It all started few months back, on the rainy day. I wanted to have nice big trip. Plus the fact that I was also planning to visit Norway, Bergen(tricking gathering) but it never happened because university didn’t allow me. I had to take exams in order to get into TLÜ.
So, knewing that I dont have any friends who would do this with me. Searched through traveling forum(trip.ee) and added the “Who wants to join me?” post. Not long after recieving few private messages, I found someone who liked the idea(Kätlin, now as K) and we started to plan immediately. Finally, our route was ready.
That is: Estonia(Tallinn)->Germany(Frankfurt-Hahn)->France(Paris)->France(Lyon)->Spain(Barcelona)-> AND HOME!. Originally we even planned to go Italy(Rome && Venice), Slovakia, but time and money are missing from equation. As time is precious, no point to hitchhike from Estonia, we took the plane.(Frankfurt-Hahn) and from there we hitchhiked.
It really makes sense to actually take plane, because it was cheaper than hitchhiking. 40€ per person, though we bought it for busy month(August).In reality, you can get ticket for 20€ or so from Ryanair, they are soo cheap, check them out when going to travel. (Ryanair.)
First time on a plane, for both of us, was a little bit nervous, but as the plane started to accelerate on a ground, it was so cool that I forgot about everything. Travelling with plane was fast, started 10.00 and landed 12.30.
Total traveled kilometers with our trip, was about 3200kilometers, which 2000km of those was using hitchhiking.
Day#1 – Getting used to hitchhiking and travelling
Arrived to Frankfurt-Hahn airport with the plane. No idea what to do, went out and checked where we are, walked for an hour, asked few people, and then we started to hitchhike. Not much success, but we finally found better place to hitchhike from(had a bigger success). One guy stopped, with his fancy car, and asked if we want to go to the Luxembourg. We said no. After 20 minutes, we discovered that Luxembourg would have been really nice choice. But ohwell! Someone gave us lift to the first gas station. From there, we spoke with people, but no luck. One big truck was going to leave, and then K stopped it and asked where it was going to go. He answered “Paris”. Yay!
We had to wait for an hour or so, because he had to load truck, and then return to pick us up. In meanwhile, we went to Burgerking, and when we exited the Burgerking, “Defensive Guard” or w/e asked K for identification, and for me, they tested drugs with a dog. I passed! Really weird + illegal afaik but whatever. He was back, roughly after 1.25 hours. And our bodies were ready! Learned few basics about trucks. They can’t go over 100km/h and they have to rest every 4 hrs of driving.(1hr rest). Driver could speak a little bit of english, but he had french accent + repeated words, so it was sometimes hard to understand him. But he was chill, even offered free french coffee. A little weird though, because he spoke to himself. But I guess that’s what happens with all the truckdrivers in the end. They are all so lonely. Riding 8 hours a day and more. All alone. I guess company is always good.
To be honest, Germany shocked me a little bit. Mainly because the landscape was so beautiful, and never I did imagine to see such beauty. We finally arrived to somewhere NEAR paris(10-20km off Paris) and the truckdriver gave us few directions how to get into paris etc, but it was already too late to take a bus. We walked for hours, trying to understand where is the correct bus station. Saw like 5 rabbits too, it was awesome. They were just in the park. K stepped to hole and her leg got swollen. So for the next 2-3 days, walking for her, was painful. Though I finally found bus station(Rossygol) and we went there. Thank god, it was warm.
Day #2 – In the bus station Rossygol && Arriving to Paris.
There was hotel near, “Ibis”, but it was way expensive. 87eur per night, wtf..and that was only one person I think. We decided to spend night in the bus station.(Rossygol), oh god, those seats, shittest seats eveer. Few homeless dudes were sleeping there too, because it was so warm there. And one black man sit next to us and started to stare K for an hour or so, really creepy -.-. To be honest, we couldn’t sleep, too shitty chairs.. so yeah we were awake for 7 hours until we catched a bus in the morning, to Paris.
