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Goodbye to VIENNA and good times in GRAZ :) – DAY 33


After a long time, I finally continue writing about our journey around Europe that lasted 62 days 🙂.  

I have been busy outside of blogosphere and I have decided to take a break from posting regularly. One of the reason for a break was lack of laptop. I have been blogging since last summer without my own computer and sometimes beacuse of that I haven’t been able to write as often as I wanted.

I am writing this post on a laptop that I received as a donation last week 🙂

More about that in the next post… now back to a story about DAY 33 of our special journey 🙂

02.02.2013. morning in Wien, evening in GRAZ

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We had delicious breakfast prepared by our new Polish friends and we enjoyed it together with our host Ash.

After checking the best hitchhiking spots in direction of Graz on Hitchwiki.org, I said goodbye to my new friends and went on S-Bahn that stops nearby reccomended hitchhike spot.

Digital StillCameraEvelyn had a really nice time playing with Ash’s dog and now it was a time to say goodbye to him until next time 🙂

I got a bit lost coming of the S-Bahn, which Evelyn enjoyed as she got a long run around, we eventually got to our spot where I put my finger up. It was raining, so Evelyn was resting in bus station.

Digital StillCameraIt was a busy road, but no one seemed to be bothered stopping. And then after an hour wait, we got our lucky ride in a pickup car, where there was a seat in a back for us 🙂

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Two guys were going to do some work in Graz, so they dropped us right in the center near train station. I arranged with our couchsurfing host Antonia to meet there. She has invited us to stay for night after seeing our open request for Graz and I was happy to accept it and continue next day towards Zagreb.

Digital StillCameraAs we were waiting, Evelyn got a little treat of very nice meat that she enjoyed with pleasure and played afterwards with the package 🙂

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Digital StillCameraIn Antonia’s place we had a lovely dinner and later that night we went for a walk around Graz and joined her friends for a beer.

 

It was a Saturday and next day I had to be in Zagreb to see my friends in non-profit organization “RCCG Dom Nade“, so I knew there would be no opportunity to meet people behind the street papers “Megaphon”.

51ac784a5b890“Megaphon” has been around since October 1995 and currently they hav 180 street sellers who receive half of  2,50 € for each paper they sell. Current sales are around 15000 copies monthly, which proves that concept is recognized by the community.

Here is a link to official website of  “Megaphon”, it is in German.

Maybe next time I am stopping in Graz, there wuld be a chance to meet them and talk about their work.

I was excited about next day, as the plan was to get up early and try hitchhiking to Zagreb to arrive their in late afternoon. Zagreb is only 188km away from Graz, so I thought it wouldn’t be a problem to get there on time.

I wanted to meet my colleagues and volunteers in “RCCG Dom Nade” which works with homeless people in Zagreb and share the stories from the trip.

Please have a look at our blog where you can see more about our projects.

So as it was first time I was rushing somewhere, things didn’t worked out as planned. More about that in a next post about our trip.

Special thanks for this day goes to our host in Wien Ash and to fellow couchsurfers from Poland, two guys that gave us a ride to Graz and our host in Graz, Antonia. 🙂

 

DAY 31: From TRNAVA to VIENNA :)


31.01.2013.

Digital StillCameraI had to say Thank you again to my dear host Jozef in TRNAVA. Previous night he  was kind to take us for an extra night as our hitchhiking attempt was unsuccessful. So we had to take a late local train to go back to Trnava from Bratislava.

We shared a breakfast and then he walked with us again to a hitchhiking spot on a beautiful sunny day.

On the way we have seen the  walls of the old town…

Digital StillCamera220px-Spartak_Trnava_current_logo…and a stadium of a local football team Spartak Trnava, whose supporters are known to be the most passionate in Slovakia and the team has a long successfull history in former Czechoslovak league. They have even reached a semifinal of Europan cup in year 1969. This was at a time when football wasn’t infulenced by big money like today.

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We say goodbye to our dear friends Jozef and Garofix as we hitchihike for a second day in a row from Trnava to Bratislava

We got a ride in less then 30 minutes and in Bratislava we catched a train to Vienna and saved a bit of money by buying a ticket for half of the journey. In Vienna I had arranged a couch for us with our new host Ash who also has a dog 🙂

Digital StillCameraAs Ash was at work when we arrived, there was time to explore the city center before we met him later at his home.

