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Old 11-29-2006, 08:17 AM   The beginning..
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old tiger
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The beginning..

 

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12-04-2006, 08:11 PM Old
back to Stockholm(Sweden)
 
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old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
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Tampere-Turku was an easy ride..I got easily to Turku..
still had to buy a ferry ticket towards Stockholm..
although it was high season..this ferry line got seats enough..
I guess it was 11 hours crossing..now Turku..is a nice town..
i had some time before ferry departure...so went to see the city..
tourist offices in Finland are very helpfull..they give a city map..
and some major interesting points to visit..for Turku Naantali is
certainly worthwhile...but I did not have the time to visit..
Naantali is 15kms.from Turku..one can reach it on a 1h.boat ride...
it's a very old town..very touristical place...so..i couldn't go there..
Turku also has an open air museum..with old wooden houses,farms etc..
in fact Turku got very good museums..I only had a few hours...
so i went to the marketplace(kauppatori)where a local market was held
with lots of fresh food,fruits..always a good place to stock up for a
traveller..very colourful as well..because just near is an orthodox church
so...took the ferry..same stuff..lots of Finns on a booze spree..
next morning I would be in Stockholm..with a bit of luck..I suppose would
try to reach Jonkoping-Goteborg..probably I could save 1 night's sleep
if I could get ferry ticket Goteborg-Fredrikshavn(Denmark)night crossing
but it's a distance..i doubted whether i would get to Goteborg?
12-05-2006, 11:29 AM Old
Stockholm-Goteborg(Sweden)
 
16361
old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
Posts: 3610
I never could sleep at ferry crossings...so..i came out in Stockholm.
with a heavy head..not easy to hitch out of Stockholm as well..
it took me a while to reach the outskirts direction Sodertalje..
got a ride up to Eskilstuna..stood there for more then 1 hour..
I knew I was not gonna make Goteborg..some days one is not lucky..
but I didn't care a shit anyway..reached Orebro in early afternoon..
some nice scenery...and got picked up by these young folks..
driving a big Volvo..nice cars..a trademark for Sweden really..
the regio below Orebro deserves a visit of a few days even..
there are 2 big lakes..Vanern and Vattern..real huge lakes...
I took the shores of Vattern lake..towards Motala-Vadstena-Granna..
loveley scenery..I reached Granna late afternoon..
decided to sleep rough there..sleeping rough is not easy sometimes..
i can tell you stories about that on my Africa trip..
Granna is a very touristic place for Swedes...ask any Swede about
*polkagrisar*it's a kind of sweet(candy)Granna is such a nice little
town with wooden houses..and..candy shops of course...
i bet dentists have lots of work in this regio??there's a youth hostel..
but if one walks 2kms out of these little towns..it's easy to find place
to sleep rough..I would recommend all of you to visit Granna..
typical Swedish little town..I simply can tell you all..I loved it..
I'll try to find a link..so..on the way tomorow to Goteborg then..
12-06-2006, 11:24 AM Old
Goteborg(Sweden)
 
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old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
Posts: 3610
So..Granna goodbye..up to Jonkoping..ride along the lake..
Jonkoping is situated at the bottom of Vattern lake..big town..
interesting here is a matchstick museum..didn't see it..once this
town was known for matchstick production..now it's history??
moved on to Ulricehamn..Boras..very nice countryside scenery..
what struck me in Sweden..is always that sense of nature..
once outside any town..you land up with your nose in plain nature...
and my nose liked that....ahaha..I got into Goteborg..bit too early..
booked a ferry night crossing to Fredrikshavn(Jylland)only 4 hours??
Goteborg is huge...to huge to discover on foot..it's Sweden second city
after Stockholm..big port..hub of railway,ferry+road connections..
this ferry saved me another night..short night..because ferry depature was very late..
I guess..I would be in Denmark early morning..
in Goteborg fancy shops..Swedes are hardworking people..
they liked their luxury??even in these days...the Swedish mind..
you really have to make friends with Swedes to understand the full
context how they feel about being Swedish in the first place..
Goteborg big shopping street is called Avenyn..lots of restaurants,
shops...well..consumer society...even in these days...
so..I went a bit around the city streets of Goteborg..to kill time...
I was wondering myself..how Jylland(Denmark)was gonna be??
the ferry line was Stena..if I remember well??
will tell you my adventures in Denmark later on.
12-08-2006, 07:57 PM Old
Denmark..
 
