowded, lots of cars. It was somewhere between 22/23.00 But besides that, Romanians!!!! and 4 of them just waiting for me to take me with! Oh boy was my mind going nuts, Imagine finding a ride through the night all the way. 2 of em were people my age, pretty cool and friendly But sadly both vans full with tons of people. One van wanted to bring me, but due to lack of a girdle on the passenger seat and scared of risking a ticket in Germany he didn’t want to bring me. The last van had 2 dudes in em besides that completely empty. He seemed friendly for we talked a bit in Romanian. But in the end he didn’t want to take me for I didn’t have any money to pay for the ride.

Though luck! Still luck was on my side that night. Earlier I noticed a Hungarian Van. I wanted to speak to him but he was on the phone so I left him alone, he noticed this. I went back to him about 30 minutes later, he was still calling but this time he asked me “Whats up man, where are you going? Budapest I replied. Ill take you to Wien he said. meanwhile he gave me his phone, He was talking to his sister who lived in The Netherlands for about 4 years, so I had to speak some Dutch with his sister.

The dude was hilarious, It was getting late and my memory didn’t register everything, for example his name but he was constantly popping jokes. Mostly jokes about Romanians and Hungarians. Some of which I found amusing, some of which I didn’t. He is a bike mechanic most of his days working in the workshop, but every once in a while he needs to get out. that’s when he drives his Van through Europe and delivers stuff. He didn’t have a wife or kids, He was just a happy single dude going through life. Around 02:00 we were close to Wien, he was supposed to take a right somewhere before all the crazy intersections. But that last gas station was really bad and he didn’t like it so much. This hilarious dude moved out of the way to help me on my Journey, He drove to the start of the A4 which leads to Budapest, The first Gas station was big and full of sleeping truckers, restaurants and stuff. great place to find a ride. Not as great to sleep though..

There were fences all over the place which is not that much of a problem. The problem was that behind those fences all you could see was grass. no trees or bushes or anything nature-ish to Stealth my tent. Besides the wind was blowing like crazy, really crazy. It was sure I wouldn’t be using my tent that night. I had to think of something else. Walking around the property there were barely hidden spots or corners free from wind or sight. There was this recycle station though, some crates stacked, these big compressor containers for cardboard and stuff and an automatic light. Seemed fine to me, The greatest thing was, it had walls around it except for one side so most of the wind was blocked. I found myself some cardboard to cover the dirty floor, and tried to get a couple of hours of rest behind said containers.

I wasn't in the mood for pictures of my 5star hotel. but Here a Gmaps of the Recycle station highlighted in Red.

I wasn’t in the mood for pictures of my 5star hotel. but Here a Gmaps of the Recycle station highlighted in Red.

Yah, well, With the draft still coming in on occasion, Me freezing my ass off even though I was wearing everything I had and also every hour or so an employee throwing away stuff, activating the light. Not much rest was had. At 05:00 I was fully awake and wandering around the gas station, hoping to find a Truck towards Buda or Romania. it was about the time the truckers wake up anyway, sadly non of the 30 Truckers I asked that morning seemed to go in my Direction. An hour passed when I noticed another Belgium plate. I walked up to the car and said to the guy: “Flemmish, Dutch, France?” …. silence … “Romanste!” he replied. Whooohooo! I threw my best Romanian into play. Romanian was the only language they spoke anyway. They agreed to take me to Deva. Yup! all the way. and gues what? Fara Bani!

In the van were 2 dudes and a woman. She was sleeping on the back seat but they woke her up so I could fit in. Initially we had a bit of a chat, My Romanian is not perfect but I can do small talk, Explain who I am, what I do etc. Besides I understand a fair amount to make oke conversation. After an hour drive or so the woman and one of the dudes started sleeping. Usually I try not to sleep when I Hitch, I want to be aware where i’m going and its a bit rude towards the driver taking you. With some 700km still to go and 50% already sleeping I took my chance, I had a great couple of hours rest. All fresh! That afternoon at about 14:00 we Arrived in Deva. The only thing was they dropped me Before Deva due to they had to take another road. While walking to the other side of Deva to find a better hitch spot, I passed the train station of Deva. There was a train going to Cluj in one hour. That’s when I realized If i’m gonna walk the rest and try to hitch the last 200km, I might not make it tonight. 200km on Romanian roads basically means about 3 to 4 hours of driving depending on how crazy your driver is. Besides, when it gets dark, its gonna get very Hard. So I figured, Lets take the last bit with the train, allows me to read a bit, relax. and be 100% sure I will arrive in Cluj before midnight.

So yeah, the Train ride was supposed to take about 4 hours. Romanian trains eh, they take their time. Luckily there was a Romanian woman sitting next to me, she liked to talk. A LOT! So instead of reading my book, I basically had a 4 hours conversation until arriving  in Cluj one hour late :)))) She was actually pretty cool and told me lots of places to go, visit, etc. It was fun!

When ya happy and ya Hitching have a jump!

When ya Happy and ya Hitching have a jump!

post

Hitching the Boats, NL to Ireland

After a couple of days visiting family and chilling with friends my Journey continues towards the West, Longford, Ireland as my destination. I started my Journey on a Wednesday late morning on the A27 heading south. It didn’t take me that long to get a ride, I walked around the parking lot only once when a Buisnezz guy offered to bring me just before Utrecht. The Netherlands is small, so the ride was short. Arriving at the next gas station I noticed two Belgium cars, This is my chance I thought! heading towards them I didn’t even have to ask anything, for one of the Belgium dudes came to me and asked; “Where you happen to be going? I replied; Gent! Feel like giving me a ride!? Sure he replied, I can bring you to the border”. Great! things were looking awesome! We passed the Belgium border within the next hour where he dropped me of at the first gas station.

So the next ride, I’m not quite sure, I remember I was at the Belgium gas station, And I remember the gas station where I got dropped off, Sadly though I can’t recall the car, nor the person that gave me the ride. Its a shame really, maybe my memorie will give me access to the images of this ride sooner or later.

To continue, I just passed Gent and the forgotten driver dropped me on a Gas station towards Brugge and Calais. Again I didn’t have to wait for so long. for quite soon this English car with a caravan stopped. I didn’t even had to walk to him, he just yelled while filling gas, Ay mate! Where ya headin at? Slowly I walked to him and said; well mate, Actually I’m heading to the UK, you think I can join you? So what will you give me he replied? I said; I can give you some food if you like, Maybe a keychain. but besides that I aint got much more than dirty undies. He laughed and said fuck it, hop in.

