- 1 Voting
- 2 Checklist adapted for current situation
- 3 Date
- 4 Location
- 4.1 Germany
- 4.2 Poland
- 4.3 France
- 4.4 Scandinavia
- 4.5 Discussion
Poll for the suggested locations: https://framadate.org/JlkUn3XlcXHxG9fZ
!Another place has been added (La Fromandie). If you can't update your vote you can just cast another vote (just add a "2" to your name) leaving the options you voted on already blank.!
Checklist adapted for current situation
- How is the situation in the area? Infection rates, healthcare system?
- entry rules
- testing rules
- contact restrictions, restrictions on gatherings
- Is there space for 30 to 60 people?
- Is there any toilets or shitpit possibilities?
- How covered are we from the elements? ---> not so important in summer, we will bring tarps and big communal tents
Food and water
- Can we acquire drinking water somewhere nearby?
- Are there possibilities to dumpster dive or is food cheap?
- How will we cook?
- How overall easy/difficult is it to reach the place by free means of transport?
- How secluded from other countries is the place? Can people come easily?
- Can we just stay at the place or does it belong to somebody, do we need a permission?
- Can we make fires, or do we have a place to cook?
- Can YOU be there to help organizing in the beginning?
- What benefits the location has to potential activities?
- What else is important? What do we need to bring?
Swaden is proposing August 2th 2021 for the official beginning, following the infos on the main page. As of now, there's a consensus for the beginning of August, so let's set this as an "official" date for now.
Travel restrictions are evolving. As of now a good bet could be:
- Eastern Europe (why?)
- Switzerland or Sweden (because they have been very soft with their travel restrictions so far)
Set deadline for fixing a location is May 1st. Due to the situation, it might be smart to make a 'wish list' -- Plan A, Plan B, Plan C -- and then decide depending on travel situation.
Langenwarder Island on the Dieksee
"It is an old wharf building on an island in a lake, located in the north of Germany about 100 km south of the Danish border. The building has a front that can be pushed open, inside there are old boats they used to ship tourists around on the lake. From the newspapers and menus I found on the boat, they have not been in use for a good 20 years and the whole building looks more like a forgotten graveyard."
- on an island in a lake, how cool is that
- swimming definitely possible
- dumpsters about 4km away
- around the lake there is a lot of forest, and the closest village is 4km away, probability of being kicked out even in this covid situation is fairly low.
- potentially more LGBTQ+ friendly than Poland
- solid building, provides shelter regardless of the weather
- no fresh water source on the island (water has boat traffic and is running along several cities, -> polluted)
- no toilet on the island
- no permission; the lake is connected to a river and several other lakes, waterpolice might be active
- boat traffic (boat trips go along north and south of the island), depending on corona rules (risk of being spotted)
- on an island in a lake , actually 120 meters to the closest shore. We must find/build/borrow a canoe or raft so we can arrange transport of food, gear and people.
- not super inclusive for people with disabilities
- Corona rules in Germany (2.5.21) require testing and quarantine for pretty much everyone entering Germany, curfews, and ban gatherings > 2-5 ppl
Dama suggests as a location for the gathering: Stacja Wolimierz. An old train station that's been converted into a theatre and festival place. She says:
- "I was a volunteer there in 2018. At the time I asked if they'd be up for allowing the Hitchgathering to happen there, and they said yes. We would probably have to volunteer a bit in exchange. They have their own festival there in July every year, so the beginning of August would probably be fine. I left the place on semi-awkward terms with the owners, so I wouldn't want to ask unless people really want to do it there."
- People there should be happy to host considering the vibe of the festival.
- Plenty of space for camping on their festival grounds.
- Dry toilets are available
- Possibility for a big pregathering at Kesselberg and then hitching to Wolimierz as a big colourful flock of odd-birds
- There are no dumpsters really close, and the ones that are further away might not be very good (although Poland does hide some surprisingly plentiful diving).
- No swimming -- there is a pond on the Czech side for those who are quite determined, about 7 kilometers away.
- Multiple people who have been there or not expressed strong concern on the mailing list about the inclusiveness of the people there, along Poland as a country. Other people also said it was very nice and are supportive of the idea, see the mailing list for discussion and don't mix up Atelier Wolimierz and Stacja Wolimierz.
Dama has another proposal, in part because of the above concerns:
A private plot of land in Łąków, Poland. The closest village is called Rudnica. It’s 47 km away from the German border. Our host would be a guy named Paweł, who I met in Wolimierz (the location of the other proposal). I don’t know him very well and I’ve never been to the location. I asked him about hosting the HG a couple of years ago, and called him today to see if he’d still be up for it. He agreed straight away, but seemed to be in a rush, so I couldn’t ask him everything I wanted to. He said to call again closer to the date of the HG. If this is a place people would consider then I can call again, or send a text message with some questions.
- Private land with permission from the owner.
- Paweł has agreed to two weeks at the beginning of August, he just asked that a couple of people come beforehand to set things up.
