Home | Preparation | Presentation | World Tour | Interview | School Corne | Sponsoring |
Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

Partenaire







 Travel Diary : Sweet escape in Europe

After one month of holidays, I am on the point to be back on the keyboard to share with you the little tour through Europe that me and my friend Raphaël realized. It is an idea that we undoubtedly had in the head but without any precise form, the way will more or less progressively be made with roughly speaking the idea from where we wanted to go, even if the way was sometimes diverted. We will retranscribe our escapade in Europe through a little book which we carried out daily and who helped us to remember the maximum of what we lived.

Friday July 1st

After a departure of the capital of Normandy at the beginning of afternoon, I join raphael in the capital (this one national) with an arrival around 5pm in "Porte des Lilas". We move towards the railroad station "Gare de l'Est" to join Belfort and the festival of the "Eurockéennes" where the festivities began this day.

Monday July 4

Profiting a downpour during waiting from the Belfort-Mulhouse train (we wanted to begin hitch-hiking in Mulhouse because Belfort was still occupied too much by the presence of all the fun-loving persons), so we take again the left newspaper that we forgot a little during the last 3 days of festival. Friday at Sunday, we could appreciate some excellent groups such as Ghinzu, Mass hysteria (to be noted a pleasant scenic presence), or the impressive group of Seattle: "Sonic Youth". Little rest, by the way at this hour we are on a sleepless night. The memories of the weekend are excellent thanks to some good meetings, a festive environment an good music.

Not easy to stay awake!

image_europe

We arrive this evening in Freiburg after having spend the day to hitch-hike starting from Mulhouse. Two cars took us today, and the second enabled us to meet a German guy who indicated us the addresses of a hotel, a hotel which we didn't find but who allowed us to find ourselves, on the way of the hotel, a youth hostel, imposing from its size.

The youth hostel of freiburg

image_europe

Tuesday July 5

Part of the evening of yesterday in Freiburg, restaurant and landing in a local bar. We decompresses in company of the local population, really likeable by the way, on the same way of what we could see since we entered in Germany. Follow a prompt visit of this town of medium size which is very charming and typical German architecture.

image_europe

 

image_europe

So this morning, the principal motivation was to extirpate of the city, we helped ourselves of the tram then train to reach Donauschwingen. A small problem comes obviously in Neustadt, where there, nobody points us out that there was a change so... the train sets out again in the other way... enabling us to reach a party of volleyball with the members of a vacation camp who awaited the same train than us in Titisee (however we had the presence of mind to leave the train to the following stop...). Then we took again the train which finally enabled us to arrive healthy in Donauschwingen.

Sight of the black forest from the train

image_europe

End of day of Tuesday, we found a wonderful small ground close to "national 10" after the town of Ulm, from where I allow myself to write these some words... This afternoon, we could get into 8 different cars for finally arriving here. The legs start to be heavy but some amusing anecdotes allow me to think to something else.

Photographs on the road

image_europe

On the national between Donauschwingen and Tutlingen, a van in a state of survival hoots us and stops to take us, we tightens to take seat in the vehicle, then the driver stops has a service station to come out from it the arms charged with icecreams which were really welcome at this time of the day. We discuss in english-german a part of the way then the man leaves us finally in a small city... Which after five minutes enables us to make knowledge with the local cops who ask us if we are in possession of drugs, so we open our bag on the pedestrian street... then, reassured, our friends in green finally let us in peace. Among the people having helped us in this day, we could become acquainted with a musician wear like a member of a brass band, of a young lady being connected without any doubt with Claudia Schiffer which carried on its road to the Lake Konstanz, or the couple of farmer which them straightforwardly carried us on the road after Ulm. To also note that this day was agreeably punctuated by downpours, that leaves us some good omens for the continuation.

Some landscapes on the road

image_europe

image_europe

image_europe

Wednesday July 6

Ten cars carried us today. Again a difficult day, this evening we can say that our legs are even heavier than yesterday. The day begin in freshness from the morning in our tent next to the road.

Just waking up!

image_europe

We have walked our daily fifteen to twenty kilometers, however the weather is correct since our departure, the heat which we fear the most is not very present even if some downpours punctuate the days to recall us that we import a little of Normandy with us.