The ride to Calais was a couple of hours, his parents and sister were also driving with him but in a different car. quite fast in the conversation when I told him about what i do, he offered me a job. He was quite persistent, trying to convince me that he would offer me a better deal, Work, Food and a Caravan. but also cash every end of the day, besides that they work all over Europe. He didn’t seem to understand my lack of interest in working for money. Later I found out they were Irish Travelers (in other terms, Irish Gypsies) Thus explaining the Caravan, Job offer, Clothing style etc. We arrived at the boat to the UK around 21:00. His dad was somewhat worried to bring me, Afraid I might be carrying drugs etc. He told me I couldn’t join them. They dropped me at the ticket office, it was quite empty there. Definitely didn’t want to get stuck there. While they were getting the tickets for the truck, caravan etc. I approached him and had a chat. I managed to ease his worries and he agreed to take me to the other side.

It was dark, the boat ride was short (about one hour) Sadly due to the darkness I didn’t experience much of it nor was I able to make pictures. They drove me to the next Services, Services is the English name for Gas station/Rest area. This is were things got different. The moment I went to the entrance of the shop to apply my usual tactic, the gas station security guy came to me. “Good evening sir, You are currently on Private property, Hitch-hiking is alright but officially prohibited in the UK, You are not allowed to be on this property or around the pumps. If you don’t comply i’m afraid I will have to call the cops” I was aware hitch-hiking in the UK was more difficult and there were some funny laws. This was completely unexpected though. Anyway I was friendly and had a little chat with him about other Laws, Do’s and Dont’s in the UK. At midnight I searched for some trees out of sight of the Guard and Security Cameras.

Day 2

The night was good, I didn’t find a proper place to pop my tent, so instead I just slep in the gras in the open air, Even got lucky for there wasn’t much rain that night. I woke up just before sunrise and started searching for a ride, while avoiding the “private property” gas station. My Irish Traveler friends slept at the same Services that night, When they left and noticed I was still there they offered me a ride to the next Services which was bigger and better. Indeed it was, Restaurant, Lorry rest place, Gas station. No problems getting out of here I though. Well wrong thought, I went to the entrance of the Restaurant where the most people seemed to be and started approaching people walking out; “Good afternoon sir, I’m sorry to disturb you, I’m from The Netherlands and I’m heading towards Ireland, you happen to be heading to the M1 north?” this is how I approached the people. after about half an hour staff from the restaurant came outside, He said; “Its alright to stand here, but can you please not disturb our costumers? I got complains you are begging for money” I laughed, yet I felt disappointed for what I just heard.

I decided to switch between the lorry rest place to ask all the new trucks arriving, and the entrance of the restaurant. eventually this cool London guy who just had dinner agreed on bringing me to a Services on my way. He also gave me this lottery ticket I could exchange for 5 pounds at a supermarket. I managed to move from the Southern part of the London Ring road, to the Northern part of the Ring. /Great progression so far /Sarcasm disabled! its about 13:00 now.

The place I got dropped of was even bigger than before, Huge Lorry rest place, gas station, Car gas station, Huge parking place for cars and a small mall with restaurants, Lots of people! The British though, even though they are very friendly, they dont seem to like to be bothered or talk to strangers really. I tried multiple tactics from talking to the truck drivers, to asking the people coming out of the mall, to popping my sign at the exit. Yet nobody wanted to bring me.

Hours passed, It was quite cold that day, It started getting dark. Then the unexpected happened! The local Security guy came to me. He was like; “Ay mate, seen you here all day, you should not stand here man. Try and get a lorry heading north, preferably foreign plates or just go inside the Mall in the light and talk to people there. That’s much more trustworthy. Ill help out and try to find someone heading north”. He was very cool, we chilled and talked for a bit. I took his advice. I tried more lorries, Went inside the restaurant without getting kicked out. Yet no ride. around 21:00 I went to the lorries and dropped my backpack in the grass. Negative thought patterns started popping up again, Damn you England! This is much worse than expected. It’ll take me weeks to get to Ireland like this. Englishman Y U so Weird?? Right on that moment A dude started yelling at me. Couldn’t understand him at first, but when I walked to him he said; “Where ya heading!? M1 north, Ireland as my destination! you?, Me to bro heading to Birmingham, I can drop you on the M6 in the right direction!

Whoohooo! The feeling that rushed through me! you can’t imagine, A 3 hour drive north towards my destination, Rather than getting stuck at London ring that day. The dude was very awesome, So in Britain there is this job, You pick up a new truck somewhere, Drive it to its destination, Then hitch-hike to the next place to pick up a truck. You get paid for driving the trucks and delivering them, but also for every mile you hitch-hike. Drivers that do this get a special licence plate that if they wave it in the air while hitch-hiking people know they do it for their profession and its save to take them. Imagine that! He has been doing this for the past 3 years, just driving and hitching around Monday to Friday, spending weekends at home. At some point he stopped at a supermarket, Asked me if i needed anything. I replied no, Yet I ended up with a bag full of food that he insisted me to accept… We arrived at a Services just north of Birmingham around midnight. At arrival I instantly headed into the forest and popped my tent.

Packing Gear, getting ready to go

Packing Gear, getting ready to go

Day 3

In England the facilities like Toilets and Showers on the Services are for free, that morning I started my day with a great poop, did some human hygiene afterwards, Then I moved to the entrance of the mall to find myself a ride. It didn’t take long before someone from the staff came outside to kindly ask me not to stand at the entrance and bother the costumers for they are getting complaints… Well alright then, I’m still amazed how they get all these complaints, for I only speak to people coming out of the mall. Anyway I packed my stuff and started asking truckers, seems luck was on my side today. The second driver I spoke to, A polish trucker barely speaking English was going in my direction. I was advised to go to Lymm Services, its a Huge Services on the M6 and M56 intersection located perfectly to find a ride towards Ireland. After an hour drive he dropped me at the Lymm Services.