- Close to the German border (for those concerned about traveling through Poland).
- Space for up to 100 people. I mentioned that between 20-100 people would show up, he seemed fine with this.
- Less pressure to volunteer. It would still be nice to help out and do things, but (unlike Wolimierz) it isn’t an organized volunteer place.
- He said there’s definitely a place to swim on his land. Seeing the map, I’m not sure if he meant the little stream, or one of those little lakes (he mentioned both a river a lake during our conversation).
- Safety concerns due to Poland’s political actions against LGBTQ rights.
- Time limit of two weeks. Could maybe be negotiated in the moment?
- I’ve never been there, I don’t know the owner very well (he seems very nice and easygoing, but I don’t know how reliable he is).
- I don’t know if there are any good dumpsters around.
- By deciding on a location early and spreading the news, I’d be a little worried if way too many showed up (something to ask Paweł about).
- I’m not sure about the current (or future) covid restrictions in Poland. (Current restrictions as of mid to late March are favourable to people entering by hitchhiking.) Since it would be on private land, my main concern would be that Paweł would get in trouble for hosting people. Maybe we could agree on something beforehand in case this were to happen (i.e. if he got a fine).
La ZAD du Lien near Montpellier
Lu. has mentionned on the mailing list that it might be possible to be hosted at the ZAD du Lien near Montpellier.
- Lu. says the people here have plans for the summer so they might be interested. Helping will probably be needed.
- Plenty of space for camping.
- Easy dumpster diving at Montpellier, about ten to fifteen kilometers away. (Maybe not great for hitching in and out.)
- Possible evacuation by police, it already happened once in October.
- Some people expressed concerns about politicising the gathering too much, would this apply to holding it AT a ZAD?
(C., Mailing List) The spot is here: https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/43.9890/2.5326. I've not been there myself, but people I know well and trust, and I've heard great things about the place. It's a large area of forest in one of the least densely populated parts of France, and there's a collective of about 8-12 people living there. They do gardening and steward the forest, and for the future they are quite interested in offering more activities, camps for children, etc., so we might kind of be their guinea pigs :-)
As far as other orga things are concerned... I asked about ~50 people for ~2 weeks. If 100 people suddenly show up, I think it would be an issue. Camping would happen in a somewhat dispersed way -- to have a central camp and then camp in the forest around where you can find the space. There land is generally steep, but there are ancient terraces, and it's also possible to shape the terrain with a shovel to make it more amenable for camping. And of course hammocks will* rule supreme :D There is plenty of firewood, plenty of wood for constructions, drinking water too. If we want to use their electricity and electrical amenities, we would probably donate some money; the same is also true for tools (saws, axes, shovels) -- we could decide if we want to bring some or perhaps they will also get some more tools for their future activities and we could support their purchase.
- Swimming! 20 minutes walking from the Tarn, a gorgeous swimmable river. There are also apparently waterfalls on the land that one can swim at.
- Gorgeous place, legal camping, cool people.
- The people living there are not at all worried about us bringing them Covid, or anything in regards to that.
- Of course transphobia exists in France, but probably not more than in most places.
- If you remember them from your childhood, it's very close to where Kaplas were invented!
- There isn't really any space there to park cars if anybody wants to bring one. (But after all, it's the hitchgathering... right?^^)
- Since it's a remote region, dumpsters are not very close.
- They have quite a few dogs there already, so while not saying that no dogs should come, they were a bit scared by the thought that we 'are like them and 50 people would come with 50 dogs'.
Current situation: Denmark, Norway and Finland deny entry or require testing AND quarantine. Transit through Denmark (24h) is possible. So hitchhiking should work via Ferry and Bridge. Sweden requires a negative test.
The locations below are just examples. Due to the right to roam we can be pretty flexible there and choose as well a place further south.
- The right to roam gives us the right to camp in the nature (not necessarily for two weeks at one spot, yet it's possible) which is great if we need to be spontaneous and flexible.
- Sweden has never closed it's borders (to EU) in the whole time.
- Sweden never hat a curfew so far
- Plenty of space and amazing nature, fresh water sources, fireplaces and wilderness huts.
- Many suitable places for camping in Sweden have a toilet
- Only Sweden is open (29.4.) and requires a negative test. (For German residents free, others might need to pay about 20€; giving a local adress might be enough).
- As Denmark is pretty much restricted it's important to catch a direct ride to Sweden(transit) if you hh from Germany (ferry or bridge).
There is a free camp site in the National Park
- Fresh water source
- Small dumpster close by and bigger one 40 km from there.
- River, mountain and lake nearby
- Far in the north
Kinnaroden, Norway (Cape Nordkinn)
There is a small cabin at Europe's northest point Kinnaroden in Norway as mentioned by To.
- Dumpster diving possible next town.
- Beach close by.
- Fresh water available.
- Far from central Europe.
- Pretty isolated
Follow or join the discussion on the hitch mailing list!