Mon 14 Jul 2008
Stories about hitchhiking seem to motivate other people to hitchhike… Here is Benjamin’s story about his first hitchhiking experience… Actually, a quite long and brave trip for the first time hitchhiking: from Sarajevo to Warsaw (with the Bus from Zagreb to Bratislava)…
My journey here was somewhat interesting… I got onto the wrong train and decided to hitch hike instead of waiting in Sarajevo for 24 hours… So I got a lift from the next station where the wrong train went to back to Sarajevo (In the biggest and fattest Mercedes there is, with a guy with a Munich number plate…), then another lift to Zenica with another German speaking friendly Bosnian Croat (who was quite adamant about beinc croat…), and who insisted on buying me coffee… Then I got a lift to Doboj with a Sarajevo courier service, and from there a very friendly Bosnian, who has lived in Hamburg for 28 years gave me a lift right to Zagreb.
In Zagreb things were a little bit more difficult – I couldn’t find anybody at the petrol station where I was, who would go to Budapest. (Bad strategic choice of petrol station…)
Luckily I got a lift into Zagreb (with a very friendly guy who even gave me 50 Kuna / 8 eur so that I could buy a bus ticket into town. In town I found out that I would be able to take a night bus to Vienna. While waiting for the bus, I got myself some information online where there are good spaces to wait for lifts in Vienna, Bratislava and other places on en route to Warsaw – which was a very good idea…
After a long night ride to Vienna – (which spared me the money for accommodation on the way…), I decided to take a little bus to Bratislava – which was cheap, and which would save the complicated road layout around vienna / Bratislava. So, I was in Bratislava at around 7, caught a tram to the edge of the city, and… waited. I had to wait for about two hours, waiving my ‘Trencin’ and ‘Zilina’ signs… or just my thumb… depending on what I thought might work better at the time. Unfortunately the petrol station at that place was closed temporarily… and there were a couple of other hitch hikers there as well. Two of them were friendly, and we started talking – the other one was a bit weird. The hitch hiker couple soon got a lift – and about 20 minutes later I was picked up by a truck driver – very friendly slovak guy, who took me almost to Trencin. (I communicated in Slavic… my bosnian, sprinkled with the few czech/slovak words I know…).
From here on my journey went exceedingly well – I never even got time to wait. At the petrol station where I was dropped off, I immediately got a lift with a chech guy on his way to a little place near Zilina on the Polish border, from there I got a lift with another truck on his way to a place near Lodz, and from there another lift right into Warsaw with a friendly, if slightly politically twisted pole from the North. (I arrived at around 8p.m. – i.e. around 35 hours after having left Sarajevo.