Everyone, who’s familiar with the topic of polish hitchhiking championships knows that each year, they’re taking place at the beginning of may, because of the long weekend and feasts, which we celebrate in Poland at this time. Again, why am I writing about those championships at the end of August?
I had to write and complete my bachelor paper, actually to finish my bachlor degree, take care of my future studies in Germany… Lots of bureaucracy and unpleasent things to do. However, right now I am in Germany, where I work to earn my future livelihood in Dresden. My move to Dresden will be probably a nice opportunity to continue this blog, maybe even to change its profile a bit.
Anyway, as I have a free day today, I decided to take quite a long walk to the nearest supermarket to make an advantage of McDonalds Wi-Fi and finsh what I should have finished 4 months ago.
Hitchiking Championships are taking place each year since 1996 or something near to this, and the are organised by Adventure Club. I’ve never take part in such an event like this, but this year I’ve decided, as an experienced hitchhiker that I should give this competition a chance and simply check it out – tocan judge t by myself, meet more hitchhikers and see how good am I in compatison with them (though it’s mostly luck when it comes to this kind of travelling).
My friend Gosia, proposed she will go there with me, though we’ve never hitchhikied or even travelled longer together I thought it might be a good idea, as we see eachother quite a lot and party together really often. This trip was supposed to be fun, so Gosia seemed to me like an ideal choice, especially when my other friends already had plans for this time or criticised this event without even taking part in it. Another advantage was the main aim of this trip – I’ve never visited Slovenia before.
Let’s get to the point – everyone had to start from the same place in Sopot, at the same hour which was 12 pm. For me it was a waste of time, as normally I start my travel even at 3 am and at 12 pm I am at east 500 km away from the place where I have started. As weird as it may seem, the beginning was very easy and we got to the highway entrance. We’ve met about 20 other couples there, but together with one of them we went further, somewhere near to Toruń. This first day of the trip was pretty fun, but we didn’t went far. We were constantly meeting other htchhikers, who were taking the cars, which we stopped. Seriously, some of tchem probably didn’t realize that it would be nice, if you wait until the first coule from the spot, where you get, goes away, but whatever. Somewhere near to Łódź we’ve met Dominik and Martyna – a wonderful and funny couple from Warsaw – first who told us we already have a name among other hitchhikers as we had our sign markes as HONOLULU – there was no point to write ‘Czech Republic’ , ‘Kraków’ or whatever, as all drivers have already seen some of us during their way, so we decided to make them laugh and it seemed to help – at least thay made jokes about us and finally took us.
Our first night, we spent at the gas station with another couple. We set up our tents, though it was so cold I’ve barely slept then. We woke up at 5 am to catch all ‘earlybirds’ and it helped. At 1 PM we already were at Slovakian/Hungarian border with a huge chance to reach Piran at the very same day. We’ve chosen the route through Hungary, which was longer and went through smaller cities and forests, but going through Austria again didn’t encouraged me at all. It is never easy for me to hitchhike through Hungary, as Hungarian people don’t speak English, but this time we were so lucky to meet Hungarians, who spoke German – actually each of those who took us knew this language sufficiently to communicate. A few Hungarian truck drivers helped us and at 5 pm we were at Hungarian/Slovenian border already! It was about 400 – 500 kilometers away from Piran, but we knew we were going to reach the spot today! And we haven’t been wrong.
20 minutes on the border and an amazing old guy took us with his car to Ljubljana. It was an educated man, speaking very good German, so during our trip he told us lots of amazing stories about Slovenia, we’ve discussed Slovenian and Polish economy and he took us to most known Slovenian ‘Krapfen’ (if I am not wrong it is an German/Austrian name adapted to Slovenian language). They were wonderful, filled with peach jam and still warm when we ate them! Amazing!
I can’t recall the name of this guy right know, but he was so nice he called his Serbian friend, a truck driver, who was going near to Piran to take us with him. So he did, and 30 nminut before midnight we were waiting for a car 20 kilometers away from our camping. On the way with Serbian truck driver we took few gulps of Slivovica and had to refuse about 20 times to drink more with him, as he was constantly proposing us ‘slivovica, birra, veczera – sutro, ja taxi’ in a free english translation ‘ slivovica, beer, dinner – tomorrow, me – taxi’. He was repeating it in such a funny way that normall I would have stay with him for even 10 days, but we were too determined to reach Piran. We ended up as 30 couple from over 100,who reach the spot. At the beginning there were 200 couples but almost 100 of them gave up, as it was quite a long distance. This entire trip has lasted only 5 days or so, so it siply didn’t make any sense for people who stuck somewhere to go further, as they could stay in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia or wherever they wanted to still enjoy their long weekend.
I didn’t mention before that Piran-Lucia and Portoros are three small cities cooperating and exisiting almost as a one metropoly. They are all near to each other, so we took a long walk through all of them.
Recognized as Honolulu Team we’ve met really wonderful people during those 2 days, drunk a lot of Slovenian wine and beer and decided to leave Piran Sunday morning to see Ljubljana and visit Gosia’s friend in Bratislava. Nor in Piran nor in Ljubljana have we seen any museums or took any excursions, but a simple walk through the old town was enough for me. Fresh breeze, clear water, palm trees and sand. Piran was something like a mix from Croatia and Italy. Ljubljana was more majestic, though really small – I’ve expected it to be a bigger city. We spent only one day in Ljubljana and had luck to find a host via couchsurfing there – Mateusz was an 30 y.o. punk rocker who helped us a bit unconsciously – he saw my message on CS being hung over and answered ‘yes’ without even thinking about it. However, we had fun together and finally, he seemed to be happy to host us. We were listening to Gypsy Kings and partying – all in all we woke up at 9 am instead of 6, but still got to Bratislava the next day!
I’m not sure whether I’ve dedicated Ljubljana enough of respect – I’m pretty sure I’ve missed amazing things, which are definitely hidden somewhere there – I like it, but I disgracefully got stoned and drunk there, so I couldn’t see the city as it really looks like. Or it is simply overrated and my observations weren’t made unclear because of beer? Anyway, I’ve promised Mateusz that someday, I’ll be back there, as he has to show me METELKOVA – a punk squat with a bar.
Next day, we got to Bratislava through Hungary again – was quite weird as always in Hungary and again, we took this weird route through forests and small cities and believe me or not, there was almost no one going by this way. Seriously. We had only 300 kilometers to Bratislava, when an old guy speaking only Hungarian took us to some city about 70 km from Slovakian border – when I saw his Hendrix cassette I knew we are on the right way and even started to speak or at least try to speak some Hungarian with him!
Can someone explain me what this round, silver thing is? They are allover entire Hungary!
Anyway, our luck had to stop. It is always like this, it cannot be too easy. When Jimi Hendrix left us on our way to Bratislava it was already 5 PM and not very much cars on the horizon. After 2 hours of waiting I’ve promised myself (I always do that, when I cannot stop anyone, otherwise I wouldn’t even start that blog, but whatever, this time I’ve promised myself…) I will be an ever better person and I will work better for my karma, if someone stops in 10 minutes. It was fucking unbelievable, but when I looked back, there was a truck waiting for us. And it was a Slovak guy who took us directly to Bratislava… Were we surfed Billy’s couch and partied until the very morning once again…
This is the only thing I remember from Bratislava…
Prepare yourselves for some more, as I’ve just came back from Germany to upload some wonderful pics from my 2-month-work there and in 2 days I am heading towards Transylvania : )