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old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
Posts: 3610
My first impression of Fredrikshavn..busy ferry port..
lots of trucks waiting to cross over into Sweden..
i did not like Fredrikshavn that much..
got myself a ride to Aalborg..these Danes..are friendly people..
Aalborg is famous for akvavit=strong gin..it tastes quite good..
watch out with this stuff..it's 45% alcohol..
Aalborg is situated on Limfjorden..nice regio..
from Aalborg I hitched direction Viborg-Silkeborg-Vejle..
finally i reached Kolding and more south Aabenraa...
spend the night somewhere along a parking space..
tomorrow I would cross into Germany via Flensburg..
a whole network of German highways..hitching was always good..
in Germany..I knew...in 2 days..I would be back home..
I intended to travell to Mali..up to Timbuctu..via France-Spain-
Portugal-Morocco-Spanish Sahara-Maureatania-Senegal..
i did not make it..to get into Morroco..but I found another way..
via Las Palmas(Canarian Islands)then by boat to Nouadhibou..
will tell you all later about my 5 month trip to West Africa..
first..I had to reach home...work a bit..well..you know..money..
12-11-2006, 04:29 PM Old
crossing into Germany...
 
16361
old tiger old tiger is offline
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so Aabenraa(Denmark)is a short distance to the border crossing
called Padborg Krusa..busy border crossing..I took the highway
entrance direction Neum?nster-Hamburg..it was not easy to hitch
in one go over Hamburg city..it's huge..I got dropped in Norderstedt...
which is north of Hamburg..Hamburg is situated on the Elbe river..
and is a very busy seaport..it had even in these days a reputation
of bars..hookers..and crime..but the people itself..are real nice..
got a ride which took me to a rastst?tte before Hollenstedt..and that
was O.K..because it's over Hamburg city..direction Bremen..
in these days..Germany was never a problem for getting a ride..
a huge net of highways..and lots of traffic..one could really do some
distances..i reached Bremen..and later on Osnabruck..
from there I tried to reach Hengelo(Holland)but I didn't make it..
slept overnight on a parking lot in Nordhorn..directly on Dutch border..
tomorrow..I would reach home..that's for sure..
12-11-2006, 09:46 PM Old
reached home..and some bad news...
 
16361
old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
Posts: 3610
Next day..I crossed the German-Dutch border at Denekamp...
Dutch is my mother tongue..got picked up by some youngsters..
who drove towards Arnhem..all the way in 1 go..great..
Arnhem towards Nijmegen-Eindhoven was a piece of cake..
from Eindhoven it's about 45kms.to my village..via Valkenswaard..
reached home in the afternoon..my brother returned from work..
he told me the sad news..my grandfather had died 1 week earlier..
nobody knew where I was exactly..so they could not send a message..
my grandfather reached the blessed age of 91 years..
he died of natural causes..just old age..next day..went to pay..
my honours at his grave..he was a nice fellow...a real joker..
now..he was no more..I felt bit sad really..
i had to find some work to get money for my Africa trip..
it turned out..that a friend of my Dad wanted his house painted..
outer walls..doors..the whole thing..lots of work..and cash..
these days...one had to be careful..it was work in the black..
if they caught me with it..it meant a fine..damn system..uhuh??
12-12-2006, 04:07 PM Old
preparing the trip towards Africa+Paris(France)
 