The Services was huge indeed, I never seen anything like it before. I got out at the lorry rest area. I didn’t even have to walk to the Mall or the gas station, there were so many trucks. Basically I started at one row, talking to every driver of said row, then move to the next row. First few rows not much going on, I did notice some Ireland plates though. After talking to every driver currently there at the moment I went looking for Irish plates only. At some point I noticed a Irish Car Transporter. I walked to the driver and asked him if he were heading to Ireland by any chance, Indeed he was but he wasn’t allowed to bring any passengers. After a bit more chatting he said he couldn’t bring me on the boat, but he could take me to Holyhead at least (where the boats leave)

The ride was a bit more then two hours, The scenery was great for we were driving the coast. Ervins (the drivers name) was quite relaxed. It was the first long conversation I had with an Irishman, getting use to the Accent was pretty easy actually. Getting close to the Harbor I told him I intended to hitch-hike a private sail boat to Dublin, if that failed consider taking the evening ferry. Ervins though didn’t really like the idea of me getting stuck here at the harbor, trying to find a way to cross the channel. Yet he wasn’t sure if he would get in trouble for taking me to the other side, Officially he wasn’t even allowed to take me anyway. He made a few calls to some colleagues, eventually when we were in line he decided to ask the staff to be 100% sure.

Boading Card

Boading Card

So he had to weight the truck etc, then he asked whether it would be a problem if he had a passenger. Staff replied not at all, Before we even knew it we could move on… The thing was, the company he is driving for was paying the passage. It looked like they also payed my passage. I remember him saying, “I sure hope I wont get in trouble for this” Ah well, it made up for a cool boarding card.

Waiting in line to Board the Boat to Ireland.

Waiting in line to Board the Boat to Ireland.

The crossing took about 4 hours, I was hoping the be able to access Wi-Fi figure out my place to stay for the night in Dublin etc. Sadly that didn’t really work. The ship though was quite fancy and looking pretty nice. It had some restaurants, A casino, A Cinema, chilling area, some shops etc. The greatest thing is, Truckers get special treatment. They have their own Cafeteria where you get one big ass lunch, and you can drink juices, tea’s and coffees for free throughout the ride. considering I was a passenger of a Truck I had access to the same things. It was Great! Having Lunch on the boat with Ervins was just amazing. You could choose between Soups, Salads, Potatoes, Lots of Meat and Fish Even fresh Desserts! You could take anything you wanted, as much as you wanted. Oh boy did I enjoy that meal! Especially after eating only nuts, fruits, cookies and chocolate for the past 2 days. Eventually Ervins took a nap for a couple of hours (Yes we also had our own cabin+shower) I walked around the boat a bit, then decided to watch a movie in the Cinema. Just before arriving in Dublin we rendezvous in the Truckers Cafeteria. We got out of the boat and Ervins dropped me on the edges of the City Center.

Goodbye UK,

Goodbye UK,

That evening was just so random, I was supposed to stay at a friend of a friends place. Apparently they were Squatting the place. But at arrival I couldn’t stay there for they had some trouble with the police and my contactee was not present. I took a pint at a bar and checked the net, found out there was a CS meeting, Figured that would be my best bet at finding a place to stay. I never attended a CS meeting before, so I wasn’t sure how thing go there. Well looks like I still don’t, around midnight I was still at the bar hanging out with a Danish Woman who was part of the group. She was also a Backpacker though staying at a way to expensive fully booked hostel, all the Couchsurfers capable of hosting had left…. I visited and called every hostel I could find, which all seemed to be full.

In the end I basically pub crawled around Dublin with my backpack as my buddy. Somewhere in the Early morning hours I met this German dude, He was using AirBnB to stay in Dublin. He offered me to stay at his place if the host allowed it to. The walk back took quite some time, for he was somewhat Drunk and didn’t exactly know the way. Luckily we made it, The hosts agreed to take me in for a night. I slept on the floor and it was great! The next morning I decided to take the Bus to Longford! Worse decision ever! but my Body was completely fokkop due to my Journey of the last couple of days. Just sitting in a bus looking out the window was well appreciated!

I tell you man, Drunk Irish dudes in pubs! that’s just 100% live comedy!

 

post

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!

post

Cluj, Here I Come!

That morning we woke up early, enjoyed an eggy breakfast and said our goodbye Eva gave me a huge bag of food for on the road, It had a sandwich, Orange, some candy and cheesthings. I decided to take the train to a nearby village where I could access a petrol station to the highway. The train only goes once an hour, the journey with tram and metro was supposes to take only 20 min. for safety I left 40 minutes earlier. I was expecting shit loads of people, but actually it was not so crowded for the morning rush hour. I managed to get to the train station approximately 15 minutes before my train would leave, I got somewhat lost though. It looked like I was searching for the ticket place at the train arrivals instead of departures, when I asked a station worker he pointed me in the right direction. I got my ticket and the ticked dude pointed me to track number 10 where the train was supposed to leave. I headed to said track but no train was there… and only 5 minutes left. I showed my ticket to another station worker who pointed me to another track. but again there was no departing train to be found. I was so confused!

By this time I already missed the train. so I went back to the ticket dude and asked what the final destination would be of the train I was supposed to take. he wrote it down and I started to puzzle with the Electronic sign showing all departing trains. With the departing time, and the final destination I managed to crack the puzzle and found the right track number for the next train, track number 14. I walked there, dropped my backpack. and just chilled in the sun until the train would leave.

The train was quite modern, which in a way was so sad for I would have really enjoyed it to be this old school (making a lot of noises) train. The ride was about 1 hour. At some point a dude stood next to me and asked me of he was allowed to join me, this really amazed me. The simple fact that he would ask me if he may sit next to me is something I don’t experience that much. Especially in The Netherlands, the common person sitting next to you doesn’t even look at you or dares to speak a word. This dude though was very Awesome and we chatted for the remainder of the ride.

Arriving at Inarcs-Kakucs I had to walk for about one hour to reach the Petrol station. The walk was quite comfortable. The village was silent except for shit loads of dogs barking but only consisted of houses with some land around them and fences to keep the dogs from devouring everybody walking next to the fences. Arriving at the petrol station I threw out my thumb and patiently waited. After about 20 minutes a Romanian trucker stopped, his dashboard was full of stuffed animals. I wasn’t sure what to think of that but he walked to me and started talking Romanian. he didn’t speak English at all, but with the help of a map he showed me that he was going do Oradea after his 30 min break. I figured, ill just keep trying, if I can’t get a ride in these 30 minutes ill join the trucker. After another 20 minutes a RO sports car stopped, pumping loud electronic music. A pretty hot lady was driving the car, with 2 other dudes and a dog. they looked like the party people and even though their car was practically full they wanted to give me a ride, sadly they were going south towards Szeged and then Serbia. I decided to decline the ride.