Okay, now in the Paris. Started to look around and tried to understand where we are. Got a little food too to prepare the day. What I loved about paris, is that everything was uniform. For metro/bus/tram, each stop had a ticket machine. Every ticket looked the same. It was easy to orient around paris, because each street had sign and no exceptions. Unlike some other countries. Oh and did I mention that toilets like “Million toilet in Estonia” are for free and they are cleaner than toilets in Estonia which are expensive ? I really loved the fact that there was water everywhere. If you ever got thirsty, no problem. If you ever needed to go to a toilet, no problem.
So many churches, so many different buildings. Visit to paris would not be complete without visiting a Eiffel tower. So yeah, we visited it, it cost like 7€ per face(to get middle of Eiffel). Would’ve wanted go to top, but whatever . Really nice view.
Fyi Gustavo Eiffel was also author of “Statue of Liberty”. (This is actually Day#3 but whatever lol)
In Paris, a lot of different people, everyone selling something. So many souvenire shops. People dancing on the street for money, doing shows. Some amazing shit went down there. In Paris, we had CouchSurfing host(with a few words – CouchSurfing is just a place where people host eachother for free and talk to eachother). He had nice apartment and could talk English nicely. Everything was so expensive in Paris. Cheapest meal you could find, was about 5€ and it was Chinese food. And by more expensive I mean like 2.5x more expensive. French are known for baguette(long bread), and we tried it. Kinda.. usual I guess. But what really blew my mind, was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pain_au_chocolat (It’s like chocolate croissant), and it has to be one of the best things I’ve tasted.. Hot one, right from the oven.. Soo tasty
I would say, everything had quality. I mean, even the food we bought from the supermarket. It was made with a quality. There is also Bread law, which states that French bread can’t contain preservatives, so bakeries(or patiesserie in French) are really common. If they cook baguette and nobody buys it in 24 hours, they will throw it away.So you kinda can wait when patiesserie closes and get free food ;D
Okay yes, the CouhcSurfing friend. He was really chill. Told us few things about Paris and suggested what to look & buy. We spent night on his house.
Day #3 – Chilling around Paris
Next morning, we kept exploring Paris. Shops, monuments, tourist shops. We happened to be in Notre-Dame church while there was ceremony going on. And the orel was playing. Really powerful. I also got little souvenire from the Notre-Dame, nothing fancy but a little coin which has Notre-dame on it. Few soldiers/guards were moving around Paris with m4a1 guns(or something similiar, im no gun expert), but those weren’t handguns lol. There were little fountains near that church. And what I’ve never seen, is was how pigeons take shower. I mean, they really enjoyed being in the water and taking the fountain. You can get to the Eiffel Tower with either stairs or lift. It has three levels: bottom, middle and top. To the top, there are not going any stairs, only lift. We had to wait around hour or more. Queue was so long . Every black man was selling mini Eiffel towers. Each one had different prices. We took few pictures while up, but I dont have the pictures right now.
The weird thing about Paris – I didn’t see any beautiful girls, technically we were there 2 full days. And I mean it. It’s supposed to be city of romance ~_ ~. I went to like thousand different shops(H&M, some lingerie shops + 232 other shops) but no lol. That still blew my mind a little. Everything seemed so nice and cool, but no beautiful girls. But okay, whatever. Maybe I should’ve spent like month and see one?
It’s cool that they had bike system. I know Estonia has something similiar, but you could actually take bike with a creditcard, and you could ride from point A to point B and leave to pointB when there was bike rack close by. I think that was pretty nice, although I dont exactly see why they didn’t take it further and add international support. I mean, creditcards only? Probably I have no idea how hard it would be, to add other banks too. But man, I can’t even get creditcard when im not working.. I think for a year?!
K leg’ was still swollen badly, imagine having retarded leg for week or two, not cool right. But she bought something similiar to fastum gel, I believe this made everything a little better.
To be completely honest, I am more of a people person. Monuments were great but it really blew my mind what people do for money and what talents they have. For example, I’ve never seen 1x1m bubbles floating around and little children playing with them. Cool. Also saw few fancy cars such as Ferrari.