First of all, a great "Big Up" to Gerard, a 38 year old German man who carried us from Ingolstadt (little city not really attracting) to Regensburg (city really attracting) and even proposed us to accomodate us and to make us visit the city, however and unfortunately, our limit of time doesn't allow us that. (* It is one of the reasons why it is difficult to estimate a duration for the realization of my tour of the world). A "theory" of Raphaël becomes true today: "More we approaches to a large city, more the distances realize by our drivers are long". Another quotation today: "the things take always more time than we think". Indeed we carry out many small ways that makes us to change regularly of vehicles... for our greater happiness!

At the exit of Donauworth, we are again called by the local police force which explains us (finally who howls us) that it is forbidden to hitch-hike along the road... Ok... we go one kilometer further to intercept a car few moments later, apparently even the drivers doesn't mind about this law. This evening, we eat in the Restaurant, Oh rich man who we are, anyway it was really good and then we join our Hotel, O rich man wh... yes ok everybody knows now!! We spend a really good night finally. Tomorrow the first objective is to reach Praha.

Thursday July 7

Four cars today.

We spent a good night in our wonderful beds (i start missing the ants of Ulm) which makes us really good. We try an exit of Regensburg by the bus, we find finally the good road after one hour to wander in a neighbouring village because of a bad indication (If I say it!). Then we find finally some cars which carry out us towards the town of Furth (close to the Czech border) before midday, then there... nothing, the border seems to have a repulsive effect on the catch of hitch-hiker. Finally a man stops and asks us to put our bags in its car, however he explains us that he will have to cross the border before with the bags then he will be able finally to return to take us... in about 15 minutes... As good tourists, we agreed not of course to make us steal our bags, not but... and curiously after this refusal, our gentleman had already left before the beginning of the negotiations!! We cross the border by foot, a little walk by the way and we finally arrive in Czech Republic, it allows us to immortalise the moment with some photographs not stereotyped. From there, impossible to get off of the border... until a car stops close to us, a man goes out of the car and... bring up his preceding meal in front of us... surely the local habit for saying welcome! Finally after 5 hours of waiting and seeing the moon starting to drive out the sun, we call a taxi which carries us out to the railroad station of Domazlice, the nearest city, then from there we catch a train which allow us to reach the town of Plzen where we change for Praha, a little more in the heart of the country. The landscape that we saw since our entry in Czech Republic was empty and gray. It is by the way astonishing to see the contrast between the German side of the border and the Czech side, one side i show mmediately a Communism present during decades before and which has difficulty to evolve even if Praha the exemple of the country can easily deviate these ideas. We finally arrive in Praha, we find a last minute hotel (the least expensive however), and at this time, the moon drove out definitively the sun of the sky. We move in town to mix us with the night rabble. On the program, the Duplex, a nightclub placed on the top of a building and... on 2 stages (after a great reflexion we made the relationship to its name: Duplex). We can see an incalculable number of dancers who (for some of them) would prolong apparently work a little later in the night what really doesn't astonish us.

I learned here another habit to say welcome, a little folker than the preceding one because a girl, probably a little bit drunk chose to pass a little good time with me and did not obstruct herself to kiss me with in the french way (it was really well done besides). Nice introduction to the meeting, I spend a part of the evening with her until she left me as quick as she came! Then we come back to the hotel after spending a night finally really... pleasant around 5.30 am. Tomorrow: visit of Praha.

Friday July 8

An early awake and a departure of the hotel to go to a youth hostel close to the Charles's Bridge allow us to begin our day with motivation, a youth hostel that a French met the day before advised us. This form of accomodation proves us that in our situation, it is easier to meet young people and so to make meetings there. This hostel, which in fact was an old school, has dormitories of approximately 14 beds (an absolutely useless detail but which pleases to me to know that you know it!). We meet here two Australian of Perth, two French (who had like first mission of making shame of our country) and a girl from Rouen, my city (the world is so small!).

At two steps of the youth hostel

image_europe

The visit of the city allow us to appreciate this museum which is Praha, all the pedestrian street have a typical Gothic style in a way. However we have seen too much tourists in this city.