Right after they left I felt really stupid declining the party people for some reason. Of course I had the ride to Oradea already in my pocket. but with a non English speaking trucker who has his dashboard full of fluffy animals (obviously implying rapist:). I started imagining where I would have ended up if I joined the party people. I myself am not really the party dude anymore these days. But if I would have joined them I would have definitely ended up at a night club that night getting shitfaced with newly made friends. Anyway the trucker finished his break and we started driving to Oradea. After some hours we arrived at the border where he dropped me of, his dashboard was full of stuffed animals because he has 2 small kids giving him animals for on the road. Behind the border was a petrol station where I found a ride from a Czech dude who could drop me of on the other side of Oradea on the road towards Cluj!

I wrote Cluj on my shield and threw up my thumb. 5 minutes later another truck stopped going straight into Cluj, who spoke some English and sounded rather friendly, Hell Yeah! 3 hours to Cluj!

I know, I know. It was dark and the flash fucked up my eyes!

Sadly I forgot the name of this dude, but he was very awesome. He worked 20 years driving all throughout Europe for a Dutch/Romanian truck company called Van Vliet. (those yellow and white trucks) These days he just sticks to Romania. We spend a great amount of time talking about Romanian well being and some political shizzle that has been going on here. Besides that he also told me the places to visit and that the Actual Dracula castle is not in Brasov but rather in the northern part of the country. Eventually the subject Gypsy came to attention, which involved us talking a lot about this. On the road to Cluj we passed through Gypsy Town (Huedin). Basically its the town where all the money goes and they invest in building Crazy Fancy Looking Huge Ass Houses. Sadly it was getting dark by then so I couldn’t make proper pictures but you can check da google maps! (just go through the street with google maps) later that ride we traded some food. (the orange Eva gave me for an apple:) and he insisted I accepted his bread and 5 Lei. around 22:00 that night he dropped me off at the train station in Cluj, where I met with Ioana who offered to host me! I completely forgot about the timezone change, luckily Ioana was very relaxed and not bothered by my late arrival!

I still had to eat some dinner though, and boy was I hungry. Ioana is somewhat like me, Very natural, doesn’t use shampoo but other much better techniques to was hair, makes food from fresh whole fruits n veggies and does not support Corporations or Supermarkets by buying stupid shit. She studies “natural” Architecture and Volunteers whenever possible at Natural building projects, also Vegetarian. Sadly she was to lazy to heat up the pasta she made earlier that evening and used the Microwave to do so. This of course gave a very bad first impression and will haunt her for the rest of her life! but to make it right she gave me home made Țuică which is Romanian tradition to drink before dinner (some very strong prune liquor). I only knew Ioana for about 1 hours but the sarcasm, jokes and laughter ware blowing of the roof! Its always good to meet someone who is on the same line!

 

post

Hitching out of Oblivion

That morning I took the bus to Vyšehradská which is on the southern edge of the city, from there it was about a 30 minutes walk to the nearest petrol station connected to the highway, the walk was quite the adventure. I already did some research and knew I either had to go straight through farmland or take the detour and follow the road, which would make the walk a bit longer. Anyway, I got out of the bus and just started walking, initially I felt like following the road for it walks so much easier, but somehow I ended up walking a straight line south. I encountered some homeless people building there homes I suppose, dogs barking at me for I apparently crossed their territory, when I passed a few vegetable gardens and crossed a train rails I could already see the petrol station I was heading to!

Petrol station in the Distance

Petrol station in the Distance

I didn’t feel like being the GMO assassin by walking straight through the field, so I followed the rails for a bit until I hit the road leading towards the petrol station. It looked like I was quite lucky with walking the rails, for when I left the track and started walking the road I suddenly heard a loud horn, when I took a look behind me a huge Cargo train was heading in the direction where I was walking 5 min earlier. I really enjoyed this moment for some reason and watched the train passing by, eventually I started walking towards the highway, the road was very nice. somewhat silent, with lots of vegetation on both sides. I crossed the bridge over the highway to get to the other side and climbed down. The petrol station was guarded by a fence, so I searched for a gap in the fence which I found close to the bridge and walked straight into Oblivion.

So the usual, I wrote Budapest on my shield and started throwing out my thumb at the start of the entry ramp to the highway! The hand signs they used were mostly telling me that they were going to Vienna instead of Budapest. This is also what the hitchwiki had said, but I just felt like trying anyway. After an hour or so a dude stopped going to Gyor, a city between Budapest and Bratislava, his English wasn’t great, when I tried to ask him if he could drop me of at a petrol station on the highway he didn’t seem to agree or understand. I decided to decline the ride for I didn’t want to end up in Gyor or a small village in the area. Oh oh what was that stupid.

after 2 more hours I started to realize that nobody was going straight to Budapest, But like DubFX says, don’t give up! were gonna make it in the end! with that said, I just kept smiling, waving, jumping, bowing and doing funny things to get the attention of the driver, in the meantime I changed my shield to Wien with the idea to end up at the right highway and hopefully catch a ride there to Budapest. When I changed the shield to Wien all of the sudden the hand signs of the driver were doing things like, heading straight ahead (which was towards Budapest) What da ?……! after 2 more hours it was getting late and I realized that I had to change my tactic to get out of there! I moved myself to the entrance of the Petrol station shop, Just scanning the licence plates of the cars, whenever they were Hungarian or Austrian I would ask them if they could drop me of at the next gas station. Not much later a fancy Hungarian jeep stopped, While he was cleaning his windows I walked up to him and had a little chat, He was heading to lake Balaton which is south of Budapest, but he agreed to drop me of at the next petrol station which was on the E60 towards Budapest!

Arriving at the next Petrol station I got my next ride in less then 10 minutes, It was an Romanian truck driver transporting broken cars. His English was very poor but he agreed to drop me of at a Petrol station on the edge of Budapest. For some reason I felt quite uncomfortable with this dude at first, not that his truck look weird, but there was just this weird feeling surrounding me and communication was somewhat difficult. the ride took about 3 hours for he couldn’t drive so fast. but eventually he dropped me off at the petrol station as promised and everything turned out to be just fine. It was getting dark though, and this petrol station was completely empty. oh noes!

Sunset at the Budapest Petrol station

Sunset at the Budapest Petrol station

While scouting for a place I could possibly pitch my tent I was also keeping an eye out for arriving cars. At some point just after sunset there were a few cars present. I walked up to one of them with RO licence place and asked if they were maybe heading into Budapest, Even though I had a hard time getting out of Bratislava, my luck was high that evening for they were heading into the center and agreed to take me with them! It was a Romanian couple who called them self’s Corporate Slaves, traveling for their boss to different countries and cities to keep the connections running. The weekends and vacations they would spend at their cabin in the mountains where they grow there own food and do things back to basic. It was a short ride to the center, once they dropped me there I took the public transport to the most touristic part of the city where my CS host was living. I arrived there around 22:00! I made it whooohoooo!!

post

Oward to Bratislava

The next morning I packed all my stuff as usual, Had a walk to the city center where I took the Red Metro line to Opatov, There I took bus 363 to a little village called K sukovu a bit south of the city. From there I walked for about 20 minutes to the highway, there was a nice Petrol station with McDonalds and loads of people, When I arrived there was already a dude trying to hitchhike at the end of the exit. Tried to talk to him but he didn’t seem to speak any English, I didn’t want to intervene with his hitchhiking, while standing in front of the McDonalds figuring out where I should try and get a ride a random dude came to me. His English was not so great either, but he was heading towards Brno and invited me to join him. I agreed for this was perfectly in the direction I was heading.

The dude named Michal turned out to be a pretty cool guy! he is living in a small village close to Brno, and travels to Praha once in a while to visit friends/family or get new gear for his shop, for he owns a Winter Sports store. normally he would take the train, but this time he was with car for he had some furniture he had to move. He told me about his shop, that he would travel to Switzerland and Austria quite often to trade gear, which he then could sell in his shop. In winter period he would teach people to ski and that’s how he comes around. looking for a cool due to teach you how to ski, or maybe need some gear? check out his site!

Michal the cool Ski dude

Michal the cool Ski dude

He dropped me of at the other side of Brno at a massive shopping mall, At first it looked great for it was extremely crowded, but then I realized this wasn’t so great after all for most people were locals heading into Brno, not really beyond Brno to Bratislava. Anyway I had quite some fun, standing at the Roundabout, trying to hitchhike police cars, buses, taxis and cars full of people and groceries. The problem was that I was standing in front of the Roundabout, from there the cars were going in 2 directions, Either towards Bratislava or back to Brno, it took me about an hour. When I decided to break some rules and move to the other side of the roundabout, standing before the Highway sign in the gras but on the exit towards Bratislava. Reading the streetlight it said “Golden spot” 5 minutes later I got a ride!! looks like it was the Golden spot!

This guy called Ladislav didn’t speak English either, but he did speak German. Again a pretty cool dude, He was quite the rocker, traveling between Czech/Slovakia/Austria working as a Meat Inspector, with all his gadgets. He knew all the cool hard rock radio stations in each of these countries. He didn’t play any instrument himself though. but he was cool enough to drop me of in the Center of Bratislava.

Ladislav the Hard Rock Meat Inspector

Ladislav the Hard Rock Meat Inspector

For that night I actually found a CSser to host me, because it was still early I walked towards her home and chilled in a nearby park until she would be done with work. She was really cool, Named Mary and Skater by Heart! she has started writing a blog since recently, tale-telling about her travels, skating and food recipes. Her blog is called Brcka Mary! even though it was already around 20:00 she made me delicious food for I did not eat that much that day. but dang what was it delicious! simple cheesy sandwich with some veggies. but very good! shes quite into the healthy foods, making her own serials and mainly eats whole fruits etc. We had a good conversation about different ethnicity’s living together with or without problem, and how the youth of today always wants to belong to some sort of group, like gangster, goth, hipster, skater etc. We realized that it doesn’t matter what you feel like you should belong to, as long as you are true to what you are its fine. don’t be a Fake!!! I was hoping I could stay for a few days so I could check out Bratislava and get to know Mary better, but she was a bit busy (Mainly with Skating :)))), I decided to get going again in the morning. Onwards to Budapest

post

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!!

post

Moletai to Berlin

Its thursday morning, around 05:30. Bas dropped me of at the nearest bus stop, the ride was somewhat weird. you know, you have been living together for about a year. developed a friendship and then its the moment when your roads go in different directions. It was bearable, the only somewhat dificult moment to not show any emotions like “real men” was at the busstop getting out of the car and saying the last words. but we stayed strong!

Its so early because I wanted to get to Berlin on Friday, with some research on hitchwiki there seemed to be a very nice gasstation south of Kaunas to get easy rides towards Poland. the only bus to Kaunas was in the early morning. Besides that, I had to meet up with Aiste one last time. for she made me an awesome bag, that she just finished the night before. I arrived at kaunas around 08:00 exchanged the last words with Aiste and a very big hug, she gave me the bag and also made me delicious Bananna bread! but this was really it. The minibus to the gasstation arrived. I am now officially on my journey towards Transylvania! The ride towards the busstation was somewhat emotional for me. thats when the realization of leaving really kicked in. I got really attached to Lithuania and the people I met there. This past year was a wonderfull year with many wonderfull moment, awsome friends made, and memories stored. Luckily when I arrived at the gas station and wrote my shield (PL) I was back to normal again. looking forward to my Journey just waiting for my ride.

in about 5 minutes. maybe 10 the first car stopped. It was a Lithuanian Milk farmer with 2 kids in the back. he was heading home to its farm which was close to the border of LT/PL. he sells his milk to production factories, where they eventually make things like Surelis, Chees, Kefiras etc from it. but milk is becomming cheaper so its getting harder to come around. He dropped me of at the last Gas station before PL border, There i had a little “break” ate some breakfast, tried Aistes cake, not much later I threw my tumb in the air.