Goodtip. In France and Spain, wifi is free in McDonalds. In Starbucks, you gotta buy something before you can use Wifi for limited amount. Otherwise it’s really hard to find free wifi. Sometimes we didn’t have host in some city, so we had to use McDonalds wifi in order to find new host. Also some host failed us in Barcelona(!! more after!!).
Okay, time to continue, needless to say, Paris is fun, will keep you busy for a year.
Day #4 – Lyon time
It was time to hitchhike ourselves to Lyon. It’s a city in France. I dont know exactly why I chose this city, but it had to do something with the fact that one day Victor stayed at my house(I was hosting him in my apartment) and he told me to visit Lyon. So, I guess that’s why, but I really don’t remember what he said about Lyon lol :p. Our Paris host suggested a place where to start hitchhiking. To be honest, it wasn’t that hard. The place we hitchhiked, there were many hitchhikers. So we knew that it had to be correct place. In 1.4 hour, we finally got someone. But he didn’t go to Lyon. I dont remember where he went, but it was close to Lyon(off by 100-200k or so). He dropped us on a gas station. It’s pretty common to hitchhike from gas station to gas station. In France and Spain, it’s relatively good, because gas stations usually are every 100km or less.
We finally arrived to Lyon. Called our host(Doma) and waited for him. He had Smartcar so he could not take us together, but had to drive us seperately. No big deal. When we arrived to his house, talked a little and decided to go to the shop(SuperU) and got little bit of eggs(expensive) and meat. Doma and his girlfriend made us a nice dinner. (French fries & meat & sauces & salad & wine). That wasn’t all. Her girlfriend then took us all to Lyon secret place. It was in top of the city. Really beautiful, you could see all the lights over the city. So much colours, relaxing. She also gave us gum, for protection against different air pressures. If you chew gum, it avoids ear locking, I guess.
Ah yeah, nice day. So tired. Time to go to sleep.
Day #5 – Exploring Lyon
Doma gave us map of Lyon, where he marked things to see. Few monuments, shops, parks. It is beautiful city. Many cute girls, unlike Paris. All smart ones moved away from tourist city :p. We browsed shops, they were quite interesting, I guess you have to see yourself, needless to say, you don’t see stuff like that in Estonia. Lyon has really big beautiful national park. Many wildlife reserve flowers. It is nice because everything was titled there. So you actually knew what you were looking at. You could check out deers, lions, monkeys, etc. I did not see lions nor monkeys, but deers, yes. They had their own area, where to run. You could not touch them but they were 1 meter away from you.
At later, we started doing bit of research for our next destination. Spain, Barcelona. You know, read hitchwiki.org, googled distances, read other experiences. Doma took K for a ride, around the city. Doma showed nice spot where to hitchhike from. Though K forgot it the next day.
Day #6 – Bye Lyon, Bye Doma.
After an hour, we found a car. He was going to Montpellier. That essentially means, that we got further little less than a half of the distance.
I actually found a guy who would drop us from Montpellier gas station to Barcelona. He was really chill guy, though I was a bit scared that wer’re gonna be murdered. But this trip really reminded me something that I already knew. Never judge anyone by his looks. This is soo important. Because im telling you, that guy was super chill. Coming from Italy, he drove almost 2000km, to Valencia, Spain. Anyways the good news is, we arrived to Spain. (I forgot my jacket @ car). But in Barcelona, really all you need is t-shirt and pants :p.
We ate a little, then explored map. And went to the beach – Barcelonetta. It’s a artificial beach. So if you do like 3 steps into the water, you’re already drowning. Anyhow, when we finally arrived to the beach, someone asked me if I wanted to buy weed.. I was like laughing and said no thank you. One minute passed, and another asked me if I want to buy weed, I was like no thank you. And then he asked me if I want to buy cocaine. Uuuh..nooo thank you lol.
Our host fucked us over, good. So, essentially we had no place to sleep. I drink one wine on the beach. Talked with some girls and asked if they could host us. Actually they could speak English, and they were nice. But no, as far I understand, the reason was something like; “We can’t because there is one guy who checks our dormrooms and controls that we would not host anyone”. Well okay, they suggested me one cheap hostel. Oh and they gave us donut, mmm!
