|Way ta' spoil the story!|
After staying another unplanned week in Gothenburg I knew it was now very much time to go!
I spent the day on the town. Mostly watching people during a week day. What they do, how they live etc.. Since I was staying out of town this was one of my first opportunities to do this.
< Hanging out in the avenue... waiting. I'm getting used to people staring at me as they walk by.
Some fashion for ya'. Haha! >
Then, I headed back to central station. I stayed up all night on the computer. (Since they have outlets and free wifi!) I waited for the early morning then took a nap. My original plan was to hitchhike to Stockholm. I received an email the night before explaining that my ride from Stockholm to Germany was canceled due to automotive technical difficulties.
It was now time for me to decide what to do next. Since I hadn't really slept I decided to grab a bus ticket and sleep on the bus. It was a long enough ride that I got some sleep. I woke up in Malmlö, Sweden. It was just in time to catch the bridge to Denmark! What a cool bridge it was too!
|Leaving Malmö. These are fields of sunflowers and... daisies, maybe?|
|In the round-about. As my high school photo teacher Brehm would say... these are "fall colors".|
|He would be upset that the horizon isn't straight. haha! Notice the wind power in the middle of the ocean?!|
|I encountered "elevator music" for the first time!|
|Passed central station...|
Eventually I found a youth hostel. I used their plugs, free wifi and free toilets again! :D Then I was lucky enough to find another CouchSurfer in Copenhagen in the same situation as me. He didn't have a place to stay and was headed for Germany. I probably could have found a place. In fact, I had an offer for a place to stay the next time I checked. I decided to camp out in the park with him. He had been backpacking for 3+ years. So, we waited a little bit and then headed towards the park we designated for the night. Along the way we found a football (soccer) field that seemed perfect. We scoped it out. It was a high school so decided to camp out there. Plus, there was a roof with benches. In case it rained, this was perfect! Since it was Saturday night there shouldn't have been anyone around at all.
Boy were we wrong! Around midnight we were woken up by flashlights and teenage boys wondering why were were sleeping at their school. I thought to myself, "Self, why are THEY here completely inebriated and giving US a hard time?" Then I realized they were just little bored kids who wanted someone to entertain them. After circling around us a few times, going into the forest etc, they decided they really wanted to talk with us. I did my best to entertain them and keep them tame at the same time. The last thing I wanted was to get attacked by four, drunk, 15 year old boys! So I offered them the last of my belove-ed kladdkaka cookies from Sweden and attempted to say funny Danish phrases for them. After an hour or so of this they finally left.
The next (early) morning we were woken up by barking dogs and strange people. The idea was to see museums and such. I really just wanted to walk around town solo. That's what I did.
|Yes, it must have a balcony with a view. ... It does? Okay so where do I sign?|
|Parliament: I was told anyone can enter at any time to sit in.||Some lady even brought chickens in one time to protest...?|
|It was quite a beautiful sunny day at the botanical garden!|
|It was necessary to get a Danish in Denmark. Yes, it was delicious!|
|I just loved the architecture!|
|I LOVE this about Europe! This was also in the botanical garden.|
|I was told that the Germans love this sign in Sweden and Norway. Apparently the Danish like it too. :p|
We still managed to make it to Nykobing, the southern tip of Denmark and found a cozy place to sleep.
It's really amazingly refreshing that people just open up their houses to people in need! For this reason I love hitchhiking and living "on the road". Taking my chances and learning to trust people again. Even when it comes to sleeping in a park.
In the morning the sweet couple that picked us up from who-knows-where, Denmark fed us until our bellies were full and offered to drive us the rest of the way to the ferry. 35 km out of their way times two...maybe? From there it was time to try to hitch a ride ONTO the ferry so we wouldn't have to pay. (It's free if you're in a car.) After trying to hitch for two hours while waiting for the next ferry I decided it was worth my while to pay the 100 danish kronor to get to Germany in daylight. This meant I would be hitchhiking from Rostock to Hamburg solo. I was up for the challenge and some peace and quiet! :p
From Rostock I immediately found a hitch off the ferry. They got me to the main highway. I tried a perfect spot off the highway with no success. After awhile you can kind of tell if people are going to stop in a spot or not. The sun was starting to go down but I had found another sweet spot to pitch my tent in case I didn't find a ride.
I then decided to hitch off the AutoBahn! Nice. I didn't realize the speed limit was 130 KM/Hr until I was good and ON the highway. I had just finished crossing a bridge when a car pulled over. AWESOME! This was a cool guy who said his car broke down. He was already five hours late on his trip and figured what's another hour. Haha! Also awesome! He used to hitchhike himself and just wanted to help.