Bridge towers of small side, separating the Charles's bridge from the district Mala Strana (small side)

image_europe

Sight of the district Mala Strana from the Charles's bridge

image_europe

image_europe

Old town place, we can see on the left the Baroque Church Saint Nicolas and on the right the statue of the Czech reformer Jan Hus

image_europe

Pedestrian street

image_europe

The evening, we are going to a nightclub that one of the two French guys (just to avoid the word "idiot") advised us, a nightclub supposed to be the largest in East Europe and on five stages, but the problem is that the name of this nightclub should be associable with 'touristland' because we can feel there a particularly unhealthy atmosphere, bad spirit, finally a bad experiment is an experiment and this one will not be renewed. However we met some French carrying out a data-processing training course during July but as I said, we are not in Czech republic to meet French people, the idea of hitch-hiking starts to re-appear.

Saturday July 9

The waking-up is followed by an enticing breakfast around 10am which itself was followed by a "getting back" of our clothing that we had put to wash the day before, that insufflating us a feeling of cleanliness not felt until yet! Unfortunately for the principle, the revival of hitch-hiking is impossible if we want to succeed in buckling the loop initially envisaged and it is with the train of 1.pm that we leave the Czech capital for the Polish capital, Warsaw, with a change in Ostrava and an arrival around 10.pm, more than 700 km traversed by train. This trip by train allowed us to see a similar landscape since the entry in Czech Republic then a more intense industrialization from the Polish border. I also inaugurate the novel "The Pack" written by John King. So we arrive at 10pm in Warsaw and our first concern is to find an accomodation for the night, and it is what we make, it will be one of the last hotels free of rooms: " The Harenda " around10.45pm. Later, in search for an unspecified place where to go out, we become acquainted with a Polish couple who will take us with them to a club (the Madam),this place isdecorated in completely original way : a cellar provided with beds as seats, and some psychedelic electro music. We will spend there an excellent evening with them and another Polish who comes also with us.

Sunday July 10

Sunday in Poland, it is like Sunday in France, it is calm... We leave the hotel around midday to go towards a youth hostel in the middle of some reals.

Myself writing in my personal book

image_europe

The mission of the day was to find a train for the next day towards Vilnius but apparently, according to the very nice saleswoman of ticket of the railroad station of Warsaw, no train goes over there! We have to, according to our new friend and his tone increasingly sour, wait the following day and a trip by bus which would last hypothetically 12 hours, strange... Anyway we take time to visit the old city, we take some photographs, taste the local speciality (Pierogi, it is like a ravioli with all kinds of things inside: meat, strawberry, cheese...). The day is ending peacefully, like a Sunday finally.

In the heart of Rynek Starego Miasta (or old market place of the old city).

image_europe

Monday July 11

Finally the trip will be made by train, the kindness of our good friend of yesterday was ... , on top of that if she has fun to tell us foolish things! Anyway it is definitely a good news to make this journey by train. We will meet there French guys who were going to Moscow to see the match of Davis' Cup. So we leave this city in cement (destroyed at 90% during the war), which we disadvise to visit (to be preferred Cracow, much prettier), for Vilnius, with a change in Sestokai.

Example of construction in concrete: The Centre of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury I Nauki)

image_europe

The arrival in Lithuania attests already some modifications in the structure of the buildings and even a little in the aspect of the campaigns. In a few words, this is more friendly, warmer than the coldness of the Soviet blocks in the Polish and Czech way. Indeed the Baltic States fought a long time against the establishment of Russian Communism even if they were invaded in several occasions. The consequence is a personal identity and a difference compared to the Polish neighbors, Belorusse or even Russian. In the same way the Lithuanians are charming, as the arrival in the country, we elect "Miss blue eyes 2005". We visit the Lithuanian capital, a city which is very charming although very small. The inhabitants appear accessible and less stressed than in the other capitals, the size of the city is undoubtedly making a lot in this fact.

Entry to the city centre where the autochtones are doing a sign of meditation while passing below

image_europe

Pedestrian street in the centre of Vilnius

image_europe

Basilica of Vilnius behind, with the monument Gedimino (the statue) and two Lithuanians on the left

image_europe

Sight of the « Arkikatedros varpiné »

image_europe

We will taste the local speciality (zipelinai, potatoes with some meat inside, very nourishing) in a traditional restaurant then we will taste the local beer which quickly appears a little bit insipid but the price is not relatively excessively high either.