Day #7 – Living like homeless dudes & rocking on the beach.
(It’s friday it’s friday gonna get down on friday)
Okay, hostel was on the Pujades street. Fortunately we already know that street, since you have to cross it in order to get into the Barcelonetta. But no luck! We either didn’t find the hostel or it was already too late. Sucks! Fortunately we somehow met with parkour guys, who also had no place to stay(Klimo, Paul and Leo). We decided to spend a night in the park. You know, it’s warm, why not . They went to bushes with K, so homeless dudes wouldn’t find them. But I decided to sleep on bench. As far I already knew, homeless dudes are not dangerous, but they have long fingers. So I packed my bag into sleeping bag & went in. Nobody could steal shit .
Man, I slept goood(because bottle of wine does it’s magic). That bench was actually blessing, compared to that Paris busstation. Until I felt that someone was touching me. I thought oh okay K or some parkour guy, but when I opened my eyes, homeless dude! Oh god lol. I said what the fuck, he asked me if I have any cigarettes.. Yeah.. cigarettes, sure . I guess the fact that I can hear every little sound when im sleeping, is actually useful. God knows. When I opened my eyes, I saw like 5-6 guys lurking around K and parkour guys, searching for things to steal. But I think everyone was clever enough to not let anyone touch their stuff.
It was around 6.00 in the morning, and it was time to start moving. I dont exactly remember what we did, but probably went to beach. Barcelonetta is tourist place, beach is actually ugly, because of so much trash. Condoms swimming in the water, etc..
Long story short, the idea was to find someone who could host us today & chill on the beach. I think the whole day was pretty much; searching for food, searching for sun creams, searching for McDonalds(wifi). And then 4-5 hours beach & swimming. Long story short, we got host for tonight. Swimming was fun. I could just float and do nothing but chill. <3 Mediterranean sea. Oh and also, because the water was so salty, I looked like badass Super Sayian with my hair. I loved that, I always like to wear my hair directly up.
One thing that is super annoying in Barcelona. Someone is always trying to sell you something. Imagine being on the beach, and around 7 different guys going back and forth, every 4min, for 4 hours. One selling Mojitos, another selling coca-colas, third one selling aqua, beer. And so on..someone tried to sell us glasses, another one dressings, and Chinese lady asked us if we wanted to have a massage. Oh and Tattoos! Yes. It’s the same in bars(more about that later). Though, that Mojito was one the best shit I’ve ever had. So jammy. There is no such thing as quietness. I got that mojito for 3€, it was actually 5€ but all you tell pakis(guys selling shit) that 3€ or fuck off .
Okay, it was late, we bought few things from the shop and went meeting with our host. Antoine. Cool guy. When we arrived to his place, there were already two CouchSurfers, Lypita and Quint. They were from Britany(North part of France). No biggie. They were already supposed to go out, and they asked if we want to join them. Yeah why not. Only we had to eat before, because we were hungry.
Actually, we ate, and then drink a little. I bought mojito. So we made mojitos, Atoine actually got peppermint across the street. So easy !
We walked around 6km if not more. Oh god. It was so painful because I wasn’t wearing shoes + we walked like 6km before arriving to Antoines place .
The rest of night was how it was, we went to some random bar and met up with Polyna(?!) & drinked pina coladas. Too expensive lol.
The cool thing about Barcelona. If you want beer, you can have it any time you want. Antoine was like, “you want any beer?”, and then we walked like 10m and someone already offered us beer.
Oh and few interesting facts about barcelona; biggest free wifi coverage in Europe. Barcelona had over 300 wifi spots.
It’s also known as the most acceptable city in the EUrope. By that, nobody judges anyone. You can wear whatever the fuck you wanna wear. If you look gay as fuck, people wont even notice or tell you anything or look weird. Damn man I wanted to find 10cm long pants(like zyzz), and I found them, but they were too small for me. Bummer
Day #8 – Getting to known Barcelona more throughly
Okay. I think it was time to explore Barcelona. We saw Sagradia familia(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia). It really shocked me, it was beautiful and big. I dont think anything in Paris shocked me like that. Oh well. Gaudi died like 100 years back(around 1920 or so), he was killed by a tram I think. Anyhow, it still is under construction. For many many years to come.