Digital StillCameraVienna has a rich history and you can see it almost on every step in the old town. As it was under Habsburg rule for many years and later a capital of Austro-Hungarian empire it has many significant buildings from those periods.

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One of the most famous and oldest is a St.Stephen’s cathedral or Stephansdom which has been built in 12th century and has since dominated the center of town. Here is a post on Evelyn’s blog about it 🙂

Digital StillCameraAnother well known site is Hofburg imperial palace that was the center of Habsburg empire. Today it is an official seta of an Austrian president. We only had time to see it on the outside.

Digital StillCameraWe took a moment to take a photo together and

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We have traveled for one month already and experienced many wonderful stories and I was very grateful for all the amazing people we met on the way.

The trip has already been a big success as we have talked with many people from different organizations working with homeless people and also with some who have other social projects like a kids therapy center OSTOJA in Wroclaw.

I gained a lot of experience from all this encounters and learned a lot about the situation of homeless people around Europe. And now we were getting close to Balkan countries where I come from and I was excited, specially about the trip to SARAJEVO; my birth place.

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraAfter that short stop we went to O’Connors old oak pub where my dear friend Gaz works as a head chef. We used to work together in Dublin in ELY restaurant in DUBLIN and now he has been living here for three years already.

Digital StillCameraI remembered my first trip to Vienna last summer; I spend few lovely days with him and his family and he was a saviour on my arrival.

Digital StillCameraThis time he was very busy so I enjoyed the beer while Evelyn was asleep.  The pub was buzzing and it was great to see they are doing soo well.

Digital StillCameraAfter that it was time to meet our host Ash, so went to his place, where Evelyn started playing with his dog 🙂

We then went out for few beers and the night ended very late.

 

DAY 30: with PROTI PRUDU in BRATISLAVA and back to TRNAVA


Digital StillCameraWe woke up happy to be together again and after I shared breakfast with the host he took us for a walk around town before going to a hitchhiking spot to BRATISLAVA.

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraEvelyn played with his dog while we had a good chat and Jozef took me for a beer and Borovicka in what looked like a newsagent.

It seems to be a place where many people come for a short break as the prices are very low (
0.60euro for each). Quite dangerous if you have an alcohol problem.

Digital StillCameraThen Jozef walked with us to a good hitchhiking spot for Bratislava and we got a ride in less then 30 minutes.

Digital StillCameraI have arranged in advance a meeting with someone from PROTI PRUDU organization that is doing a lot of work with homeless in BRATISLAVA.

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I have purchased their magazine NOTA BENE the day before while searching for Evelyn.

It is a monthly magazine that focuses on social issues and it is sold by street vendors which receive half of the money for all the magazines they sell.

As I was on my way there, my meeting was cancelled as the person I was supposed to meet had an emergency with one of the clients.

I decided to visit their office anyway and just get as much information as possible.

Digital StillCameraAnd I was very lucky as a gentleman who was working at the desk has offered me a coffee and we started to chat.

Digital StillCameraAt the end he was very helpful and I had to chance to have a look around as he was talking about different aspects of their work.

He showed me the computer room where there clients can use the internet and they also provide IT workshops.

 

 

Digital StillCameraTheir clients are able to receive all the mail in the office of Proti Prudu as they obviously don’t have a permanent address.

Digital StillCameraTheir is a daily living room where they can socialize and it is also occasionaly used for presentations or screening of movies.

obalka_jelaI was pleasantly surprised when he gave me their newest published book called “ZÁZRAČNÉ DIEŤA” that was written by a lady who lived for most of her life on the street and she has also been suffering from mental illness. She writes in the book about her life and experiences in different mental hospitals with honesty and criticism of the system. I will make an effort to read as it is in Slovakian, a language I am only starting to know.

This was already their fourth book published and they also published audiobooks and music cd’s. He was kind to give me one of these two and two booklets about their past projects in Slovakia.

There is also a theather called Divadlo bez domova (Theather without home)

This project was started by PROTI PRUDU organization but now it is running independently but still with the support from organization. Currenlty they are showing a play based on a book “ZÁZRAČNÉ DIEŤA”.

Digital StillCameraAs I was saying goobye we all witnessed one of their cars being damaged as the snow has fallen from the roof.

I was very happy to learn about their work and grateful for all the material they gave me.

Digital StillCameraWe then went to say goodbye to Janka in her office and thank her again for all the help. Evelyn had a good time playing there with few treats that she got 🙂

It was already evening when I tried to hitchhike to Vienna, unfortunately the spot that was recommended on Hitchwiki.org just wasn’t busy enough at that time of night so I had to ask Jozef to stay an extra night in TRNAVA and thankfully he was very kind to accept us even though we came late at night.

That was the end of another exciting day on our adventure.

 

DAY 29(1/2): we found EVELYN in BRATISLAVA


Digital StillCameraMy dreams were mostly about Evelyn, since I got her in August last year there was only one night when we weren’t together and it felt weird that she is not curled up beneath my feet.

Digital StillCameraI woke up determined to find her and I wasn’t to worried at the time as I had a feeling that she is in safe hands and that we will see each other later that day. After coffee with Tomas and our second farewell I went to Janka’s office to collect A4 leaflets with Evelyn’s photo and information about where and when she got lost.

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Janka said that we had over 1000 shares on Facebook pages of associations in Slovakia helping to find dogs. Even the hockey fans of Slovakian national team have put Evelyn’s photo on their wall. I was pleasantly surprised by this and I thanked Janka for sharing it everywhere last night.

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Then I went to Horski park as she got lost nearby.

 

I spend next few hours posting leaflets in the park and around on all the bus stations and asking some people with dogs if they have seen her.

 

 

hot chocolateIt was raining so I had to take a break and warm up with hot chocolate. I kept thinking about Evelyn and I hoped that someone is taking good care of her and that they will realise whe has an owner.

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Digital StillCameraOnce I finished putting up all the posters I went back to Janka’s office hoping she would have some good news soon. It was almost 3pm and I thought that someone must know something about her as more then 3000 people already shared her photo on Facebook and people on many locations around Horski park could see the info leaflets I have put up.

Digital StillCamera And then Janka received a message on facebook with Evelyn’s photo on another page of an associtation that is looking for new home for dogs. This guy has seen our post and compared the photos and then realized it could be a same dog. AND IT WAS, WE FOUND EVELYN!

I was really relieved and I rushed to the tram and then bus to get there.

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraShe was in Vozovna Hrobonova, where I was that morning leaving leaflets on a bus station. But at the time I didn’t think of going to security guys in their box who were guarding a troleybus depot 20m from the bus station. She was with them since the morning and they kept her safe despite constant  nagging from their boss who didn’t want her there. THANKS to these guys and everyone in SLOVAKIA that has shared her photo online we have found each other again.

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and SPECIAL THANKS goes to JANKA for sharing her photo all around the net and calling around different organizations. Above is Evelyn enjoying her treat in Janka’s office.

As a result of this little drama EVELYN’S BLOG got record views from Slovakia, so we joked afterwards that this was her PR stunt 😀

Then I called our next host Josef from TRNAVA to let him know that we are together again and that we can come and visit him there….

DAY 25: PRAGUE experienced diferently and arrival to BRNO with happy ending :D


We left Prague airport around 7am after sleeping for 5 hours on a bench in waiting area.

I had a list of places in mind to visit and I was hoping to interview some of the people working in these organizations.

But it was one of those days when it will not be possible as I didn’t have an appointment made in advance.

First we went to NADAJE center for youth. There I spoke to a young volunteer, but he explained to me that I will have to contact their office to speak to someone about their work. I took the address and decided to visit them later if I get a chance.

IMGP1402Then I walked again to the boat shelter I saw night before. When I arrived there, the young man on reception was very busy and he wasn’t speaking English and when I asked about anyone else available to talk to me in English he said no. I realised that he is just too busy and he doesn’t have time to deal with someone who is not directly using their services.

IMGP1404Last place I had marked on the map was Armady spasa(Salvation army) shelter. Their I managed to talk to one of the officers and she gave me email address of the director of that branch. He was away that day so it wouldn’t be possible to talk to him.

They were just finishing serving lunch and I saw there was many users leaving the house.

It was already early afternoon and I was hungry,cold and with 50 korun (2 euro) in my pocket so I decided to go to day shelter of NADAJE and have lunch there and shower if possible.