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old tiger old tiger is offline
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I worked every day..from 08.00h to 17.00h..
i got payed all right..and got a decent amount of money..
i wrote a letter to Cathy in Paris..she wrote back..
i knew Cathy from a Scandinavia trip..met her in Rovaniemi(Finland)
i was welcome to stay at her flat in Oberkampf district..
she got married to a dude who had been in Afghanistan..
he worked for air France at Paris airport..
i wanted to prepare all my Africa visa's for different countries..
so one fine day..it was in september..i travelled to Paris..
I've always loved Paris..big city with lots of charm..
I easily found Cathy's adress..got my own key..to get in even..
nice little flat..she loved Crosby,Stills,Nash&Young..
now Paris..is allright..but it involved subway travell..
i visited embassies of Senegal and Mali..
and got info on vendange...vendange is grape picking..
i got an adress in Beaujolais regio..Chiroubles..
and Cathy told me..leave your stuff here in Paris..
and go and earn some extra money in the vendange..
so I did..I left Paris...after 6 days..reached Dijon the first day..
and Chiroubles the next day..the vineyard owner payed 35 FF=
French francs+3 meals a day+1 bottle of wine+free sleeping..
I left my passport in Paris..I did not need a passport for France..
I will tell you all how grape picking is done..and what happened..
i worked 8 days..hitched back to Paris..stayed another 8 days
in Paris..i recall my Paris days..got free food/lodging..great...
on the way back from Africa...again went to Paris for 4 days..
i recall it was beginning march...and damn cold..in fact I was broke..
300Kms south of Paris..on my return from Tunisia via Marseille..
Cathy payed my train ticket to Brussels..from Paris..great folks..
12-20-2006, 10:20 AM Old
picking grapes in Beaujolais(France)
 
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old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
Posts: 3610
So..let me tell you all..grape picking can be fun..
but it's not an easy thing to do..the owner signs you in..
you get a sleeping accomodation,usally most people used their
own sleeping bag..it was a bunk bed system..comfortable enough..
because in the evening one really gets tired..
in the morning it's early rising..breakfast..baguette(French bread)
with jam or cheese..and coffee..then it's starting towords the place
of action..a tractor took us there..now..everyone got a small curved knife..
and a basket..to put in the grapes..one starts at the bottom
of the hill upwards..in the beginning it's big fun..a dude with a huge
type of basket called *la hotte* in French..walks around to collect
our filled baskets..we all had a joke about an old grandpa...in short
trousers..who picked with us at the start...at the top..we did not joke
anymore with this dude..he finished his row 15 min..before any of us..
he picked grapes for 25 years....so..we learnt our lesson here..
at noon..we were taken back home..for a meal..it was nice to talk to
all these folks of all walks of life..they were tramps..travellers..or even
professional pickers..like the old dude..I guess we all did it for the little
extra money..food at noon..was French..good..the bottle of wine..
was heavy...and went to my head at times...wooohah..red wine..
made me lazy..and we still had to pick the whole afternoon..
we all came back tired..it's working in a bended position whole day long..
the grapes..pick allright..but if it had rained at night..
the bunches became slippery..and picking was no fun then..
we all spent our evenings talking..or going to the one and only local pub..
for a beer..or another glass of wine..
I would suggest to you all..
if you ever get the chance to do a *vendange* please try it out..
it's great fun..you meet people who really enjoy doing this..
after about 8 days picking..well..I had enough of it..
I got payed my wages by the vineyard owner..
and I returned by hitchhiking..to Paris..
where I stayed again in Cathy's flat..for 8 days..
the big adventure towards Africa..was just beginning to take form..
I guess..i was ready for it..it was a big adventure trip anyway...
12-20-2006, 10:27 PM Old
Paris..a city worthwhile to visit..
 