Tuesday July 12

6 cars today (Vilnius-riga, approximately 350 km)

We calmly begin this day by a waiking up around 9.30am. We leave the city towards North West thanks to the urban transport wich are badly definite because of the absence of map. Finally we can extirpate the city and quickly catch the first cars and we carry out half of the way with a very good speed, then we reach Riga around 11pm. Today, our fetish car was a van of 9 places which I will describe like "kitch". The Lithuanians and the Latvians seem nice people and ready to help, especially in the countryside, so we make today our longer distance with a car, approximately 100 km.

On the road again

image_europe

When we arrive in Riga, we are tired and especially dirty because of dust, abundant along these roads. So we are looking for a place to sleep and there... any youth hostel or hotel or anything can accomodate us, really astonishing because today is Tuesday and it is not either a national feastday! Resolution and solution to be taken, we must sleep outside and so we have to find a small place for us. We find a place along the river, on the embamkment of the south bank where we put our sleeping bags. Where we are for the moment, we hope that we will not be disturbed (or throw in the water J) by the local police force.

Our headquarter for the night

image_europe

Wednesday July 13

Finally, the only thing which awoke us was the rise of the sun and the arrival of fishermen on the pontoon, by the way a splendid sunrise and also very early (around 3am). We discover the places of our night a little better and we can see in the tree under where we slept a cord of hanged person suspended on a branch... perhaps a habit of welcome?

A quite pleasant sight of the port and of the center of Riga

image_europe

image_europe

Around 10am, we move towards the center and after a reinvigorating breakfast, we find our headquarters, a youth hostel in fact, where we will become acquainted with two Australian coming from Brisbane. We can now visit Riga. The impression is good, a city which is totally different of Vilnius and which I allow myself to compare with Rouen, however the streets are really similar and it is easy to be lost there. And I also add that the women of these two Baltic States are really far of being ugly. We take some photographs and we finish the day in some night places in the town of Riga. Tomorrow the objective will be to reach the town of Tallinn by hitch-hiking.

Pedestrian of this "Paris of the North"

image_europe

 

Pedal boats on the river crossing the city

image_europe

Bell-tower of the Saint-Pierre church

image_europe

 

Example of typical frontage of house in Riga (on the right on the photograph)

image_europe

Thursday July 14

2 cars.

It is French national feastday today and for us that results in the best day by hitch-hiking. We use the urban transport (in this situation we chose the taxi, a transport that we didn't use until now) to get out the city on the motorway which go to Tallinn. In the middle of very charming landscapes with its forests of pines bordering the sea, having the characteristics features of our French "Landes", we intercept the first car and then the second after a very little wait and which leads us on approximately 250 km to Tallinn, therefore that will be the record of the longer distance with one car and this until the end.

We are alternating to hitch-hike

image_europe

image_europe

We arrive in the city around5.30pm, we find quickly a youth hostel where we become acquainted with a Mexican from Mexico City, this one is very nice and we have a good discussion with him. Then we are going towards the city centre to get in a dancing club, it is here that we meet our friend the Estonian prison warder who will make us discover the town of Tallinn, in particular while taking us pn the top of the hill overhanging the city, a surprising point of view. Our good friend will take us with him in another place to party in the city, we will finish here the evening in company of 2 charming Estonians, one evening concluded by many missed attempts (because of our charming Estonian friends) of kisses by Raphaël and also some attempts by me... (to understand and meditate: "Nothing is never gained in advance" and also: "Who doesn't try anything has nothing"...). Finally, the situation was really comic to see... having been myself witness of the difficult fight of Raphaël to gain a kiss!

Friday July 15

The following day of our already forgotten mishaps in love (yes yes yes), we spent our day to visit the town of Tallinn, this one having a town centre well preserved and really very charming.

Pedestrian street with behind, two towers from to the ramparts surrounding the city

image_europe

Little stall in the center

image_europe

Main square in the center

image_europe

Alexander Nevsky's Cathedral

image_europe

Obviously and we start to be used to it, the Estonian capital is full of tourists of all nationalities. However, the interesting corners doesn't miss: a center well preserved, a hill around the center and so a lot of pretty panoramas, so Tallinn is a city which we will remember. We meet in the youth hostel a couple of German from Berlin really likeable. The evening we go out in a nightclub, the "Hollywood", once again typically Estonian... however I have the impression that, in the capitals, it is difficult for us to find places not internationalized, or it is easy to fall directly into the traps for tourists, we have finally spend a good evening there, with a DJ who was going to marry, said it to us. We have met here a Norwegian who was apparently a little bit drunked. We discuss a little bit with our colleague from Germany at our return in the room of our youth hostel. Tomorrow our departure will be done by boat and towards Helsinki, the Finnish capital, because the idea that we had to go to Saint Petersbourg was cancelled, the cause? The necessity to get a visa estimated at 200 euros to cross the Russian border, and knowing that we hadn't organized anything, it will be difficult for us to confirm this information today.