IMGP1407IMGP1406When I arrived there was a big queue so I waited for half an hour and asked the gentleman on the door if I can use their services as a foreigner for a day. He said no problem and gave me a ticket that allowed me to get free lunch, shower and some clothes if I need. I had sausage stew and a shower. In front of me in shower line was an old man who has obviously lived on a street for many years. It took him more then 20 minutes to get ready for shower and when I saw his legs and feet, the reality of being homeless strike me hard. I decided to take a photo of his feet while he was having a shower. I am posting it here as a clear example what happens to people on the street and I don’t mean to be disrespectful to him or others that I saw in the line there.

Evelyn waited outside so she was happy to see me coming back. As we didn’t have anything organised to sleep in Prague that night and I was almost without money I decided to get on a train in direction of BRNO.

IMGP1411IMGP1416IMGP1418IMGP1419We had to make few stops as I couldn’t afford to buy tickets. I did end up buying one ticket for a short distance ride to Zdar nad Sazavou which I later found has an Unesco heritage pilgirmage church.

IMGP1422IMGP1423While we were changing trains I got a credit top up from a friend in France which helped a lot as Adrian(our host in Wroclaw) gave me the address of couch surfing meeting in Brno.  We arrived to BRNO around 9pm and after searching for awhile we got to couch surfing meeting in a cool bar.

IMGP1425There Evelyn quickly made new friends and I exchange stories with people.A nice Italian guy bought me a beer and  Anna asked me do we have anywhere to sleep and as I said no, she offered a bed in her dormitory room. So this was truly LAST MINUTE COUCH 😀

After such an eventful day I was so grateful for a warm bed and I slept like a baby and so did Evelyn… like a puppy 😀 😛

Happy in Zadar,Croatia…


sorry only an old photo in this post, which will probably reduce the chance of many likes 😛

this is not Zadar, but Mostar, one of the many places that stays in our hearts..Digital StillCamera

we are still on the road… 51st day… many kilometers traveled, many stories experiemced… many new friends…

We are now in Zadar… we arrived here yesterday after hitchhiking for two days from Split which is only 150km away… but two night sleeping outside when you dont plan was a blessing…

I would really like to write more frequently qbout our trip, but I have no laptop with me so it is only when I get a chance to use someones computer… but there will be time to tell the stories…

 

after an amazing and isnpirational day in Zadar I say good night or good day to all of you who read this…

love from Evelyn and Muppet

DAY 21:WROCLAW- hangover and meeting with Majka from’ House of Peace’ :D


I spent all morning sleeping after a long night out.

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraDigital StillCameraWe went for a walk in the afternoon. I went to get some food in Bar Mewa where they serve food with reduced prices, so I had full meal for 8 zloti or 2 euro.

Digital StillCameraThen we went to same space where I watched documentary night before and there I met Majka and she works for House of Peace that has been active locally for last 5 years. Their main projects are focused on improving relations between different ethnic groups in Wroclaw Nadozde area.

They have been working a lot with young people in the community and she gave me as a present a music cd of a teenager hiphop band 😀

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraDigital StillCameraWroclaw is beautiful in the evening and I enjoyed walking around with Evelyn.

DAY 19: POZNAN; walks and pancakes; late night train to WROCLAW…


Digital StillCameraWe spend our last day in Poznan in walks, relaxing time with our hosts and sharing some pancakes.

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Digital StillCameraWhile they were studying I spent hours on their laptop updating blog and sending request for couch in Wroclaw.

 

 

Digital StillCameraIMGP1340Late at night we took a train to Wroclaw and on the waz we got a message from our host Adrian in Wroclaw.

Even though I haven’t seen many people regarding my project, we had great time in Poznan and made new friends.

DAY 18: POZNAN; I meet someone from Red Cross Poland and fun with hosts


Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraSometimes you start a day full of enthusiasm and expectation but things don’t go the way you planned or hoped. Our second day in POZNAN was a bit like this. I went out early with Evelyn to explore the city and walked to BARKA organization office, but I couldn’t find anyone there. Hopefuly I will get some info from them through email and phone. I continued searching for places following the list I got in a tourist info office.

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraAt the end I manage to see someone in Red Cross Poznan and we talked about their projects and I got a lot of material in Polish 😀

Afterwards I found a nice place to have some warm food that is dog friendly…

 

IMGP1331IMGP1333in Republika Roz I had a traditional borsch and a delicious hot chocolate with local monks liquer 😀

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Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraWe were both rested and we spend the rest of the afternoon walking around the city. Later I made some food for our hosts and we went for a walk with our new friend Anna…

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