My workbench

My workbench

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

To berlin!

Made it to berlin yesterday morning. I spent the weekend in the netherlands, it was nice to see sophie and to catch the end of the 4daage festival.  I had a host in nijmegen on sunday night, but she decided to bail and so i decided to push on to berlin. I picked up a ticket to hannover from arnhem, mostly because it was raining and i was not really thinking. I also sent out an emergency CS request to see if i could score a host.  Most fortunately, a host txted me at 23:30, a minute or so after i had decided to go and sleep with some backpackers in the hbf.  Not only did he give me a spot to crash for the night, but he also drove me to my hitching spot early next morning.  Amazing.  So ihitched a ride to the airport near berlin and took public transit in. 

My host Marie is simply awesome. She came back from studying to let me in, showed me around.   One slight problem came up, her boyfriend had just arrived home from touring, and didn't really want me in the flat.  Marie arranged for me to stay with her sister and so off i went.  I actually only met the sister's boyfriend, but then i was off to finally meet Laurie and Alex.  We had a nice (well, my food was nice) dinner, and then it was off to meet marie, her sister and boyfriend.  After some fun at the pub, we all went back to sophia's (the sister) to sleep.  I also got a chance to talk to mom, and realized that i have still not sent them the email i composed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nijmegen

So I finally made it to the netherlands.and got in at nijmegen to catch the final celebrations of the 4daage (4day) festival.  This is a festival which apparently involves walking 40 km a day for. . . Four days!  Anywho, at the end the city basically turns into a giant party, which I attended
along with my host Carolin, another cs host and her sla...err, couchsurfer.  Good times, and I am currently researching ways to get to berlin inexpensive but reliable.  And still need a place to stay.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A most interesting night

I managed to hitch my way as far as Frankfurt last night, with a bit of a twist.  From Nurnberg (A3 rastplatz), I was picked up by a russian trucker for a ride to Frankfurt.  I mentioned that II was headed to cologne, and on to the Netherlands, and after some discussion (he spoke NO enlish), he said that I would stay at his house, amd on to Cologne in the morning.  Well, his wife and daughter were understandably surprised at my unanouced arrival, and after a shower I sat with the daughter and her boyfriend Viktor to explain my situation.  I have not felt scorn like that for a long time, since I last saw Ryan at Sara's.  But we talked for a while, and I think (hope?) that she relaxed a bit afterwards.  Meanwhile, I have never in my life felt that kind of hospitality, being brought into someones home and fed, housed etc.  It is absolutly inspiring to realize thatpeople are still capable of such kindness in their hearts.
Unfortunately, his house was in the middle of nowhere.so and his wife was so pissed that they are not going to cologne today.  So for €15 I am taking a bus to cologne, which is at most 150km from Nijmegen, where I will see Sophie.  Life is certainly full of adventures when you are not in a hurry.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bavaria

So, I just parted wayswith my awesome bavarian host Elizabeth (Marcushadto go to work), and bosrded a train for...Salzburg? Yes, i am going south to go north, as this will allow me direct access to the autobahn and skip Munich entirely.  Plus I can walk around Salzburg a bit, in the rain.  I really had a blast here, Elizabeth took me al
around sightseeing, and loaned me Marcus's bike to do a bit of touring. I made dinner last night (veggie ssalad and a stir fry, oversaturated the rice), and spent yesterday talking to Uncle Herbert,  He gabe me a map of Berchsgarten and wants to go climbing  when I return to the area (may be a little while). He spoke very little english, but I am fairly sure that I understood most of the Bavarian.  Aside from that, I am now an international courier, carrying a book to the Netherlands and a pair of sunglasses to Seth somewherein northern France.  I will see Sophie this weekend in Nijmegen, and just now realize that I have agreed to stay with her AND a CS host.,I need to fix this.  Otherwise, things are going well, I have been lookinga backpacks and waterproof duffels from Globetrotter (Germany's REI), made contact with Laurie, and stilll don't have a host in berlin.  But all things will come in time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Contact

Just got an email from mom, but i don't actually have contact info for either laurie nor alex, but mike emailed me so i should be able to get it.  However, if someone could send me a message at my addy llipschutz@gmail.com it would be nice.  I am searxhing for a host in berlin from the 20to the 251th, so there should be ample opportunity to meet up.

Budapest

So, I had a blast in Budapest.  I managed to hitch a few rides from Sibiu to buda in one day, but failed to secure a couch .  I slept one night in the city park, and after that booked two nights in an overpriced hostel in the center.  Having nothing to do at night, i hopped on to couchsurfing and found out about an indie rock concert and a party/dj. Met some cool couchsurfers, a few of whom offered me a place to stay, sadly i had already paid my hostel.  Then last night a few dozen CSers and we hit up the French fesitval.  I had some good conversations with an american expat, danced for a few hours, and got an elbow to the eye socket from a slovenian girl (but her friend assures me it was an accident, and she is really interested in me. Sigh, youth).  All in all a great time.
I am currently in a panel truck with a romania driver, attempting to have a conversation in a mix of bad enlgish, german, italian-to-spanish, and some romanian.  But this single ride is getting me from budapest to munich, where i will spend the night and then head to a CS hosts in a small bavarian town.  Remember: it's all good.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Backpack falling apart

So this sucks.  My bag is falling apart at the waist belt. Glad i bought it at REI, hoping to be able to ship it home with family or whatnot.  Pissed would be an understatement.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Face
Everything
And
Recover

just something I felt like sharing.  There was an interesting article posted on a forum i frequent about vagabonding, and how it can keep you away from those you love.  I love to travel, but hate to leave.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New experiences

So i am on my way out of Timişoara and I took the express bus.  Sure enough, I got controlled.  Unfortunately, the two-way tram ticket  I had was not valid on the express bus.  100-200 lei fine. Or go to the consul and pay 50 lei today. I talk to the guy, he says maybe I can pay now.  I think I overpayed with 20 lei (about 8 bucks).  This is the Balkans, everyone can be bribed.  Oh well, it doesn't destroy my budget, maybe I will drink an extra beer tonight to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Newish plans

Not to be confused with jewish plans...but i am thinking of changing plans slightly.  So I have realized that coucsurfing and hitchhiking simultaneously across large (>100km) distances is difficult at best.  Therefore i am alternatiing hiching and surfing, to maximize my exposure to random people and freedom.  I am thinking of hitchhiking to Oradea, staying a day or two, the heading to Cluj, again spending two or three days (this brings me to the 7th of july), from there bus or train to braşov (csing for two or three days). Then to sibiu on the  11th and 12th. Htch or bus to timişoara, where i can get a €15 train to budapest (unless the train straight from sibiu to szeged is inexpensive). Thus begins my exit.

Szeged to budapest on the 16th
buda to bratislava on the 18th
to praha on the 20th
to berlin on the 22nd
each hitch is 300km or less, and should get progressivly easier towards berlin.  This enables me to (hopefully) see laurie and alex, and from berlin I will hop towards the netherlands to see sophie, and to return a book (and visit) lizz and amber.  Thats a lot of plans, they will undoubtedly change, but they look good for now.