Again it didnt took me that long. cars were passing by quite fast, but there was some sort of emergency lane with a lot of space. after about 20 minutes a pretty fancy car stopped. I picked up my backpack and ran! Woosh! it had a LT lisence plate, but the dude inside was Icelandic. Liefur was his name. The most awesome ride I ever hitched untill now! Liefur used to work in Iceland as a Whale tour guide (on the boats etc). then he did a little study on Photography in Iceland, and moved to Berlin to contineu this Study. For the past year he had been Backpacking through Asia doing Photography the reason why he was in LT was because his father has a factorie in Kaunas, making carpet(wooden floors) and Build-In unit homes. he was helping his dad taking pictures for the new catologue, but felt like some socializing, so he took the car and was heading to Berlin to meet friends. Thats right!! all the way to Berlin! we talked quite a lot, and listened to some Icelandic music. Liefur had booked a hostel in Poznan for he really like the old town. I could have gotten to Berlin that night. but I decided to hang out with Leifur and join him to Poznan for an evening and join him to Berlin in the morning.

Leifur da awesome Icelandic dude!

Leifur da awesome Icelandic dude!

We arrived around dinner time, dropped our bags at the hostel and took a walk around town. we were initially looking for some nice restaurant to have some polish dinner, but we ended up eating a Kebab :)) It was Delicious and I didnt eat kebab for quite some time! That evening we had a beer and we basically shared more of our stories from the past year. One of the stories that really facinated me was that Leifur went to mongolia and went with the locals and a translator into oblivion. He got to experience traditional mongolian lifestyle, where you ride horses, live in yurts. eat the same boiled meat every evening, communicate with hand signs mostly or play games like, hitting a bone of the meat you just ate untill it cracks. where the mongolian people laugh at you if you boil some noodles because you dont like the meat, or how crazly happy they get if you bring some oranges or even a lollipop! Anyway. quite the text has been written again. here some boring pictures of Poznan square by day and night!

this church really reminded me of Vilnius,

CIMG1230

and some fancy 3D statue? quite cool

CIMG1237
That night we got terrorized by some GIGANTIC snorlax. Really that shit was crazy. at some point in the night everybody in our dormatory was lying awake, even the people 2 rooms next to us could hear this dude Snore. Also the lady at the desk was really amazed. Some people left our room and tried to sleep in another (which was useless for the whole building could hear him) when eventually one guy got the guts to wake him up and tell him of the terror he was unleasing upon the hostel. Eventually it got les but not completely gone. I didnt have that much trouble with it honestly for i can sleep quite well in noisy locations. but luckily the dude left very early in the morning, making sleeping in very comfertable.

That morning I had a little walk through Poznan, when we eventually headed to Berlin. Liefur dropped me of in the Center of the Center of Berlin, where I waited for my brothers Bart and Joel to finish their work. But this story will be written later!

Heading towards Vcity (Vilnius)

CIMG0737My week of Warszawa haz passed. Today is Friday 25th of da aprilz.

Ill be heading towards Vilnius. Its an early one this time. I decided to take the train to Suwalki (a town very close to Lietuva borders) there were no highways in between Vilnius and Warszawa, for some reason I was not in the mood to try hitchhiking it. Also the train is unimaginable cheap so my laziness be like Fuck dat Shit. Train it!!! the train left at 07:20 and would arrive at Suwalki around 12:45, this train trip cost me 15 euroez.

The trip was amazing. I felt allot of emotions when the train left, the people in Warszawa were so kind to me. Slawek, Pio n Asia were such beautiful Spirits. leaving home was easier then leaving Warszawa. The first half an hour of the train trip i had a big smile on my face while leaving some tears of joy, it was a good thing. This emotion i didn’t feel in a long while. I was able to give them a place. this felt really good. After watching the train leave Warszawa, and seeing the area around, I slept for a bit. I was very tired of all the stuff that happened in the past vew days. After sleeping for about an hour, I was again amazed by the beauty of Poland. I crossed farmland, creeks, Rivers, Forrest, Hills, more forests. little villages, Forrest and eventually we got to Suwalki. (back then i wasn’t thinking about bloggzzin. so i didn’t picture it hopefully you will someday train/drive that part of Poland. its really amazing!)

Arriving at Suwalki was different then usual, to explain: Usually i know what road I am hitchhiking and where I Am going. Same when leaving Berlin I knew where I started hitching and where i was going. Due to no map of Suwalki, I tried the map at the bus stop, but I could not figure out what street I should go to and where to walk to cuz it had only bus stops, not much info about streets them self. Basically i oriented on north and started walking north. Of course this was not exactly going to the road I imagined ending up at, so at the nearest bus stop I tried to communicate with the locals.

In Warszawa locals speak English. Here in this little village they did not… eventually I met a hippie who spoke very lil English. He pointed out the way the bus would drive, told me what bus number to take to get to the road I needed to hitchhike north, told me how much bus stops i should wait before leaving it. and as usual, he bought me a ticket (i had polish money but he insisted buying the ticket for me)

Finally arriving at the right road to head north (about 6 bus stops later) i walked to the local market, got myself some Cardboard to write a new shield and started walking the road north. At a gasz station with a lil bank i changed my polish money to litas (which was around 10 euros. that got me 30 litas). then I started thumbing again.

I guess i waited for about 20 minutes when 2 sisters stopped Ugne (Fire) and Goedre. They didn’t cross the border but they were kind enough to drop me off at a gas station right before the border. It was a 15 min drive through amazing scenery. Ugne was a ballet dancer, I can remember this because my mother used to do the same. but i cant recall what Goedre was studying.

At the gas station i had to wait a bit longer. But eventually some Lithuanian dude who came from Poland going back home at the coast of Lietuva stopped and offered me a ride to Kaunas.

CIMG0738As usual My game plan when someone brings me over the border. I asked him to teach me Lithuanian after a short introduction of course. Lithuanian language is weird, they don’t have W or X. and their alphabet has 2x C n E n Z stuff like that they use ‘ on top of them to make them longer/different. My mind was all into Polish, this change was hard for me at first. but after a while i got really used to it.

 

we had a chat about Lietuva wildlife and wild foodzies that grow in the Forrest, he told me about the different laws about Lietuva, for example: its normal here to walk next to the road, and you can camp outside as long as it is not a protected nature area. We spend allot of time on the language and the pronunciation. Kaunas was a 2 hour drive ETA, he wanted to drop me off at a bus stop. It is very common here to hitchhike from the bus stop, he told me that would be my best chance rather then the Gasz stations. We couldn’t find the bus stop he wanted to drop me off, so he dropped me at a gasz station anyway.

