Like I said, hitching in Italy was hell (and illegal). That night I slept in a wooded area in a grassy ditch, on top of some cardboard to stay dry and wearing every piece of clothing I owned. It was a damn cold night, and I was determined not to stay around for another.
We split up to divide and conquer. We couldn’t stick out our thumbs around there, so we asked every person we seen, coming out of the station and restaurants. Then it started raining. It was miserable. I couldn’t get out of the rain and still look for a ride, so I just used it to look sad and desperate- cold and wet, needing a ride. It seemed like no one was going east towards Venice, or they didn’t want to take us.
Finally my happiness was shaken. I was over it that day; ready to be ANYWHERE else; tired of being turned down by rich Italians who either ignored us or was very rude. For once I felt like a degenerate, homeless bum, instead of a traveler. it was not good. Finally I told my friend that I was taking the next car, no matter where it was going. I would ask for a ride, and go where ever it was.
Not long later, a guy going north to Austria to us to hop in. I looked at my friend, we shrugged, and hopped in. It’s funny how things work out. I never thought of going to Western Austria, but now I was driving though some of the most beautiful mountain and scenery of my trip. I had no regret, and was back to my happy self. I think we both fell asleep though, it had been a long couple days.
Soon after I awoke we arrived in Innsbruck. It’s very beautiful, so I’ll do a ”photo tour” post later. But I will say this- It’s one of my favorite little cities in Europe. Since we expected to be in Venice, Italy and not Innsbruck, Austria, we had no where to stay lined up. It was after dark and we were nervous, so went to a McDonald’s to use the free WIFI and send out emergency couch requests on Couchsurfing. We weren’t real hopeful, but were just happy not to be in Italy anymore.
About the time we were going to give up and look for another ditch, a lovely girl offered us a couch (and floor). She was so nice and could tell we were worn out, that she let us stay three nights. It was a good time, and I love the city.
At this point in my travels, I am wanting to travel alone again. I’ve traveled all over the world by myself, and now I remember why. We are starting to not get along, and it’s rubbing the shine off of this incredible adventure of mine. I wanna keep on the road, he wants to settle. I wanna travel forever, he’d love to find a girl and live happily ever after. Things aren’t working out. But for now we will stick together to hitch to Salzburg.
Well, we intended to stick together, but we found rides that could only take one person each, so took them.
I arrived in Salzburg, the home of The Sound of Music and Mozart, and found my accommodation. Salzburg is also pretty, and I did a lot of site seeing, as our host worked a lot. Chocolate tastings, castle hikes, Moz”art” graffiti and more. Very nice city.
I was dangerously low on funds…. I’m talking about 50 euro to my name, so needed to figure out where to work. it’s funny how you start to miss a place once you leave. I was missing Tallinn. Don’t get me wrong, I was no way, in my mind, ready to stop traveling, but I didn’t have the means, even with my cheap way of travel. So I arranged to get my old job back, back in Tallinn. Once that was settled, I was at least content with the fact that there was still a lot of traveling to do to get all the way north to Estonia again.
I’ve never been to Budapest before… So I decided to go there next. And while I was looking at the map, Slovenia wasn’t too far out of the way either. I talked it over with my friend, and even though we were going to go to the same places, I wanted to go alone now. So I did. I set out from Salzburg with my thumb out, and eventually reached Maribor, Slovenia. At one point I got stuck outside of Graz, Austria at an abandoned rest stop, but I didn’t care. I used my backpack as a pillow and laid in the sun in a grassy area waiting for cars to come by and plotting to take over the world, not having a care in the world for 4 or 5 hours.
Click here for Hitchhiking Europe Part Eight: Maribor To Tallinn
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