Saturday July 16

As soon as wake up, we take the direction of the port of Tallinn, where we cross the sea very quickly with our boat, because of the proximity of the two capitals and so we arrive to Helsinki around midday.

Our majestic ship

image_europe

In first sight, Finnish appears open and sociable. The youth hostel where we wanted to go is obviously full, that's why we go directly to the railroad station to reserve a hotel and we find finally one, the price of the hotel make us understand that we weren't alone to try to find a room for this night... the tariff is 40 euros each to sleep this evening. Finally I must say that it is in that way that we learn.

Such the tortoise...

image_europe

Regularly we see the local youth and what we can say, this is that their look is original because they are, for the majority, wearing like Gothics, punk, very often in black colour anyway. It is impressive to see such a regrouping. It appears that Helsinki is a new city with its contemporary architecture. We meet a French guy who came to visit his uncle, those indicate us some places to go and to go out this evening as well. We realize later that it is very often necessary to be more than 22 years old or even 24 years to get in the nightclub in Helsinki! Finally we find a place where to spend the evening...quietly.

Sunday July 17

A good night in our "luxury" hotel ... and we set out again, we go towards the town centre to take few photographs. Helsinki, finally, is a little disappointing, a little "too much clean" and this impression doesn't appear natural, a stay prolonged in the capital and especially in the country would be essential to confirm or contradict these ideas which are not far from being prejudices. However, which is certain, it is that the recent architecture of this city is not really attractive to the visit.

The railroad station with a Finnish-Egyptian style

image_europe

Sight of a street faithful to the architecture of this new city

image_europe

Public garden close to the port

image_europe

Statue of Alexander II opposite the Lutheran cathedral 'Tuomiokirkko'

image_europe

We take the boat of 5.30pm, direction Stockholm, we spend time as we can on this ferry impressive from his size. We will be able to sing like rockstar for the inevitable karaoké in the evening. This night, we will comfortably pass it lengthened on a small bench in the middle of a corridor.

Monday July 18

In the early morning, we see some astonishing and splendid Swedish landscapes, being characterized by the appearance of many small islands and a wooded coast. Arrived at the port, we take the direction of the railroad station to find a youth hostel and we take a breakfast, a meal very welcome this morning.

On the way to Stockholm

image_europe

We go to the youth hostel, a dormitory of 17 people, here we can enjoy a good shower and a full washing. We are going to make a walking tour in the city center, really nice once again and Swedish are also faithful to their reputation. Large buildings decorate the city, but of an original and particular style, all is clean also here. This evening we are seat in a lounge bar where we become acquainted with an astonishing person who had the characteristic to speak 9 different languages. At our return to the youth hostel we discuss with 3 residents of Grenoble who prepare their departure towards Lapland.

Tuesday July 19

We spend the day to visit the Swedish capital, take photographs, make some purchases, by the way I buy a Cd to a street singer, a scottish with an exceptional voice. We can see in the evening a concert outside, close to a sailing boat, which is a youth hostel for the occasion, it is here that we will spend the night.

Sight of the sailing ship "Af Chapman" , our youth hostel for the night.

image_europe

Pedestrian street on the island of Stadsholmen

image_europe

On the left we can see "Riddarholmskyrkan", a cathedral where several kings of Sweden are buried

image_europe

Pedestrian street of the Gamla Stan district

image_europe

Wednesday July 20

Without any doubt an exceptional day! We indeed occupied a bench of the railroad station of Stockholm for the whole day (from 8.30am to 4pm exactly), occupied that we were to scutinize this pigeon with only one foot which was dandling and was arriving constantly late to catch the bread that people were throwing to him. We go by train in direction of Malmo. We meet a young Danish lady in the train who was seat in front of me, this one had fun (for my great pleasure) to caress my legs for the 5 hours of the journey. That flatters me and we arrive in Malmo where my pretty Danish goes away... with her mother... We find a hotel, around 11pm and hopefully with a reasonable price.