There I was. For the first time solo in Lietuva. My game was the same as usual, I parked my pack with shield, this time it said Vilnius and started talking to peepz who came out of the shop. Labas Vakaras, do you speak English ? heading to Vilnius maybe? I don’t know if it was because its Friday, but my first impression of the Lithuanian locals was not so well. They were kind-ish, but also very distant. besides that. no one went to Vilnius. They all either went inside Kaunas or the usual excuses “ill take the next exit”  after a while some dude who didn’t speak English very well tried to explain me there was a bus stop not so far from the gas station. He be like: go through Forrest, lil town n then bus stop. I figured I should try the bus stop, the gasz station didn’t bring me much luck so far. So I bought a hot dog and went scouting for the bus stop.

It was really close and seemed perfect. The highway was a 3 lane road and it had a merging lane which came from the gasz station. Now I had more chance finding a ride cuz i had the cars from the gas station and also the cars driving the highway, at least that’s what i thought. After a while some car stopped at the bus stop. I ran as fast as i could to the car, grabbed my pack from the grass on my way n ran a bit more. when i got to the car and opened the door. the lady was like:

I’m very sorry but i just had to stop to make a phone call. I’m not going to Vilnius, I’m sorry. I laughed and be like: dang you gotta be kidding (i didn’t actually said this) It really looked like she stopped for me. Maybe she changed her mind.

I kept trying, but no luck.
I think I stood there for about 3 hours. people smiled, waved, did weird sign language from their car. I think most of them took the next exit or went to Kaunas instead of Vilnius or had full cars. and they tried to explain this by sign language. this was much different then in Poland. where they did this less. i started to understand why Lietuva is supposed to be Hitchhiking Country. people are more used to it here.

Then I noticed some other dude starting to thumb in front of me. I was like. dafuq dude. you gonna try at the same spot as i am? in front of me. whuuuuuttt? not much later he walked to me, he was from Belarus. Didn’t speak English. I tried to tell him i stood there for about 3 hours. and had no luck at all. but he didn’t seem to understand.

Sun almost set, mentally I prepared to pitch my tent somewhere next to the highway and was scanning the area for a nice spot. while still waving my sign to the cars passing by on the highway. But with this crazy Belarussian there I figured it wouldn’t work today.
I decided to try one last time at the gasz station until sundown. If I couldn’t find a ride. I would find a place to pitch my tent.

Back at the gasz station I did my best to talk proper Lithuanian and put all my charm in it.
The first dude n lady I approached spoke very well English. At first they were like, whaha dude, we are indeed going to Vilnius but we cant take you our car is to small. I of course didn’t feel like sleeping next to the highway so didn’t take no for an answer Besides these were the first peepz going to Vilnius ever since I got there. So I be like: No problem I can take my pack on my lap, I’m a skinny dude. it’s all cool, I don’t mind. You know, I just gotta get to Vilnius tonight!!! eventually the dude, his lady friend and their friend fell for my charm and changed their mind. They let me join them in there rather small fancy sportscar. They were right. it was really small. I couldn’t sit straight. I’m a rather long dude compared to the peepz here, but it was comfy enough.

The chat was similar to the last dude i drove with. We spoke about the laws in Lietuva, they thought me more about Lithuanian language pronunciation and the alphabet, also the lady went to Holland for a bit for school. they knew some dutch words like Klootzak, I really liked them and i felt like they liked me. They told me some classic Lithuanian foods I should try. the sun set right before i joined them in the car. at first they would drop me of at the edge of Vilnius. but after getting to know me, they decided to drop of their friend first. and help me out a bit.

CIMG0624Via Bas(izreal) I found some hostels because I didn’t have a place to sleep that night. They were kind enough to call them and reserve a bed for me. They warned me walking alone at night close to the central train station wasn’t such a good idea. I figured ill manage. But they insisted on bringing me to the hostel and hop by a bank first so i could get some more money. Eventually they showed me the old town of Vilnius, the train station. and dropped me right in front of the Hostel they called for me which had exactly 1 bed left.

CIMG0631This was a very big relieve. I had in mind sleeping in a park or at the edge of the city in my fellow tentzel. But they really didn’t like that idea. They didn’t think it was save enough. I forgot their names :( I’m so bad with names, but i gave them my email. hopefully they will mail me. so i can tell them I started blogginz and Thank them one more time for there help. Thank you guys! you were very helpful. very kind. Without you. I would have slept next to the highway at Kaunas. With all this talk about gypsies, crazy junkies n pickpockets around the Central station at late hours I got a little scary first impression of Vilnius. But well. It was Friday night, I decided to scout a bit and find myself some food. I was so hungry, all I ate was a hotdog in between Suwalki and now (around 23:)

CIMG0629   CIMG0626 CIMG0628

 

 

 

My first Impression of Vilnius was very nice, It was so lovely. allot of colors, much “sfeer”  I didn’t notice anything of all the crazy peepz. This was probably cuz I was at the old town, and not wandering around the central station with my huge backpack. I found some Burger place and got myself something similar to a Mac Chicken. I didn’t feel like partying, so after eating something. I went to the hostel and took a good night sleep. This was my first night in a Hostel evah! It was comfy compared to my tent and i had nice peepz in my room. still i feel like hostels are not exactly my kinda thing.

Tomorrow ill tell you all about the Awesome day i had in Vilnius.!
you can check it Here.

post

Towards Warszawa

Its Monday morning. The time has come for me to continue on my journey into the great wide open, I was able to enjoy Berlin for the last 3 dayZ but I’m really excited for the unknown new things to come. The night before i used the utilities of the hotel to wash my socks n roxor ma boxors n a lovely shower. now I’m all refreshed and ready for my Journey into Poland!

