I Am Sterdam

Honestly, I would like to order everything here with some chronology, but well..
I don’t like and order and chronology.

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I can say that travel to Amsterdam was my the biggest adventure, so far. You can say that it’s nothing, you can say that it’s a lot, but first I’ll show it in numbers:

6, 2145, 48, 21, 4, 2, 515, 300+100

Explanation:

6 days of trip

2145 kilometers

48 hours in the car (or not)

21 stopped cars (something about 21, I don’t remember exactly)

4 crisises

2 places to sleep

515 taken photos

300+100 spend zlotys on whole trip (why “+” I’ll try explain later)

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I will try to stay with some more intresting stories and facts, because I don’t want to make you bored.

STAGE I WEJHEROWO-BERLIN

dsc_6709We set off from Wejherowo at 7 am. During first three hours we were living with thought that cigarette is bringing cars, because every time when my friend lighted a cigarette some car has stopped. She wasted about 5 of them.
But, I think we were too confident, because after 3 hours problems have started. No highway exit in a direction to Berlin from that part of Slupsk, awsome people, that could take us only for 30 km, or almost abandoned petrol station, with two weird guys who were looking at you all the time.
Nothing big, everyone who were ever hotchhiking knows that very well.
During that stage I had even possobility of playing with CB- radio to find us a transport abroad.
And here bigger problem has started. Driver disembarked us  on that part of Szczecin that no one was going to Berlin. It took us three ours to get to town called Kolbaskowo. Before trip we had checked two places there that were good to catch the cars. But. Goofy girls hadn’t checked date of these articles. They were overdue. A little.
First recommended place- one car every 5 minutes.
Second one- petrol station with fence and 3 trucks, that were going to Berlin, but in the morning.
So, we went back to the place number one, stayed on both side of the road to catch cars from all directions.
We were staying like that for 1,5 hour. Sunset, we on some derelict, I close to crying.
Next to my friend car is stoping, not first one, so I am trying to not have big hope, my companion wave to me with big enthusiasm, I am looking at that car, German license plates, I don’t know if it’s German or Polish, so I’m muttering some polish “hello” and getting to the car, on a back sit, next to very nice hanged elegant shirts.
It figured out that man was, I call that, german Polish, Polish born in Germany. Way to Berlin was very quiet, there were only few questions and few answers. But.
Man disembarked us on Aleksander Platz, helped us to take our bags from a trunk.
We are thanking him, of the corner of my eye I’m seeing out like his hand is going to his pocket and then he’s putting something to my palm very quickly. He’s saying “for ice-cream”, smiling and going back to the car.
For a minute we were staying there with our eyes and mouths wide open, watching a moving car. When we finaly decided to look at the bill, it figured out that man bought us the most expensive ice-cream in our life.
I had 50 euros in ma hand.

