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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 🙂

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 😀 😛

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.

DAY 23: center for homeless in WROCLAW and on the road to PRAGUE…VIDEO


Digital StillCameraIt was time to say goodbye to Wroclaw after amazing time here… When I first planned the route, Wroclaw wasn’t on the list but I am so happy that I decided to visit this vibrant and active city. Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraOn our last morning there we went to see a center for homeless people that is run by a big non profit association that has many centers around Poland. We spoke to Olek, who was very busy but he took some time to tell us about their work. He was running a computer lab where they have IT course for their residents. We didn’t have time to see much more of the center but we stayed in touch and I am hoping to see Olek again in near future. The association is

St Brother Albert Aid Society

and it has been helping people without home for more then 30 years. Here is the link to their website Digital StillCameraLater we picked our stuff in Adrian’s flat and we said goodbye to our bed 😀 We went to train as it was getting dark and I knew we won’t be able to get to Prague that day. But I was hoping to get as near as possible. We started with regional train, then we tried to hitchhike in a small place outside of Wroclaw, that didn’t work out so we took few other trains stopping in small places as I didn’t have enough money to pay for full tickets. Here are few photos from our stops on the way… Digital StillCamera Digital StillCamera IMGP1416 IMGP1418 IMGP1417 In one of them called Swardzow Wroclawski I recorded these two videos:

Asking for more money 😛

Review of the trip so far

At the end we manage to get as far as Bystrzyca Klodzka, a small town near the border with Czech republic. Digital StillCameraDigital StillCameraIMGP1344After wondering around looking for a spot to sleep as it was cold, we get back to train station as the waiting room was opened. It wasn’t heated but we still manage to sleep in a sleeping bag on a bench… IMGP1346 Tomorrow we have continued to Prague…

DAY 13: regional trains to BERLIN,evening in a friend’s place


IMGP0973IMGP0968After a quiet Sunday morning and stroll around HANNOVER we move to

 

 

 

IMGP1013BERLIN: exciting city with so many stories to tell…

We arrived in the afternoon and met our host and a friend from previous visits to the city around 9pm.

 

 

IMGP1053As we walked around near her place, we came close to the famous sculpture on the river Spree Molecule Man 😀

IMGP1063

It was a cold day with snow everywhere but we both enjoyed the walk before having a relaxed night with a friend

… one of those days on the road when I mostly reflected on waht has hapenned so far…

 

DAY 10: ZURICH in the morning; train travel in afternoon to MÜNCHEN where we stay in friend´s place


IMGP0698We say goodbye to our bed in Zurich,it served us well for three nights 😀

IMGP0701

After a short walk around a park we go to train station to check the best route with regional trains to Muenchen.

IMGP0712And there we meet Spanish guys that we know from Le Phare in Geneve, so random and cool, I give them the address of Sunestube where they can get good dinner for free.IMGP0715

IMGP0720IMGP0725Then it was time to start our trip to Muenchen.

As we change trains we stop at some places on the way like Winterthur, St.Margrethen and Bregenz.

Evelyn was as always enjoying a nap in trains… 😀IMGP0737

Then I make a mistake of getting of in Schwabmuenchen just before Ausburg, so we lose two hours and then finally we get a last connection from Ausburg to Muenchen where my friend was patiently waiting for us.IMGP0747

It was midnight already and after some food and talk we go to bed… 😀 long day but we are in Germany

DAY 6; lunch with our hosts family and then Yverdon,Bern and Olten…


IMGP0371It was a day we said goodbye to our wonderful hosts in Lausanne or precisely in Mont-sur-Rolly.

I was in a church with Peter in the morning while Evelyn was busy destroying our room… ooops

In the church I got a very generous donation of 50 francs for our travel which will turn out to be very valuable next day.

She is lucky to be so cute.

IMGP0386Despite that we were invited for lunch with family which lives close to Nyon. Evelyn was busy looking at rabbits and I had an excellent lunch and nice talk with everyone in family.

IMGP0404IMGP0422IMGP0406Around 5pm we jumped on a first train in direction of Bern. We always take regional trains and short root to avoid control. This day we were fortunate again so we stopped in Yverdon-des-bains fro a short walk.

IMGP0441

Then we continued to Bern and we got there around 9.IMGP0453IMGP0468

I found Heils armee office ther but it was closed so I went for a beer.

After a beer and Evelyn´s nap we walked around Bern and took some photos…IMGP0490

 

Later that evening I decide that we should move closer to Zurich so we take last train to Olten.IMGP0503

After 15min walk around the town we found a good spot for sleep and we manage to get good 5 hours of sleep and we were warm enough.IMGP0520



We arrived after two days of hitchhiking and jumping the trains to Grenoble…

We traveled with dear friend I met in rainbow gathering in island of Vir near Croatian coastal town of Zadar.

I have plenty photos, but now as i am using public computer my time is running out to post them, later I will go to internet cafe and start writing stories from first week of Evelyn and my first ever road trip together 😀

so far it has been amazing and i am happy to be back in Grenoble where I was 5 months ago 😀

woof woof and greets from a man and a dog

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