Hitchhiking Europe: Day 8

Hitchhiking Portugal to Germany

It was probably the coldest night so far. The outside of the tent was all wet. We went inside the petrol station to warm up and walked outside to get a ride. It probably took less than 5 minutes to get a ride. We got out at a petrol station. It took a bit longer here but finally some guys passed us, then drove back and offered us a ride. It was a small car with three people listening to weird French and Arab rap music. They drove us to a tollbooth near a place called Dole. It was yet another place with very little traffic but somehow we got another ride in just a few minutes. A musician and his wife were on their way to buy a new car because their current car was already 4 years old. It still looked new. Their son lives in America so they spoke English well.

We got the next ride at another toll station on the highway. We didn’t have to wait much again. A man with his young son was on his way to visit the grandparents in Colmar. It was a long drive. We already passed the town he had to go to; he just wanted to find us a good place to get out. He drove us to a petrol station and had to turn back to Colmar. It was a highway, but not a toll road. There were a lot of foreign cars there but most of them went in the wrong direction.

Finally, a car went in our direction and the driver stopped for us. The driver looked like the professor from Back to the Future and spoke very quietly in the beginning and then zoned out and didn’t respond to our questions. He said he had to go to Strasbourg but we drove through the city and got on another highway. Unexpectedly, the driver stopped on the side of a turn on the highway. He just opened his door without looking and a truck had to swerve to the other side. He didn’t seem to notice anything. We grabbed all our luggage as quick as possible and he drove off again. The stop was so unexpected that we didn’t really know where we were. We assumed there would be a petrol station or something, but there was nothing. We were stuck on the highway. Probably the only ones who would stop for us would be the police.

We followed the turn down to the highway in our direction. We were now in Germany and we didn’t really care what the next stop would be, as long as we could get off the highway. Surprisingly, we didn’t wait long and a French guy just stopped on the highway, not caring about the annoyed drivers behind him. He drove us to a shopping center in Baden-Baden. Finally, we could get some cheap shopping again. As we were so close, we just took the train for the last few kilometers to Mannheim.

Mannheim

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