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Earth > Europe > Western Europe > Austria > Carinthia > Villach
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Villach (Slovenian: Beljak) is a city in Austria near the Slovenian border. It is an important spot on the direct connection between Germany and Kranj and Ljubljana (German: Laibach) in Slovenia and the Croatian coast. (For example most of the numerous people that go for holidays to the Croatian coast pass here.)

Hitchhiking out

South towards Slovenia, Ljubljana

To the south there is a motorway going through the Karawanken Tunnel over to Jesenice (German: Aßling) in Slovenia. Apart from that there is also the old road over the pass.

One possibility is catching a ride towards Salzburg to the next petrol station Feistritz. Plenty of cars stopping there in both directions (north and south).

But the best is to go from the city centre almost directly to the east along Faakersee-Bundesstrasse (Ludwig Walter Strasse, then Maria Gailer Strasse) over the river and before the fork to the Sud-Autobahn there is a bus station where you can hitchhike and cars can stop and pick you up.

North towards Salzburg, Germany

To the north there is the Tauern-motorway going to Salzburg and Germany.

Personal experiences

During the Abgefahren hitchhiking race 2010 some teams had major problems getting away from Villach to Slovenia and from Rasthof Feistritz in particular. Also, the on-ramp Faakersee didn't work well for them. The Villach experience was so traumatizing for some of the teams that they made the new figure of speech "to have a Villach" (German "einen Villach haben") - if you had a very unlucky or bad day - and now trying to establish this phrase among the hitchhikers jargon.

This was also confirmed on the 2009 University of Sheffield's 1500 mile hitch 'Bummit to Zadar'. Of the three hundred hitch-hikers an unprecedented (for Bummit) sixty two people descended on the bottle neck in Villach during one single night. The ever worsening weather of the mountainous region caused all of the participants to take shelter in the central train station and try and 'blag' a train. The four am train the next day was not happy to receive such an amount of people after 12 hours of being stuck in a wet train station and not wanting to pay. The thought of being stuck in Villach often conjures up the idea of being stuck in the 'worst place humanly possible for a hitch-hiker, with only routes in and almost none going out' (Bummit 2010/2011).

During the Bummit's of 2010 and 2011 there has been much conversation of having a 'Villach' or 'Villach moment' which absolutely echoes the Abgefahren hitch-hike the year after.

Prino had a similar bad experience in 1985, trying to get from Villach to Yugoslavia, but eventually, after a 4:24 wait, settling for a ride to Klagenfurt.