Thursday July 21

Visit of Malmo, a small beautiful city. Then we go to the train station for a short way towards Copenhagen.

Lilla Torg, a vividness place on the paved ground

image_europe

A pedestrian street of the center

image_europe

The train passes above the sea thanks to a bridge recently built.

image_europe

Without the assistance of the tourist office, to which we are still looking for the utility (except to indicate the place of the closest telephones to call the hotels mentioned on a panel checked by thousands of eyes), we quickly find a youth hostel friendly and well placed. We deposit our bags there then we leave to visit the city, there are many people in the streets today and we observe a resemblance of the aspect of the people and the urban constructions with Netherlands and particularly Amsterdam. The astonishing moment was the arrival in the district of Christiana (*since 2006 the district is closed and empty) where time seems having been stops in 1971, date of the arrival of the hippies, really a strange place. We go in the city centerand we stop in the museum of the guiness of the records, it was how to say... amusing. We go back to the youth hostel and spend the beginning of the evening in company of a French who is living here, an American of San Francisco and a Canadian of Toronto, this three guys was interesting and friendly. Then we go out thanks to the advices (bad) of an American of Detroit who sends us, after a short passage in the "Vega", a local bar, to a nightclub populated by young middle-class people. We are staying a long time and we go back to our headquarter.

Friday July 22

We offer ourselves a good morning to sleep, by the way i can finish my book then we go to make a full visit of the city, so we can take the useful photographs. We see this famous little mermaid surrounded by Japanese tourists who take an incalculable number of photographs.

The famous little mermaid

image_europe

Some nice places, nice public gardens, Copenhagen it�s cool! The evening will be done quietly with our new French and Canadian friends then two Norwegian will join us, but this is an anecdote because they were so much anecdotic. Then in a bar, two very charming young ladies say to us that they had seen us in a restaurant few hours earlier, we speak really 15 seconds until a group of Danish mannequins come and go to seat with her... We meet here also two Swiss women of our youth hostel then we finish here very quietly our last evening in Denmark.

Pedestrian street in the city centre (Burger king and Mac Donalds are everywhere!)

image_europe

Splendid imposing buildings decorate the city

image_europe

Channel of Nyhavn

image_europe

Amalienborg square where the royal family resides

image_europe

Saturday July 23

This morning, we have only a little rest because we must wake up very early to catch our train in direction of the airport. We sleep all the way leading us to London. Arrived over there, I leave Raphaël in the underground, he will return in Paris by train whereas I will join some friends in Tunbridge Wells for 2 days.

So it is finished,however it remains us to give some impressions about this escapade. On the first hand, we met a lot of people, all various but all interesting, or at least which brought something to us (yes even the stupid people made us at least laugh).

We saw different cultures and we have been able to observe few days manners of living of some population, our observation makes us understand some important things. Without saying any message in connection with Europeanization, it is true that the opening to some countries can involve modifications, some involving advantages and others disadvantages. We can say that if the situation would stay like that, that would not be yet notable, but in the long term, all this tourist mass could modify the character and the personality of a city (if that exists in any case), and even its atmosphere, finally this idea is really objective and personal.

Moreover it is obvious that when we move a little away from the touristic road, we can find what we are really looking for, the contact with the local population and hitch-hiking allow us to meet easily them.

Another thing, a French abroad is very often stupid! A number of situations where we saw French being nasty with the local population by insulting them straightforwardly. To talk about hitch-hiking, I think that we would have done all the road by this way if we wouldn't have limits of time. However we entered in 32 cars and realized more than 1000km thanks to this way of travelling.

By the way, the Baltic States were for us the places where this way of travelling functioned the best. Why? Surely that hitch-hiking is more or less established in their way of life because we saw several people doing the same thing as us. The different way of travelling used during this tour were: hitch-hiking, train, boat, plane and urban transport.

To finish, I would say that the assessment is extremely positive and that we don't think to remake a thing like that, but we will, and in the same way, so: by hitch-hiking!



Retour au Sommaire

Copyright 2009 - Tous droits réservés - Tour du monde en autostop - Une réalisation ACS Informatique - Creation site internet