20140421_095318Again I was lucky, My elder was so kind enough to drop me off at a gas station at the A10 south of Berlin heading to Warszawa. When we arrived i got shit scared. because the gaz station was basically empty, of course it was 2e Easter day so i could figure. Nevertheless we had some nice breakfast, a good morning convo, gave him a hug. He even helped me get some Cardboard. cuz when i tried it didn’t work out so well. the dude didn’t speak English and was all weird. But there i was again. all solo on da road. with my Warszawa shield
20140421_095442
I walked to the entrance of the gas station shop, parked my pack with shield very obviously for everybody to see and started walking around while keeping my pack in sight. Basically my Game was to check the plates of the cars, see if they would go in my direction, remember the face of the person going inside the shop to pay and when he/she would come out if it were German i would talk some German gibbers like.

entschuldigung. ich trampen nach poland/Warszawa gejen sie in die Richtung vielleicht? oda die grenze vielleicht?? (how does one write German?)

or if he/she was polish i tried English
something like. good morning. do you speak English or maybe German. i’m hitchhiking to Warszawa. are you maybe heading into that direction. could i join you for a bit. bla bla.

this failed pretty bad. there were not so much cars. it were mostly Germans with family, also the gas station was before an intersection. I’m not sure if the Germans just didn’t like me. or just didn’t cross border. but they were all like. no I’m leaving the highway heading to Dresden or Cottbus at the next exit which was far to south for me.

so after a while, I mounted my pack and started wandering the gasz station.
shit loads of truckers erywhere, but most of them were sleeping. Even some LV and LT, I was considering skipping it all. but as usual. truckers were not helpful (maybe its my appearance. or maybe its the new EU rules dunno. maybe they just didn’t feel like buttfucking (lucky me) so i tried regular cars again.

Eventually after asking random ppl chillin on the parking/chillin area. I noticed this dude, i couldn’t read his plate because i flanked him. but I just went for it, and I be like: yo dude. English?
you heading to poland maybe? he was rather friendly. and he be like: yah i am polish ghegheghe. indeed going that direction. but gotta take a pee first bro.

so after his bathroom break a little introduction. some pointing on the map. he agreed on taking me to Poznan and drop me off on a gas station. (a town 50% on da way to Warszawa)

———–
Hiz name was Peter. in polish “Piotr”(lol you cant imagine how many peters i met until now but you will notice)
Piotr was a really awesome dude. he was a gym teacher at a mid school i think (like kids around 12 to 14) the drive was about a vew hours we had some really nice conversations about the difference between western and eastern income, the mentality of the people here. Also Piotr was a really sensitive dude. his girlfriend found a job in Germany, for polish people it is normal to move to where you work. so he was a bit sad due to he doesn’t see his lady so often anymore. and he gave a nice example about western/eastern mentality.

She works in this big factory. and sometimes she has to lift heavy things she actually cant lift. eastern ppl are rather helpful and when they see it they help and lift the stuff for her without the need for asking. but most western ppl ignore her don’t give a fuck and mind there own buiznizzz thinking she should lift that heavy box herself. the talk with Piotr really made me think about lots of things. and i instantly felt the difference in mentality/feeling after leaving Germany

————-
Also Piotr thought me Polish :D. basically my game plan about language is. the first ride i get. that gets me over the border i ask about the language and the local foods i should try.

Eventually we got to Poznan, had much more chats about dangerous wildlife, local culture, food n fun things to do, my life back in the Netherlands and lots more.

this was the first dude that actually asked for my name and email. Although he was a really nice dude, I automatically gave my Anagram name Jules made up for me cuz i was like. why would you want my name n email brah?? But he also gave me hiz email n name, soon i will email him this new blog i didn’t expect i would have. I think he will enjoy reading it :) the ride was awesome. and he was a good polish language teacher.

————

So after arriving at Poznan gasz station, i took a break ate some dried fruits n nuts. had regular water this time no lemon :( checked the map to see the town in between Warszawa. after a bit i parked my pack in front of the entrance of the shop. and started talking to people coming out of the shop. i figured EZ now i speak little polish and most polish speak English, my game now was something like: Dzien Dobry do you speak english? bla bla. and ended with some Dziek Oje aka thank you (pronounced like Djin Koeie) i soon found out that all the plates that started with a W were from Warszawa so i just asked the W plates. and it were many! so many. it didn’t go so well though, although everybody was way more friendly then in Germany and back. started smiling. making conversation. 9 out of 10 liked me using hi and thanks in polish. but they all didn’t wanna bring me or had no place (it was still Easter you know. Full cars all over the place)

Eventually after a longer while some dude came to me, he was like: yo dude, you going to Warszawa right. You can come with us if you like. it seemed that i asked his sister with all my charm and flawless polish words for a ride. she denied. but they were just chillin there for a while. saw me trying to get a ride. and were kind enough to make place in there new and almost fully packed car and take me to Warszawa, i had to take my pack on my lap. but this was no problem. their names were Maciek  and Kasia. their mother was in the back but i cant recall the name. They spoke very clear English, and the ride to Warszawa was long. but again i had the nicest chat i could imagine.

they told me allot about the history of Poland, whats the deal in Ukraine from polish point of vieuw, because you know. I’m Anti news. and i don’t believe shit. at home if i would talk about a NW0 or N@to erybody thought i was a crazy conspiracy theorist. but here in Poland they actually know allot more about these things. its like common knowledge. Because everything happens so close to them, they get more truth then we get in the West. This really interested me. Kasia was also very interested about the Olympics and the Dutch ice skating story. although i don’t follow the Olympics. and i didn’t know the full story we found out that polish news was talking bullshit about the way dutch react on losing medals for the ice skating and so on.

Eventually when we got close to Warszawa they drove me pretty far in. dropped me of at the most southern metro station. I had a place to sleep so they told me how to get there. what station to exit, they even bought me a metro ticket cuz i had no local money yet and all the banks were closed. we shared contact info. and they advised me the most amazing parks, musea and lots of more fun things to do in Warszawa! Kasia/Maciek were amazingly kind and helpful!

So i found my way to my couch. to put it in a nutshell. i spoke English all the time except the hello and thanks. all the younger ppl around my age were very helpful. when i tried to change euroez with peepz on the streets they insisted on giving me local coin instead of trading it, told me the way, my host picked me up from the bus-stop, i arrived ETA: 20:00 he had dinner plans with family, so i stayed at his place. had some food. checked my mail. and went to bed.

What a big difference. From Amsterdam to Berlin took me about 8 hikes over 1 day and 1 morning. Berlin to Warszawa 2 hikes in like 7 to 8 hours. amazing. HH PHUNZZZ

Tomorrow i will be adventuring Warszawa, I’m really excited!