16361
old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
Posts: 3610
Paris..is huge..but a marvelous place..if you know how to discover it..
during my stays in Paris...I went to stroll around day after day..
I made my visa's for Mauretania...and other African countries..
but inbetween..i took time to visit the classics..Eiffel tower..
impressive architecture really..I loved Montmartre,Notre Dame..
use this link for a visit to Paris... http://www.paris-tourisme.com/atoz/index.html
musee de l'Homme is an etnological museum which needs a good visit..
so does the Louvre..Champs Elysees..the little roadside brasseries..
i went one day with Cathy and her dude to Porte the Clignancourt..
a flea market...good strolling..Paris is divided in 20 arrondissements..
I was staying in the 11th..Rue du Folie M?ricourt..just a side street..
just around the corner a bakery(boulangerie)a grocer store...
i bought a piece of bread..some cheese..and set off for the vast Paris..
it needs planning really..it involves subway(metro)as well..
one day..we went to Noisy le Roi..a suburb of Paris..
where Cathy's parents were living..
her Dad was Vietnamese..her mother French...
loveley people they were..they even served Vietnamese food..
i recall nuoc mom(a smelly fish sauce??)by 6 p.m..both Cathy+Christian
finished their jobs..and we spend some time listening to music..
or just talking...but..my days in Paris were ending..
I was gonna go and start my trip towards Barcelona (Spain)
had to cross the whole of France..and some very funny thing happened..
the second day..after I left Paris..will tell you all later....
I intended to cross via Ceuta into Morroco towards Tetouan..
but..it did not work out that way..pity...hair too long...bwaaah..rules?
12-21-2006, 03:46 PM Old
leaving Paris direction Auvergne(France)
 
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old tiger old tiger is offline
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Location: Belgium(Europe)
Posts: 3610
Finally..I packed my rucksack..and left for Porte d'Italie..
Paris got a huge ringroad called boulevard pheriferique..
Porte d'Italie gives acces to the road towards Orleans..
Orleans was not easy to reach that day..I left bit late in Paris..
hitchhiking was not that great as well..got a ride to Etampes..
stood there as well for a while..reached Orleans in the afternoon..
in Orleans I took direction Nevers..it follows the river Loire..
I could not get to Nevers..somewhere around Briare..I got stuck..
and slept somewhere outside in an empty building..it was cold..brr..
Next morning..took my own breakfast..all these trips I carried a small
mini camping gas to make coffee..good thing..a cup of hot coffee..
does wonders to start a cold day..usually my breakfast was nothing
more then a piece of bread with jam or cheese..but it was O.K..
so..this day..started from Briare towards Nevers..I was lucky..
got a ride soon enough..but bit after that..got stuck for a long while..
stood for more then 2 hours on the same spot..got picked up..
and got a ride towards Clermont Ferrand..bit before Vichy..it became
dark..and was looking for a spot to put my sleeping bag..
I saw an empty peasant stable..had to cross under a barbed wire..
it was in fact a shed...with a wagon with hay on..ideal..because..
it's off the ground..and it was bloody cold..next morning..
I got the surprise of my life..i got picked up by the local police..
they came in a jeep...and told me to pack my things..they drove me
to the police station...they really made me look like a fool..
my rucksack was turned upside down on the floor..in a rough way..
my passport and identity controlled..but I was in order of course..
and they treated me as a piece of shit..they made a statement..
that I had trespassed public property..some peasant had seen me..
and reported to the police..they called me names..like tramp..
vagabond..gypsie etc...in fact..they had fun..they were in power..
in their eyes...they just couldn't face the fact..I was a traveller..
in my own way..it's the game of envy of freedom..they lacked..
I kept myself serious..no way to get excited...I had money enough..
so after 3 full hours in that fucking police station..they drove me..
to a railway station...and told me..take a train to next town...
I said O.K..but I did not..they left...and I went back on the road again..
the next ride..I remember...some chick(Helen?)picked me up..
in one of these 2 PK student cars...she drove me to her place where
she stayed with her boy friend..they were hippies at heart..
and gave me shelter...and food..for the night..they lived in Volvic..
village in the Auvergne known for mineral water..close to Riom..
loveley part of France..it even got old volcano craters..
I told them my story of the police..they said..les flics...fuck them..
so..next day..I was gonna try to get towards St.Etienne-Valence...
I will tell you all later on...
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