STAGE II BERLIN-AMSTERDAM
From Berlin, after party in alternative district previous evening, so nearly alive, we set off at 6 am. Full of new energy, despite that the easiest part of trip was behind us. In Germany the only one possibility to catch the car were petrol stations.
So, that way, we were stoping driver after driver. For example three german guys, who decided to teach us how to hitchhike in Germany, german girl that decided to find us a tansport with waking up truck drivers on a parking, or professor that told us a story about his visit on Red Lanterns in Amsterdam that someone had threated him with HIV needle. The same professor was driving with speed 180 km/h, keeping driving wheel with two fingers, during rolling a cigarette. It made me really close to heart attack.
But the hero of the funniest and the most scary story was some italian guy. Starting with that when he couldn’t understand us but anyway he wanted to take us somewhere. No matter where. So we agreed. My friend wasn’t very typical hitchhiker, she had a bag on wheels with her. Before she took that bag to the car, the driver started driving. I saw her scary face and the bag going next to the car, it was enough to close my mouth because of shock. But fortunately Monika was brave and she took bag to the car before it reached 100 km/h speed.
But because of the same driver we had also a dreadful time. Why? We wanted to get off close to Magdeburg, but man, moving Magdeburg was still driving, turning and taking another exits. During that 10 minutes the only thing that we were doing was terryfied texting “f**k, where is he going?”, “tell him something!”.
Finaly driver stopped on some parking, we got off with false smiles, said thank you and stayed in a place, that the best title for is “in the middle of nowhere”. We didn’t even know on which highway we are.img_1529
Thanks God for paper map and few nice drivers. We figured out that we are on a totaly bad road, on the road to Lipsk, south. We needed to go west. We said that it would be better to be on the other side, to go back to Magdeburg.  So we hurdled a fence, bushes and with that miracle changed side of the road, hiding and cowering before drivers on a highway.
There, after two hours another crisis, we saw that language is not always necessery if you are desperate, and that in life are moments that you can forget about your proud and dignity. There have one man in a truck appeared, that stopped after seeing my friend’s sad face and hands make in “please”. He didn’t know word in English, but he said “Hanover” and it was enough to make our smiles and thumbs went up.
Third crisis began 100 km before Amsterdam. Heavy rain, sunset coming and petrol station on wilderness.
We were waiting one hour to ask a polish guy, who was fixing his car. He looked like one of these mongols in historic books. But after hundreds of cars that haven’t stopped we were out of options. And after that we had to wait another hour and we started our last part of that stage.
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STAGE III AMSTERDAM- GDANSK
We decided to go back straight to Gdansk, because we didn’t have power to looking for some place to sleep in Berlin.
Problems have started already at the begining. We wanted to get up at 5, we got up at 8. On special place to hitchhike (that our second host had showed us) we got at 9.
Place that wasn’t actually good, first car stopped after 2 hours and he were going in our direction, but along the coast, not straight like we wanted to, but we made a quick decision to go in.
Next was a dutch guy with car, that was locking after he get off the car. He even warned us “don’t be afraid, car will locked after I get off, but you can normally open that fom inside”. After that he said that we have to be hungry and bought us sandwiches, which cost 6 euros each.
Then moment of last and I think the biggest crisis came. Man left us on a dutch-german border, just beside some police or border guards station, I don’t remember what was that exactly. But I remember exactly that we spend there 5 hours with police car coming every half an hour and waiting there 5 minutes. We had even one control. At the end we were even counting time with patrols not with minutes.
And then, one more time we saw that desperation can eclipse common sense, and we got in two trucks going in the same diraction. Fortunately gentlemen had contact through CB-radio all the time, so we could be sure that for then we were both alive.
When we were close to Berlin I surprised myself thanking gods for polish license plates.
Because, what is intresting, the further west the harder is stop the car. If you were ever hitchhiking in Europe, you should agree.
img_1655We scrawled big inscription “POLAND. COMPATRIOT IN NEED”, and after less than minute man in white mini-van stopped. I idolize him to this day and I will be to the end of my life. Starting with that, that he stopped all cars on a exit from really bg petrol station, swearing under his breath, and tying to open back doors. He were going to the Gorzow (more on a south), but we said that now the most important is to be in Poland.
It was first car, that I wasn’t afraid to sleep in, okay it was only half an hour, but there is many things that can happen during a half an hour.
By the way he turn on some polish heavy metal with swear after swear and maybe during third song he realised and turn it off with words “f**k girls! why you’re not saying anything!” and he changed a CD. He was so cute.
He said that the best would be if leave us just behind a border, but when we moved Szczecin, he were still driving. He was trying to find some transport using CB-radio, with words “transport to Gdansk is needed, two girls, children still”.
When he stopped on a petrol station 60 km before Koszalin, we start to thinking if we should tell him that we will stay there, he took a roundabout road anyway.
But he came back very excited and said that maybe we would go in some bbus to Wejherowo, but unfortunately passengers disagreed.
So he drive another 20 km, found some petrol station 24/7 with restaurant and with regreting in his voice said that he could take us to Gdansk, but he have to be in Poznan in the morning.
So we spend three hours before sunrise eating dumplings, spending our last euros and watching some stupid polish TV shows.
Then in almost all clothes that we had in our bags (at 4 am, it was 8 degrees Celcius), we catched our last transport to Slupsk. There we decided to take a train because we were really, really exhausted.
And this is how our travel have ended.

Few words about Amsterdam.

Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is NOT city of plans. Despite that is planned and arranged perfectly, if you want to get around according to some plan, you’ll failed.
Amsterdam is a city that man want to be lost in. Where you can hanging around for hours and still discovering new places. Or you can still finding the same one. Sometimes you can even desperately running away from some places and they will catch you anyway.
Well, all roads lead to Rome.
In my case, all roads lead to Red Lanterns…
A’propos if you have some weird erotic loves, you don’t have to be worie anymore. In Red Lanterns you can find everything. From anorexis to McDonald’s children, from albonos to blacks, from women to men that looks like women.
And bikes. This is city where you stop caring about cars and you start be afraid of these two-wheels monsters that only waiting to catch you on the corner.
Amsterdam has its own charm.
I cannot called it MY place, but is for sure worth to see.

Thing that you have to do for sure in Amsterdam is bike trip, because then you can really feel atmosphere of that place.
But check the weather first.

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Thing that you couldn’t find in a book guide is story of a gentleman called Coenraad van Beuningen and his house with bloody paintings on 216 Amstel.

Another worth to try think is buying some little lunch in a shop, sit by some little canal and wait for some tourist ship. Tourists with big smiles will waving to you like to animals in a zoo. Especially chinese tourists.
Especially you should do this when you are there during some weekend and you see lot of hen parties and stag nights. Watching men and women drunk on boats is really funny and fascinating.
Especially I can recommend that for girls.
Especially when 8 drunk guys, in that 4 really good,  are screaming to you to jump, that they will catch you.

In that place I would like to also recommend you Couchsurfing, even because of very late searching we had found places to sleep. Even two.
But one thing I have to tell you- be careful with nudists, because watching naked guy in the morning who’s covering with a curtain from people on the street isn’t plessure.
I will also tell you a quick story about our second host.
Day that we were moving was really strict planned. When we arrived there we just wanted to leave our bags and go to the centre. But when we came host told us to sit on a couch and said that he’s just making a dinner, when we said that actually we are not hungry, he said very seriously “I’m not gonna eat alone”. So a little scared we were sitting on a couch and thanking that we can open a juice ourselves. Before dinner was done he sat with us and turn on some dutch tv show. He was laughing and peeking on us every time. We were responding with smiles, but after few times I said that we don’t understand what is that about.
And I regretted that just after.
He explained us EXACTLY what was it about.
And during the dinner we were talking about polich foreign policy. What else we could talking about?

Thanks that you’ve read to the end, I hope it wasn’t so hard and I got your interest for a few minutes. I’m really surprised that I remember so much.

And sorry again for mistakes.

XOXO,

C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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