Oh and, park Guell. That was also by Gaudi. Really nice! I think I loved his works the most. Paris was awesome, but Gaudi rules! http://www.barcelona.com/barcelona_city_guide/gaudi_barcelona/park_guell
Actually, I think that was all we looked lol! Then we went to browse through shops in the city. Interesting shops. Well. That was it I guess.
Later, we went out with Lypita, Antonie and Quint. (I believe lol) to the Absinth bar, around Barcelonetta.
I drink little bit of absinth and whiskey. Damn they sold every color of absinth! Green, Black & others. I tried absinth first time I think. Oh god. Aftertaste reminded me of liquorice. Not that bad. Absinth is even supposed to generate hallucinations. Though it is true it CAN because of ingridents but in reality, it wont, because it’s small amount and you have to drik a lot of absinth. You’ll die before.
We went out and chilled there. Solved few wines. If you know what I mean. It was nice night. I dont really like hanging out in clubs and shit like that with really random people I’ve never seen. But I loved this night. You could talk with everyone and Quint was really chill, everyone was. Except the dudes who tried to sell pointless shit in the bars. I mean some guy popped in, offered sunglasses. Next one offered trilby hats. Third one scarfs. You get the picture
Well, we headed back to home. And we ate a little. I think. Combined with something that was not alcohol, it was pretty funn night.
Day #9 – Going for north beach(I think it was north) with a train. Basically outside of Barcelona.
Yeah. Next day we decided to head out to BIGBIGBIG mountains, but unfortunately it cost way too much, so we decided to take train into beach instead. It was pretty awesome. Not too much trash this time. And not too much guys selling shit. It was quite chilly. Yeah. I think this day wasn’t thah productive. We just relaxed and chilled. No walking. Saw few gays(it was gay festival like week before). But it was okay. Gays are cool yo. Nohomo.
And nightchill like always, in Antoine’s apartment. One wine and we played chess. Damn, I lost all the games. Like 3-4 times. I’ll be back! )
We promised Antoine that we will be gone in monday. Because he has work to do and we would distract him etc. We tried, but no luck. So we had to spend monday too!
Day #10 – Last day
Okay, we decided that if we don’t find any host, we will start retuning to Estonia the next day. Okay. But in meanwhile, we basically browsed shitloads of shops. That’s pretty much it. Also I found “All you can eat”, just next to the Sagradia familia. Beautiful! It was 12€. But man how I ate. )))
Now, we did little bit of research, mainly how to hitchike out of Barcelona. Actually, hitchwiki.org has really nice explanations.
Day #11 – Going back ))
We followed directions and they actually got us somewhere. Middle of nowhere. Desert. But there was a gas station! Was a little bit worried already. But we finally found somewhere who was heading to CLarmont(it’s around 100-200km off Lyon). Well, when we finally arrived to Lyon. We had no hosts. I did not want to sleep in the park again!! So we went to mcdonalds, and I did little bit of work. I sent like 30 requests in CouchSurfing.org with letter like “Please dont let us sleep on the grass (“, and finally we found Sam.
Man, Sam was really kind, 29 yrs old male. If you know LOTR, you know Sam. Really kind! All good, we spent nice night. He will be coming to Estonia for sure =]]. The oddest thing though was, he already had hosted like 9 people before, including 2 Estonian girls. (Hey Estonian girls, who are you??). And we saw postcards of Estonia. I think we should try to send postcards too, to all our COuchHosters.
Day #12, #13, #14, #15, #16
Okay, there were interesting shit going on, but it was not that interesting. All I have to say, really many kind people exist around the world. Sincere. Those days included mainly us sleeping on random places, in trucks(on half meter bed(width)(two people))). On restaurant. On hostel(lol people having mad fuck while we wer’e sleeping) and on bus. Blahblahblah. We actually took the bus from Poland to Estonia(52€ omg), because we were tired as fuck and tired of hitchhiking. It was fun though! But only in good weather .
So make sure if you ever hitchhike, start from germany or paris