Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer plans

A lot has changed since the last update so I'll keep it short for now. Sadly Doris and I broke up and after that I decided to leave Uddebo. Currently I am sleeping on couches in and around Gothenburg until the 19th of this month. Then I'll hit the road again for a summer trip. First ill celebrate midsummer in the south of Sweden and from there go to Germany. I'll be around Cologne first and then visit a friend in Berlin. After Berlin I will return to Leiden, the Netherlands where I will stay for about a month before driving back up north to Sweden with my parents.
Sorry for the short update but I'm not really in the mood to write any more about the last few weeks.

See you on the road again!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The move to Sweden

After visiting Doris’ parents we started to hitchhike early in the morning to make our way to Leiden. We quickly found out that our hitchhiking luck had turned and the first 100km took almost 6 hours. We knew that the last train from the border to Leiden left at midnight from Arnhem, so that was our goal. Thanks to a young guy who had never taken hitchhikers before we made it just in time! 
The 5 days we spend in Leiden flew by and before we knew it we were on our way to Sweden. It took us about 35 hours of non-stop hitchhiking to get to Sweden. If it wasn’t for a danish guy who took us from Oberhausen in Germany to Kolding in Denmark it would have taken a lot longer. As always as soon as we hit Denmark the hitchhiking went crazy fast. This trip again proves to me that Danish people are one of the friendliest people you’ll find. First someone gave us some money so we could take a train incase hitchhiking wouldn’t work and later an older man took us to his home for lunch and coffee before driving us an extra 35km to the ferry. A 3 hour boat ride later and we were finally in Gothenburg. The time we spend there is always amazing and it feels great to only live 2 hours away from them. We did a lot of walking around parts we didn’t see before during the day and partying at night. Good times! We stayed there for 4 days and then took a bus to our new hometown Uddebo. We live in an renovated school building with some really nice people. If you are interested in joining or want more information you can click here. The project we are working on is restoring an old house. In the upcoming weeks we will continue our work of restoring old doors, windowframes and cutting old glass. It’s hard but rewarding work.
We got invited to spend easter weekend with our friends from Gothenburg at his mums place in Oxnaville, a town even smaller then Uddebo. The hayfever was killing me the whole weekend but that didnt change the fact that we had a good time. The first night we were there we walked a hill in the forest and made a small campfire and had some beers, the best way to spend easter.
Our internet acces here is pretty limited so it might take a while until the next post.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

On our way to Sweden!

Packed and ready to go

Last sunday morning it was time for us to start hitchhiking out of Vienna and move towards the north. We decided to take two weeks for the trip so we have plenty of time to visit friends along the way. Our first stop was still in Austria. We spend 2 nights in Wankham to catch up with people there. Getting there was really easy and we never had to wait long. Combining this with the great weather it was a blast to get back to hitchhiking.
The next stop of the trip is Prien am Chiemsee, where we are now. The first ride we took made us realize immediately that it was going to be our lucky day. The man that picked us up started talking about how he did the same when he was young the moment we got in the car. He drove us to a great gas-station on the highway from where we could get a long distance ride towards Germany. To bring us to this spot he had to take a short detour but that wasn't all. When we left the car he gave us some pocket money for the trip. People are awesome! After this ride it didn't take long until we were on the move again.
The last stretch to Prien we went off the highway and went through the countryside. We experienced that it was our lucky day once more when we bought a sandwich in a bakery and the woman working there ended up giving us lot of extra pastries to take with us on our trip! If that wasn't enough we hitchhiked a train the last 25km. In Germany you can buy the tickets in the train and when we wanted to buy them we got told that it's ok and we didn't have to pay.
Tomorrow morning we will make our way to Leiden, the Netherlands to stay there again for a few days. We hope we have just as much as luck the rest of our trip.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Time for new adventures!

Almost half a year went by since I last posted anything on this blog so it's time to revive it.
In the beginning Vienna was pretty overwhelming, at least for me. The city is pretty massive and we could only navigate with public transport. If we would go somewhere on foot we felt like lost puppies. Luckily we met a lot of friends at the couchsurfmeetings. They showed us around the city and made it this place feel like home. Over the months these people became really good friends with whom we still hang out a few times a week.

Within the first month of moving to this city I found a job in a cafe/bakery in our street. It is the only store in our neighborhood that is open on sundays so we spend our afternoons drinking a coffee there. One time we asked if they needed new employers and the next week I could start full time. The place is about 40 years old and the interior hasn't changed since then. Most of the regular customers are also from that era so they fit right in. I managed to improve my German a lot while working there and met a lot of good people. One of the more interesting things about the place is that it's the only store where people can buy Vodka and other alcoholic drinks at 6:30 in the morning. This results in a lot of intersting people that frequent the bakery. Most of them are nice people who are just down on their luck but some had to be kicked out, for example someone peeing their pants while trying to buy bread. Luckily that only happened once! All in all it was a good learning experience, but I had to quit because of the following:

We both missed traveling more then we like Vienna so we started searching the depths of the internet for a new opportunity. We decided on Sweden for our next destination and then the hunt began. On WWOOF.org (Worldwide opportunities on organic farms) we found a place in Uddebo, a small alternative town about a 100km from Gothenburg) where they need help with renovations, creating a vegetable plot, build greenhouses and organize music events. The building is an old school-building owned by a young artist family. We will stay there for spring and summer if everything goes according to plan. We will leave on the 1st of april and take 2 weeks to visit friends on our way. Expect a lot of new pictures, hitchhiking stories and updates in the upcoming months!