It was my first hours in Germany. All I could see in the distance was rolling hills, plush green fields, big rolls of straw and windmills: both new and old. I even saw this array of solar panels in rows creating a soft wave with a gorgeous blue and purple sunset reflecting off of them. Just behind those was an ultra modern white windmill. To me it was a welcome into a mesmerizing country. Even though it was just down the street from the last it was a completely new invigorating experience. I was happy to be there!
My ride got me to the correct freeway for my path. There he found a rest area. He then asked for my ride to the next gas station. Success! The first person he asked agreed!
|I took some photos while he was scoring me a ride!|
This second guy was on his way home from work in Rostock. He was driving a sweet benz and wearing a stylish suit. He was an insurance broker, a very cool insurance broker.
We got to the next gas station. The sun was down. I HAD to get to the next spot. This one wasn't suitable to stay in. This is when my "shy" kicked back in. I much rather "thumb" because I don't have to approach strangers that way. Oi vey! This was not the time for my "shy" to kick in!
After an hour or so I finally decided it was stay there all night or ASK EVERY ONE!
I decided to ask everyone. About five cars into it, score!, I found a ride! This guy didn't speak much English but he was going basically all the way to Hamburg. He told me I could sleep if I wanted but I was pretty awake at this point. A few silent hours went by and my exit had arrived!
...Wait?!!?! It was a TRUCK STOP?!! Holy Moses! This wasn't good. THERE WERE NO CARS! Just trucks!!! I used the loo asked the two cars that passed, paced around a bit, then decided this WASN'T GOING TO CUT IT! Ahh!!! I DEFINITELY couldn't sleep here!!!!!! I looked at a map inside the store but I had no idea where I was. I had a feeling that I got dropped off too late and I needed to go the opposite way on the freeway.
I started walking. First I had to walk sort of back on the freeway. Then I realized any cars there weren't going to stop! They were going to Bremmen or Cologne. Not good! I then took the next little exit which came to a "T". Left or right? Right: Some street which I *thought* may lead the correct way but I had no idea. Left: info and a tunnel under the freeway at night.
My first instinct was to go right. I thought, and thought, and thought. Then I decided to go left. At least to the left there was another gas station and some lights. Maybe a hotel?
I walked through the bridge. Just on the other side was the place with the lights. It was a hotel! It was open and so was the bar! I was relieved!
|My first beer in Germany!|
I asked reception if they had a password for the wifi. They explained they didn't but they did have computers available. Alright!!! That's what I needed!! This way I could figure out where I was!!! Yipee!!!
A few minutes of chit chat on FB, some map-looking-at and I was in business.... kind of. I just needed to get there. When I came out from the "business center" where the computer was the bar had closed. I went up to pay for my delicious "Paulaner" and started talking with the sweet girl at the bar. She looked very German to me. In fact, she was Polish. After chatting and telling her my story about hitchhiking that day she offered to give me a ride into town in about 30 mins.! Double Yipeee!!!! Now I was "in business"!
It was a Sunday night. She dropped me off where she thought I would be able to figure something out for the night. Man, I hope she never has to do that for herself. It was the worst part of town! No one was around! It was dirty and dark. Ugh! I walked and walked, and walked some more.
Eventually, I found someone outside talking! Yay! It was a hostel! Yay! Free electricity and wifi! Yay! I spent the entire night and morning chatting with my mom and updating my blog. When the morning came I was exhausted but it was time to figure something else out. The hostel check in wasn't until 3 pm. I walked uphill toward some pretty buildings in hope of.... some thing.
The first cool building turned out to be central station. There wasn't even a place to sit there! I walked back out and followed the foot traffic. They were all going toward..... An outside SHOPPING MALL! Great. I continued on to find an indoor shopping mall. I was sitting on a bench there, finally warm and starting to doze off when I realized that would be a bad idea. I woke myself up sharpened my eyes and thought... I.... saw.... tents outside? Okay. Now I was delusional!
I didn't have my glasses on so I got up and walked out the door. I was delirious but not delusional!
|A total blessing after being awake for almost 48 hours!|
I waited a while for someone to pop out of a tent so I could ask them to camp out. I waited and waited. Finally a face that looked like it might be part of the "movement". Sure enough it was!
I now had a home and a reason for carrying my tent for the last 2+ months! I set up my tent and basically slept for two days straight minus two bathroom trips and one meal.
|All right!! This is me occupying Hamburg! Way to stick it to the man! LOL|
|I looked very charming when I finally woke up!|
|"CockTrail" 'Twas on the way to my new home!|
I met my new host. Her place smelled like 1,000 roses and fruits. I smelled like crap! Haha! I took a shower and we went to check out her new neighborhood together.
|First time smoking in a bar and first Jagermeister in Germany!|
I had planned only to stay there one or two nights. That quickly became three almost four nights even though my plans to meet up with two out of town friends in Hamburg failed.
My plan was now to head to Essen/Cologne! Stay tuned! You're now only three days behind! ;) Congrats!!