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hitchhiking

From Rijeka to Grenoble in 26 hours


I decided to move to France, after visiting country and my friends for several times during past year and a half. Evelyn and I took another long trip to get to Grenoble from Rijeka, where we visited my sister 🙂

2014-02-15 11.57.342014-02-15 11.57.47So here is how the trip went.

We were gonna start by taking a train to Slovenia and then hitchhiking to Italy, but train was not going due to some issues with the lines, instead they had a bus taking us to our destination in Slovenia. We were lucky that they let Evelyn on as usually they wouldn’t allow dogs on board.
At that point I felt that the trip will go smoothly as it started so well 🙂

2014-02-15 15.01.21We met three interesting girls from France on the bus who fully enjoyed two days they spent in Rijeka and after an engaging conversation we went out in Postojna, where we walked to the hitchhiking spot I knew from on of my previous trips.

It took only ten minutes before a car picked us up, mum and her daughter who were taking a plane in few hours to go for a weekend in Paris, that’s what I would call synchronicity 🙂

2014-02-15 15.43.11They were kind and dropped us directly to the Slovenian-Italian border where we got another ride in a short time. This time we only went few kilometers to Trieste where I planned to board the train.

2014-02-15 16.33.022014-02-15 16.44.18We had a short break for food and beer 🙂

As I traveled this route before and I was very familiar with Italy’s train connections I decided to by a ticket for a train to Venice, but only to a place called Portogruaro to save some money. In my experience they check tickets after few stations and they wouldn’t ask again so we could safely stay on board until we get to Venice.

2014-02-15 16.58.342014-02-15 19.29.14Everything went smoothly and we came to Venice in early evening just in time to see a city full of people in carnival mode, we were traveling on a Valentine’s day 🙂2014-02-15 19.31.41

 

 

 

 

2014-02-15 22.42.51There we got another train, this time to Milano and I bought a ticket to Verona. I was hoping to maybe meet a friend in Verona, but as she didn’t answer I stayed on board and we arrived in Milano around 10pm.

2014-02-15 22.54.23I was really hungry at this time, so I searched for a place to eat and as there was no other options I went to McDonalds, which I usually would never do. After eating my first Big Mac meal in years, I was again surprised how they manage to taste exactly the same no matter where you by them 😛

2014-02-15 23.30.58After a meal, we went back to Milano train station and bought a ticket for a train tomorrow morning to Torino. When you have a train ticket you are aloud to stay and sleep on a train station, so we went to the same spot we used on one of previous trips with a friend. I had a sleeping bag and after feeding Evelyn I lie down to read a book before falling asleep.

2014-02-16 06.40.042014-02-16 06.41.40We got up at 5am to catch a first train at 5:18, this time my ticket said we are going to Vercelli 🙂 but the conductor came after this town so we had to leave the train in a place called Santhia. Never mind as we used this time to go for an early morning walk before taking a next train to Torino, but this time I bought a ticket to our final destination in Italy, Bardonecchia, a ski resort on Italian side of the Frejus tunnel.

2014-02-16 07.26.062014-02-16 10.54.51In Torino we took another short break as we waited for a regional train to our last Italian stop. As we were approaching it, it snowed and we had a beautiful view of the mountains around. When we got to Bardonecchia I quickly went to check if there is a TGV train passing on the way to Paris. And it was in 8 minutes 🙂 I have used this train to cross in France through the Frejus tunnel, several times before and I never had to by a ticket. We boarded and next stop was Modane, but I decided to try my luck again and stay on till Chambery where I would catch a direct train to Grenoble.

2014-02-16 12.59.102014-02-16 13.11.32Again we were lucky and we got ourselves a free ride to Chambery as no one came to ask for a ticket. In a happy mode we waited our last train, for which I bought a full ticket 🙂 I think Evelyn remembered that we were before in Chambery and that we slept on this train station when we went on our big trip around Europe in the beginning of 2013.2014-02-16 13.11.53

2014-02-16 13.47.462014-02-16 13.19.45It was 2pm when we arrived to Grenoble, no one checked our ticket and because I didn’t validate it I will be able to get some money back when I return it as unused ticket.

 

2014-02-16 14.06.58I was very happy to be in this city surrounded by beautiful, majestic mountains and a place where I have some really good friends.