Monday, September 2, 2013

First week in Austria

Now that we've moved all our stuff and settled down in Vienna I figured it was time to write an update about the first week here.  The move itself went really smooth. All our furniture and stuff fitted in one van so we only had to make the drive once. We spend the first week getting to know the neighborhood and the city. Apparently we live really close to the subway connections that lead directly to the center so everything is maximum 30 minutes away from us, which is pretty sweet.
Last thursday we went to the weekly couchsurf meeting where we met a lot of people from all over the world who now live in Vienna. They gave us a lot of practical information and some job-hunting tips, definitely going again next week!
The next day it was time to Hitchhike to Stadt Haag, where we worked at a small festival for the weekend. We got free entree, a place to sleep, food and drinks in exchange for a few hours of work in the kitchen and at the entrance. Met a lot of great people there and had a good time in general. As always with festivals it takes some time to recover from them and after 12 hours of sleep in one night I still feel like I need at least another 12 to fully function again.
The upcoming weeks will be spend job-hunting and keep on exploring this awesome city. Of course I will try to update here as much as possible so make sure to check the blog every now and then.

Till next time!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hitchhiking 6 countries 10 days part 2

...After we paid off the cops we noticed that the car wasn’t doing anything. The night before we used the headlights to light up the area so we could put the tent down and that killed the battery. We pushed the car back a bit till we were close to a main road. There we found someone who could jumpstart it and the guys took us back to town. From here we hitchhiked towards Italy. A woman took us through the mountains to Tarvisio. It was probably one of the most awesome and horrible roads ever. The view was just stunning but the road was like a rollercoaster and made us all feel pretty sick. We got dropped off at the highway entrance in the direction of Villach, the first city in Austria. The sun was still burning and we had no place to hide from it, which seemed to be the theme of the trip. Doris leaned on a small plastic pole on the side of the road, which turned out to be hollow. I heard a snapping sound and Doris was laying on the ground, laughing like a crazy person. The big canon camera that she had around her neck fell on her mouth so she looked like she just got out of a fistfight. Luckily an old Italian guy saved us from the heat and brought us to a gas-station on the highway at Villach. A truck stopped to take us to Vienna but he only had place for 2. Doris and Laura went with him and I tried to catch another ride. After half an hour or so an A-Team van pulled up with 4 guys from Sweden who were completely drunk (except for the driver of course). I knew I had to catch a ride with these guys even though it would mean taking a de-tour. They were on their way to Prague so I could drive with them till Linz, about 200km away from Vienna. They had lots of booze and beer in the car and they told me they just got kicked out of a camping in Italy because of all the noise complains towards them. They invited me to go with them to Prague and when I told them that I have to catch up with my girlfriend and another friend in Vienna they offered to take me there, which was pretty sweet. Then they asked what our plans were after Vienna. Laura had to take the train back to Romania from Budapest the day after that so then they offered to take us to Budapest the next day. Probably one of the most awesome hitchhiking experiences so far. When we got in Vienna we parked the car at a camping that was already closed for the night (which meant we couldn’t check in, which meant we didn’t pay) After going out that night we found the camping again at 03:00AM. Sleeping with 7 people in one car isn’t something I can recommend to everyone, but it sure was fun! The next morning at 8 we left before the camping opened again and we we’re on our way to Budapest. The Swedes wouldn’t go anywhere before buying beer somewhere though so first they restocked their supply and we hit the road again. In Budapest they wanted to park the car somewhere at a secured parking lot and when they couldn’t find it they decided to go to Prague anyway. They took a 2 day de-tour just to bring us to Budapest. Some people are still genuinely friendly! We slept in the same hostel as the one where we were before. I felt so relieved to finally be able to take a shower again and to sleep for more then 4 hours. The next morning it was time to say goodbye to Laura and for us to go towards Linz. The ride to Linz went really fast we had some drinks with our hosts and the next day it was time for the street performance festival. It was a lot bigger and diverse then I imagined. It’s a once a year event so if you’re in the area next year be sure to visit! Here we met a blues artist from New Orleans who was on a hitchhiking trip through Europe, completely funded by his street-music. We hung out with him for a while and he got us a beer and gave us a city. For anyone into blues/country go check out Outdoor Protestant Blues-band! After Linz we went to Wankham to visit our friends there and to finally relax a bit after this tiresome trip. In conclusion this trip was probably the best one so far. Met a lot of great people, had a lot of fun, suffered a bit every now and then but it was worth it in the end! I hope we can do something like this in the near future again and this time stay on the road for a longer period. Pictures of the trip are on the facebook page for those interested. Till next time!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hitchhiking 6 countries, 10 days part 1

