Day 34-36, Breda, Redhair Day ’14, Breda – Berlin

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Day 34, Breda II

Breda at the first week-end is full of gingers. Normally when we arrange a meeting it’s like “I’m the one with red hair. You cannot miss me.” This week-end it would be the opposite. People with every tone of red hair and beard are walking through the town. Each year it gets bigger.

But what’s special about that day, what is going on there? Well, we all sit together and discuss a plan how to take over power, for the new red world order. But frankly it was mostly about the people. Of course there were some activities like photo-shootings or styling events. We e.g. went for a differently organised speed-dating. In the evening we joined a pub crawl.

Earlier that day we changed our host. So at midnight we left the pub crawl and went back by bike. Our new host wanted to take us to an illegal rave. It was so well hidden, that we didn’t find it. We were not the only one. With the time we were a group of about 25 people cycling around a specific area without finding the spot. When the police arrived, we returned home. But still on our way home, people were coming from the opposite direction, looking for the rave.

Day 35, Breda III

At noon was supposed to be the big group photos. Whereas at most events non-gingers were gratefully “allowed” to join, the group photo was for redheads only. We got up at 12.30pm.

Nevertheless we cycled into town because our host and her housemate wanted to see the redheads and there were still some events going on. In addition my friend wanted to take some photos with nice red-haired-chicks.

In the evening we made some barbecue.

Day 36, Breda – Berlin; 800km, 4 cars, maybe 14h travel time

T36_1 Breda-BerlinThe last step on my journey: Going back home to Berlin. According to the hitchwiki homepage the industrial area in the west of Germany, Ruhr Area, is best avoided while hitchhiking. So I decided to try the route via Utrecht and Apeldoorn in the north to Germany. Unfortunately the third driver thought he would do me a big favour in going south in the direction to the Ruhr Area again. So I found myself at a gas station where people were going to the Ruhr Area or even more south near the place I’m living, but not where I wanted to go.

Then I saw a Polish van. I approached to driver. “Are you going to Germany?” – “Yes.” – “Are you going to Poland?” – “Yes.” – “Do you pass Berlin?” – “Yes.” I was afraid to ask the next question. “Can you give me a lift to Berlin?” …….. “Yes, no problem.” Whooot whoot that was it! I managed it – cool. But before, Piotr had to pick up two Polish seasonal workers and sold a bike. That’s why we were going a bit zigzag at the beginning. But I didn’t care. One of the workers was annoying since he wanted me to find some jobs for him in Germany as if I was the German Labour Office. Even Piotr kind of lost patience with him, because every 10 minutes he asked for some paper and a pencil.

Anyway Piotr even drove me near the station where I had to take the train home. Well and that was basically it. On the way home to Karlsruhe I had the fasted hitchhiking trip ever. I got there in 6 hours, which is as fast as going by train and even faster than going with my family’s car. Till Nuremberg I went with a guy that had worked for eBay. At the service area I saw a Russian car and was really happy, when they agreed to take me to Karlsruhe. Actually, they were on their way from St. Petersburg to Lisbon via Barcelona.

It was nice talking to them – of course about Putin and Crimea and interesting as well, because I could proof some facts, like Russian soldiers had been on Crimea due to my trip there early that year. In addition they told me – I already knew it – the EU/US sanctions mainly aimed the population. But another interesting fact had been, that pensions of babushkas are taken to build up Crimea again, which they were upset about.

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Day 34-35, Breda

Day 36

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Day 1, Monday, 4.8., Karlsruhe – Liechtenstein – Bellinzona (CH)

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Day 1, Karlsruhe – Bellinzona via Liechtenstein; ~500km, 6 cars, ~7h waiting

T01 KA-Bellinzona_50kmAlright, it’s impossible to start a journey without Haribo. And I forgot to by them the Saturday before I departed. That’s why I didn’t need to hurry but had to wait for the supermarket to open at 8 am.

Fully equipped now, I walked to my hitchhiking spot. But it seemed nobody was going in direction to Stuttgart, which is very strange, because usually most cars are going to Stuttgart.

However after 2,5h I was picked up and brought to the next service area, being 30 kilometres away. There mostly Dutch people with their mobile homes and full cars were interrupting their driving, but after some time I got a lift from a Belgian drummer. He was actually even going to a place in Austria not very far from Liechtenstein, my first destination.

Though the place I chose to be left was quite bad; without access to the highway. Luckily there seemed to be a convention nearby, so many cars were going in the direction to the highway.

So I got a ride to a gas station in Switzerland where I could go with the first guy I asked. I only wanted to cross the border to Liechtenstein to take a photo that I’ve been in this huge and country that is famous for…..whatever then to continue. When he got this, he made a little detour for me.

With some Dutch workers I got to Chur. There it started raining, but still an Alfa stopped. The driver’s first question was not where I was going or if I was a murderer. No instead he asked, whether I had dog shit under my shoes. I was perplexed since I didn’t expect such a first question. But to be honest, it’s quite reasonable.

Though I’m sure every hitchhiker who notices having shit under the shoes would remove it immediately. Still it was a funny drive with this Swiss couple. They left me at a large service area near Bellinzona, but I only tried half-hearted to continue.

Last year I usually was always highly motivated to get further as soon as I arrived somewhere. But with the wisdom and experience of age, I got more relaxed. And I mean I was travelling gipsy style anyway – meaning with a tent, mattress and sleeping bag I needn’t care at all about anything. I could sleep where I wanted, just making sure not to bother anyone to call the police.

A river was nearby the service area and its bank was made of large stones, where I could perfectly lay down in my sleeping bag. It didn’t rain and was warm, so I didn’t pitch up my tent.

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