2014-02-16 14.47.052014-02-16 14.50.57We took a tram and a bus to get to a house where my friend lives now, and surprisingly we found it without a problem. As we were approaching the house, my friend’s dog Aya noticed us and started wagging her tail excitingly and Evelyn responded in a same way. We were surprisingly quick in our arrival to my friend and I was happy after an enjoyable and easy going trip.

2014-02-16 16.12.13Nearby there is a big park so we went for a long walk that Aya and Evelyn fully enjoyed playing with each other.

That was a good start to our new adventure in France.

As I write this I am taking a break in my French lesson, expect me to start ecrit en francais a bientot 🙂

Greets from two of us to all our followers and virtual friends 🙂

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

Digital StillCamera

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 🙂

Digital StillCamera

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 🙂

Digital StillCamera

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 27: hitchhike to BRATISLAVA and last minute couch


We say goodbye to Brno and our new friends there…

Digital StillCameraEarly afternoon we go to hitchhiking spot recommended on hitchwiki.org and we got a ride after waiting for 15 minutes 😀

It was my first time in Bratislava, so I was happy to spend an hour getting to know the city.

 

 

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraAfter walking we needed a break so we went to main train station to warm up in a waiting area.

We were waiting for my friend to come back from the work trip so we can go to her place and try to find a last minute couch 😀

Around 6pm we  went to my friend’s place. Janka’s mum gave me lovely soup to warm up as I was writing last minute requests on couchsurfing.com and by some miracle we got a couch. Our host Tomas text me that we can stay in his house. Evelyn played with Janka’s dog as we were remembering summer in Croatia 9 years ago when we first met.So we met with Tomas around 10pm and after having a beer, he took us to his house.

It was a good start of our time in Bratislava and I was ready to properly explore the city next day.

 

DAY 24: we get to PRAGUE; local beer,beautiful old town and sleep on airport…


IMGP1351We got up early in train station of Bystrzyca Kłodzka and we hoped on a regional train that took us to USTI NAD LABEM in Czech republic.

IMGP1352IMGP1356From there we got to another small town and I took a walk trying to hitchhike but at the end we had to get another local train and then a faster train to PRAGUE, passing through Pardubice. To save on money, I paid ticket to Pardubice and we stayed on till Prague.IMGP1377

Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraI tried to get a last minute couch in Prague, but when I asked for it I thought I will be earlier in Prague.On the day we arrived our two potential hosts were both out of town. So I decided to walk around the old town and ask in tourist office about homeless shelters.

Digital StillCameraI went to the boat on the river Vltava that is one of the shelters run by the city of Prague. As I arrived there I realized that you have to be Czech citizen to be able to enter and also I would have to be there early in the morning to ask for a night stay.

I went back to old town and enjoyed a local beer as Evelyn was playing with the waitress.

Digital StillCameraIMGP1394As it was getting colder, we took a last bus to airport where I sat on a bench reading a book and pretended that I am waiting for morning flight. Evelyn fall asleep very quickly and I followed holding a book in my hand.

12.10.12; Second day of our Road Trip :D


Waking up in Moravice train station, after few smiles and comments of people towards Evelyn we walked up 2km to get to main road and hitchhike.

But after few hour I realise there is not enough cars, I was even counting them 😛 and weather was very gray; so I went over to three guys that were having a little break in a bar nearby and asked them if they would like to by some tobacco from me; I had it already rolled into cigarettes and I said I am selling it to get the money for a train to Rijeka the non smoker in the group wanted to just give me the money but I left two packets to his friends to try. So now with 40kn in my pocket I went back to station and bought a ticket to Fuzine, which is few station before Rijeka. We hoped on a next train around 2.30pm and we arrived to Rijeka with no problems meeting two interesting girls in a train who were going to some student conference in Rijeka. While waiting to meet my dear friend from childhood, Evelyn and I started talking to a guy all Rijeka knows as Brada; he is homeless for more then 15 years, but from conversation with him he doesn’t seem to be bothered by that. He was very interesting and we exchanged views on many different fields and I got some usefull info from him. He also gave me a lot of fruit and I gave him my sleeping bag after finding out that his one was stolen. Next time in Rijeka I will look for him and maybe we can have a lunch together.

When my mate Goran arrived we went for a walk with Evelyn and his dog Lajka; he is a vet and since I know him he always had dogs; so of course I asked him many questions about Evelyn and he liked her very much. After a walk he kindly gave us alift to Lovran where we quickly found our dear friends that we met on a rainbow gathering ot so long ago in island of Vir near Zadar,Croatia.

In Lovran there was traditional 3 day festival called Marunada, it is festival of chestnut and my friends had a little table in old town where they served food, tea and coffee for free 😀 We joined them as they played music and we slept that night behind the main church on some beds; it was a warm and dry night so we had a good sleep… and I also got my camera back from one of my friends who kept it for me as I left it in Vir… at that time I wasn’t sure how long will I stay there but as the festival only started that Friday we decided to stay one more day at least.

more about that in next post…

check out Evelyn’s blog for her view on this trip 😀

greets from Grenoble where we are staying for another week… Muppet and Evelyn woof woof

11.10.12. First day of our trip…


Evelyn and I left Zagreb around 3pm after saying goodbye to few friends and picking up some stuff for our trip.

I managed to forget my friends laptop in Baza; Stef’s cool club. But it will be picked up next month when I arrive back to Zagreb for some time…

So as I didn’t have much money left I bought a train ticket to Karlovac for 31kn and then stayed on a train till Ogulin, the controler didn’t say anything. From Ogulin I tried to get a train to Rijeka but that didnt worked out so we came to Vrbovsko.

This is a small town in Gorski Kotar area of Croatia and we went for a walk for few km outside with me thinking of hitchhiking but it was to late in the evening and not many cars passing by.

So we slept at the train station in a waiting room. We met a cool guy who has 6 dogs and lives on the hill nearby surrounded by forest. We are invited to visit him next time we are in the area, so maybe we will take on that offer.

I didn’t have my camera yet so only photos I took were with mobile phone that is a bit old, so they want be great quality. So the photo here is from one of internet articles about Vrbovsko.

This part of Croatia is mostly unknown to tourist but I would strongly reccommend it because the nature is unspoiled and beautiful.

As I was walking and trying to hitchhike, it took me a bit to enjoy the moment and not worry about how I get to Rijeka and then Lovran.

I started this trip knowing I don’t have money to pay for the travelall the way to France but I knew that with hitchhiking and occasional train ride for free it is possible. I don’t have a problem going on trains and talking to conducters about letting us stay even though we don’t have a ticket. It depends on a person but many times people understand if you are honest.

So having a dog with me helps to stay in the moment and not worry about the next step to much. For Evelyn, Gorski Kotar was great, many new smells and interesting places. And I enjoyed it too and I was happy to have started a trip with her knowing it will be some adventure.

Since May when I left Dublin I have been more or less on the move and Grenoble was the first stop back then and now I was going back there to see good friends but this time with my dear dog friend Evelyn. Thinking about everything that happened in five months that passed I can only feel happiness, joy and gratitude for all the new places,people and moments I am experiencing every day. The more I travel, the more I am relaxed and I realize that I was always a restless soul that urged to move like a nomad. I like coming to new cities and places and when I visit them again they feel like home. I can happily say that the list of places that feel like home is growing steadily.

One of them is Dublin in Ireland, where I was for almost 7 years and I have many good memories and friendships from living there. I am hoping to go there before the end of the year and catch up with dear friends over a good old Guinness in one of my favourite pubs.

And back to our first day: after few hours sleep on a bench in a train station waiting room, we hoped on the early morning train only to be kicked out on the next station; which first upset me but then I cooled down and remembered everything is for a reason so no need to get in a bad mood. Instead we went inside Moravice train station waiting area and had a nap there before walking up the road to get a good hitchhiking spot… that didn’t worked out but we found our way to Rijeka that evening… more about that in next post…

happy vibes from two of us on the route…

Evelyn and Muppet

My first time hitchhiking with Meg and Muppet :Daye


FROM AYA:

 

 

We are in Omv station near Zagreb and there is so many cars passing by, but I need to cool down in the shade while Muppet will be looking for a ride for us :D

Meg is learning Croatian from a Croatian for tourists book; I think she will learn more by talking to crazy Croatians here. 

They love dogs here, I met so many new friends and last nite I played so much with Orion, he is younger then me so I showed him who’s in charge hahahaha woof woof…

Zagreb was so nice, I loved playing in the Park Ribnjak fountain and Bundek lake was cool too. 

But now I am so excited about Brac and meeting so many new dog and human friends. I am so lucky to be here in Croatia, think I will tell Meg that we stay here whole summer.  Maybe even a bit longer then that. That silly Muppet just woke me up by spilling water over my face. He is lucky I am in a good mood today grrrrr….

I leave you now and will let you know later if we got the ride….

Animal love,

Aya

 

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