Hitchhiking from Prien am Chiemsee to Budapest went surprisingly smooth and just 4 cars later we were in the heart of Budapest where we met up with Laura, a friend of Doris from Romania. From the central station we began our mission of finding a cheap hostel which wasn't as easy as we thought. All hostels seem to have Western-European prices. After following some dutch girls who had navigation software on their phone for a while we couldn't find the hostel they were looking for. They took a cab to find another hostel and 20 seconds after they were gone we realized we were standing infront of the hostel. Doris and I could share a bed and one of us only had to pay half price, which is pretty awesome. We stayed there for 2 nights while seeing the city. Budapest in summer looks really nice, but the heat was just a bit too much so we mostly hopped from shadow to shadow. Of course we had to try some Goulash while we were there and in the hostel they recommend us a good restaurant nearby with affordable food and beer. When you chance your Euro's to HUF be careful that they give the right value back. We've seen everything from 250 HUF for 1 euro at an ATM till 293 at a money exchange place. It seemed that the small shady looking exchange places offer you more than banks so watch out for that! Hitchhiking out of Budapest was easy. It took us a while to find a good gasstation at the end of the city but once we found it there were lots of local hitchhikers. Our goal for the day was Bratislava in Slovakia. After a few minutes or so of waiting someone took us til somewhere in the middle of Hungary since he was going back to Vienna. This was a bit of a mistake on our side. It's the best to hitchhike straight to your destination out of Budapest cause once you are at a gasstation in the middle of the country you should expect to be stuck for hours. The traffic sign in front of our hitchhiking spot was covered in testimonials of people who were stuck there for up to 8 hours. Luckily for us it only took 2,5 hours before someone took us to Vienna airport and from there we took a countryside road to Bratislava. We dropped our luggage of at the train station and explored the city for a while. Bratislava in summer is full of Dutch and British high-school graduants who want to get as drunk as possible for almost no money and the city itself is nothing special. We went back to the station to get our luggage and from there walk into the forest on the hills outside the city to find a place to put the tent for the night. Sadly after walking for what felt like hours up a steep hill we were still in the city and couldn't find a place where we were hidden from sight. We walked back into the center and got a hostel instead. The next day it took us 3 hours to leave the city but then we finally got closer to the Czech border. The ride we got into Czech was probably the craziest of the trip. We got picked up by a couple (husband and wife) in their 30's. The first think they asked was " You're from the Netherlands, do you have anything to smoke?". When the answer to that question was no the wife didn't want to take us anymore but the husband convinced her. About 20 minutes later the wife started screaming in English that her husband had to pull over on the side of the highway to let us out. He wanted to let us out at a gasstation and her response to that was yelling WHERE IS THE PETROL STATION!! after some more screaming we got dropped off at the side of the highway. We walked for about 10 minutes to the first exit we found and from there hitched a ride to Brno with a man who worked on the wine fields. Again we got dropped off on the side of the highway cause he thought it would be the best place for us. He sent us on our way with a 2 liter bottle of wine fresh from the barrel. The goal for the day was Prague but after the police came and sent us away from the highway it became clear that we should focus on getting a place to sleep. We took a random bus to the middle of nowhere and we found the perfect location in a forrest to put a tent and make a small fire. When we jumped off the bus we realized that the bottle of wine was still inside the bus so sadly we didn't have a chance to enjoy it. We weren't bothered by anyone or anything and had a good night of sleep in the tent. The next morning we wanted to walk to the first gasstation on the highway in the direction of Prague. It seemed closed from the busstop where we got off, but that wasn't the case. We had to walk through a field, go over a small creek, walk through thorns and dense bushes, walk on a railroad-track, climb an overpass and then walk on the side of the highway to the gasstation. When we got there we were tired, itchy and sweaty. We grabbed a coffee and then a couple asked us where we wanted to go. We answered Prague and they drove us straight to the center. In Prague we found a hostel in a schoolbuilding. In the summer they just put old iron hospitalbeds in the classrooms and call it a hostel. There were about 200 drunk people in that place screaming and breaking stuff all night so we woke up pretty tired. We took the countryside road back to Austria to visit some friends there. We then got picked up by the vice-mayor of a small town who showed us some local architectural projects, bought us ice cream and then invited us for lunch in a local fish restaurant. It seemed our luck finally changed. It was a really relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Later that day we got a ride with a girl from Linz who told us about a street-performer festival the next weekend and offered us a place to stay during that time. From Linz we took a train to Wankham to visit our friends. The next day it took us a loooong time to get out of Linz, but when we finally did we got a direct ride with 2 guys who were going on a canoe trip in Slovenia. They took us to Bovec. They had a big tent, which we put up on the side of a river. They brought lots of beer and Jagermeister and at 3:00 AM it was finally time to sleep. After sleeping like babies for 4 hours we were awoken by two people saying: Polizia, Documenta (or something like that) It wasn't an official campsite where we put the tent and apparently that is illegal in Slovenia. Luckily for us the cops were corrupt and we only had to pay 40 euro's in cash. 8 Euro's a person isn't that bad to camp at one of the most beautiful places I've been so far. Wanna know what happened next? Stay tuned for part 2...