The first day of „Travelling Stones” happened, and here’s the story behind it.
Lots of things happened and lots and lots of walking. LOTS of it!
As morning came, I had my alarm set-up for 7AM. I had to walk for approx. 2 hours from my couchsurfer’s place to the hitchhiking spot. I wanted to avoid the heat so that’s why I decided to wake up so early.
In fact I woke up earlier. More exact at 5:30AM. My girlfriend had arrived in US and she called me to let me know that’s she’s fine and all. Of course the conversation wasn’t just “Hey, I am fine. Goodbye!”. We talked for a while and then I went back to sleep.
When my alarm started ringing I got up and ate. I had everything packed already and I just had to eat and dress.
With all taken care of, I went out the apartment, dropped the keys into the mailbox and set on my journey.
Thanks to my awesome brother and his suggestion I got to the spot without getting lost. As I mentioned before, my brother told me about a great offline maps application. It helped me a lot so far, so I will recommend it as well.
As I approached the hitchhiking spot, I noticed that the road was under construction. That could be either good or bad for me. It could be good because the cars go slow, or it could be bad because the cars can’t stop.
I entered the gas-station and at its exit I put my backpack down and got myself into the hitchhiking position. There was quite some traffic and a willing driver could park there, if he/she really wanted to help me. The situation was not THAT bad, but not great either.
After half an hour, two other hitchhikers came there and told me that it is a good spot, as I already heard, for my direction.
Another half of hour passed and a nice lady stopped for me. She only drove me 20-30km till the next gas-station and I agreed to go that way, as I would be dropped off on the highway.
That decision wasn’t too bad and the conversation with her, while driving, was really nice. I found out that she also hitchhiked in her youth and that she vowed to herself to pick up all the hitchhikers she sees.
When we got to the gas-station I saw 3 or 4 police cars. I wasn’t sure if that will help me or not, but I didn’t have any other option, right? Hahaha!
She dropped me off, but before she left she asked the policemen if there is any other gas-station on her way, before she exits the highway, and also if I am allowed to hitchhike. She was super sweet to do all those things for me, although she didn’t have to.
While I was waiting over there I started noticing that my right hand is feeling strange. After a few minutes it suddenly hit me. SUNBURN!!
Shit! I was waiting the whole time in the sun, without any sunscreen. I was already feeling the burn.
At this time it was too late. I was just trying to keep my arms in my shade, somehow.
[this always happens to me! every summer for the last 3 years I get the t-shirt tan… it might be funny for you, but it ain’t for me…]
After about one hour a guy picked me up for about 120 km, which was great. I was finally getting closer to my destination. I checked my map and it looked like I will be at the half of the road. It wasn’t even noon and I was getting closer. My hopes were getting higher and me a bit more relaxed.
In the car the driver was listening to good music. He had a collection of rock songs that I was listening to when I was in high school so that was a nice ride for me.
He was also talking to me in German or Hungarian. I don’t speak neither of them. I tried to guess what he was saying and I was replying in English.
It was a fun ride. Hahaha!
The place where he dropped me off was a very big parking lot on the highway. I knew that that place is good.
I took advantage of that place and went to the toilet and also had my lunch on a bench. It was cloudy and a bit windy, which helped with my sunburn. By now it was already visible. The “tan” that I got was not only shaped by my t-shirt but also darker on my right hand. Great….
After I finished my lunch, I headed for the exit of the parking lot and started hitchhiking.
Even though there were quite some cars, none was stopping…
I noticed a police car cruising though the parking lot and I knew; they will come to me. And they did!
What a surprise!
They asked me for my papers and when I gave them my ID they started asking me why I don’t speak Hungarian. By the way, my surname is Hungarian.
I was shocked when one of the policemen started talking to me in ROMANIAN! That’s a first!
He asked me where will I go and stuff like that. They also told me that I have a noble name and where I shouldn’t hitchhike.
As no one was stopping I decided to change my sign from just “Brno” to “Bratislava|Brno”.
That worked like a charm. I didn’t even had the outline drawn and a car stopped.
Looking back on things, of course he stopped. Bratislava was 36km away, hahaha!
He told me that he is going in the center. I decided to go with him and deal with it later.
So, on my way to Brno I got to Slovenia too. And I must say that Bratislava looks really nice, and it’s so, sooo small.
Even though I had to walk quite a while from the center, all the way to a place where I thought I could hitchhike, I don’t mind that I got there. It made me want to go again so that’s a plus
Following my map, the default one – not the downloaded one, I got through some very interesting places.
Only I could walk through a museum of firefighters(?) and behind a train depot, where a man was pissing casually on a wall, in order to get to a hitchhiking spot. Yeah… only me. hahaha!
I knew from the map that the spot for hitchhiking might be on the highway, but I didn’t care. I had to get to my hosts! I was super determined.
At one point the roads were going all over the place and there was no sidewalk. I was getting a bit frustrated and mad. But I carried on. I was determined to get to Brno! No matter what!
And eventually, following an exit of a highway, jumping over a small protective parapet, I got in a parking lot/gas station. The only problem with it was the fact that was small and almost empty.
I put my backpack down, next to the parking’s exit and evaluated the situation. It wasn’t looking too good.
I had only one option: to hitchhike almost legally.
And that means me hitchhiking from the parking lot, sitting behind the parapet on the grass, for the cars that were going on the highway.
Technically that’s legal. And ballsy.
Luckily for me no police car passed. But more luckily for me someone stopped! Ha!
My determination paid off and I got a ride! All the way to Brno!
The guy who picked me up was super cool and he was a former hitchhiker as well. He also helped me by giving me his phone charger. My phone was draining as I was using it all day for navigation.
As we were talking and as I was telling him my story, he gave me his email address to send him my website.
When we got to Brno he did a detour for me of about 20km until we found a good spot for me to hitchhike. He even waited there until I got a ride.
From there on I changed 2 more cars and got to Letovice. That’s the town next to my host’s village.
It was around 8PM when I called Pavel to come and pick me up. I was a bit tired, but happy that my stubbornness got me there.
When was the last time you were stubborn and got what you wanted and what was it?