The advantage of living in the centre of the Europe — is the possibility to explore Europe even though the semester is in the midst. And also our dean gave us a free day on Monday because of the day of Independence of the Czech Republic ( October 28), so summary I had 5 days holidays, I and couldn’t just miss this great possibility.
I chose Switzerland. I have a long “connection” with it, because it was the purpose of my first real hitchhiking in Europe in the year 2012. Then I mixed the names Switzerland and Sweden, was afraid of hitchhiking on long distances and every day needed to have a roof under my head. That’s why after wonderful time in Poland, and also particularly in Slovakia and Germany, I decided, that it was enough for the beginning, and, shame on me, I didn’t risk to go deeper in the Europe, though thanks to Couchsurfing (https://www.couchsurfing.org/people/windarast/) I had a host there.
However time passed by and till that time Switzerland have been a country in the Central Europe in which I haven’t been yet. And here by coincidence I again have such possibility, and I have a person to whom I can go there! So, this time I decided to be a persistent, packed my backpack and on the road!
As usual my morning began with the thought “Again overslept!”. Instead of planned waking up in 4am I woke up only in 10am. On my way to the petrol station I also confused trams and buses, had to run several times, but finally I reached highway. One more I learned a lesson — before going on the road it is necessary to go to bed early.
Hitchhiking was quite successful, drivers were interesting and during talking the time passed very fast. The first driver stopped for me in 15 minutes, he went to Prague, but let me go out on the petrol station before the bypass. Before he worked as a trucker, also took hitchhikers, but now he have his own household and that’s why he no more going on long distances. Before leave he shared a nice home-made cheese “Dvoreček Fukoví”, so if you’ll have a possibility to try — do this! (No, this is not paid commercial :)
After with another driver I arrived to the highway heading to Plzen, there I had to take a bus and walk through the field to get on the petrol station, from which I started all my Euro-trips at that time, when I lived in Prague.
In the exit from the petrol station I saw, unbelievable (!), two hitchhikers, and this is then, when almost every driver says to me, that hitchhiking is already not popular in Europe. As it turned out, they went at the same direction as I did, and they also planned to achieve Switzerland, though they had more time than I had.
After asking driver on the station I came back to the exit. In five minutes one driver gave me a lift to Plzen, unfortunately he had no place for more than 1 person, so he took only me. He was quite experienced, lived in USA, Australia and hitchhiked a lot before. And did I mention that smoking marijuana is legal in Czech? :D
On the petrol station near Plzen I got a “gift” — I hitchhiked a bus. Yes, before I also travelled with buses, but as a result of talking with drivers on the station, but here the bus stopped specially for me. The car plates were Polish, what’s one more make me sure that Polish are the friends of hitchhikers.
He could take me to Frankfurt, but I moved to Nuremberg. The driver told me that they carry Chines and he have a dream to go once to Beijing.
50km before Nuremberg we stopped for dinner and met that hitchhikers, whom I’ve seen near Prague. To Nuremberg we went together, and there I decided to go further to Wurzburg.
It was already dark, but how wonderful that was: the big bus windshield, through which you can see stars! And music! And so warm!
Near Wurzburg I waited around 20 minutes under the street light. For me stopped one 40-50 years old German, and what was the most surprising — he listened in his car Bring me the horizon, and this music stand out of his appearance. He said that his son listened to them, and he liked it too, looking on driver’s Punk youth and “summer of love” :) He took me to Heilbronn.
Here I waited the whole night. 12 hours. So, at least it was my new record in waiting for a lift.
In the morning one Russian speaking Hungarian took me to the Sengen, on the border with Switzerland.
— Do you want some chocolate?
— Yes, why not.
After eldery Swiss gave me a lift to the petrol station near Zurich. On the way he also showed me one Swiss showplace — Rhine Falls, the biggest plain waterfall in Europe. It is 150m wide and 23m high. In the winter months, the average water flow is 250 m³/s, while in the summer, the average water flow is 700 m³/s.
Also there are a lot of craters of the old volcanoes. Another famous Swiss invention — bridges under the road for animals.
By the way, Switzerland is not in the EU, that’s why they still have borders, on which, however, there is no strict control. Because of big price different in Switzerland and Germany, the citizens of the confederation every weekends go to their neighbours for shopping. Not to let money flow too easily from the country, Swiss government made a limit for the imported goods per one person. Buy Swiss, generally.
From Zurich I went with one girl to Bern, and from there with young guy right to the train station in Lausanne, where I already had a meeting.
Time 6pm, summary around 30 hours on the road, among which 11-12 hours of the night waiting.
That was my way:
Because of unplanned trip, the first night I had no place where to stay, so after amazing night walk on the coast of Lake Geneva, I put my tent not far from the Vufflens-le-Château near the railways. Never do this, this is illegal :)
On the next morning I went for a walk in surroundings.
The second night I spend in homey and cosy atmosphere with nice people, whom I found thanks to couchsurfing.
The next morning I already went back on the road, because the way was not short. As usual I slept a lot and started my trip only after the lunch.
The hitchhiking was cheerful. The first driver stopped by himself and suggested to take me to Lausanne. And after by short lifts I arrived to the German border.
In the Germany I’ve been already after the sunset. And though I was lucky to find a Russian family from Novosibirsk, who went to Baden-Baden, but finally I had to wait after around 4-6 hours for the next car.
Somehow I arrived to Munchen in the morning. Because of my fault I had to go in the city, for hitchhiking from it (thank you, dentist! :). In Munchen I had met hitchhikers again.
From Regensburg to Plzen I was taken by young Czech woman with a child. She married a German, and now lived in Munchen, but she had all her siblings in Plzen. It was very interesting, because her son spoke German and she answered to him in Czech :)
Finally I arrived to Brno in 4pm, faster then my way to Switzerland. After arriving I got information from that two boys, whom I met, that they found a car from Zurich straight to Plzen, and they’ve been there in 3 hours. So, for some luck smiles more, but it smiles for others as well. You just need to be funny enough to make her laugh :)
That’s how, with the benefit for yourself it is possible to spend holidays in Europe. What about budget? + 20 Franks, + food and no any costs. Help people and your help will come back to you.
My way back: