What I knew about Avignon was only a little song that we have learnt at the secondary school during one lesson in French. „On the bridge of Avignon you dance, dance, dance…” … »

Camels in Bourgogne

It was early in the morning and mist was spreading over all the area of Montceau-les-Mines, almost hiding the surrounding landscape. Lacho showed up and we set off for… I had no idea for where exactly but later it turned out to be some piece of paradise inhabited by cows, horses, ducks, pigs, llamas, alpacas and… camels. … »

Toward France

The morning was misty and it even made attempts to rain a little but that is something absolutely normal for Germany, especially during that season. I walked out of Miroslava’s apartment and set off for the Fair where there is a good place to hitch-hike according to hitchwiki. That was a convenient bus stop but there weren’t any volunteers to stop at such an early hour on Saturday morning. After I have been hanging around about twenty minutes I concluded that it wasn’t meant to be and turned my steps to another place for hitch-hiking – some gas station where the street of the city enters the highway. No matter that on the map that place seemed near (everything seems near on the maps!) I had to walk good 40 minutes, half of them on the grass outside the guardrail, because the road appeared suspiciously like a highway. I didn’t want the police to turn up. When I finally reached the place with my feet soaked because of the wet grass I saw that the gas station was very small one. I had just begun to imagine a loooong waiting when my luck decided to prove me wrong. Just five minutes later the third car that passed took me. A young boy and a girl were going 50 kilometers at my direction. Grrreat. They left me at a big gas station where I stood as large as life with a sign saying Karlsruhe. This time I’ve been waiting for ten minutes and a middle-aged German picked me up but not until Karlsruhe but aaall the way to Freiburg where I was going actually.

The man was educated and intelligent. He told me that he has traveled a lot by car in the western part of Africa. With his tale he managed to kindle my desire to go to Africa. Some thoughts started running through my head about dashing away at that direction when I reached Spain. I asked him the same questions that I had asked the truck-driver but his answers were totally different. – First – he liked a lot France and the people in there. According to him the problems of the truck-drivers proceeded from the French police that was a little strange and tortured them quite a lot.

The reply to my second question – about the Eastern and Western Germans – was a bit more complex. When Germany has been divided the Western Germans has been yearning for the union all the time – to get together again with their brothers beyond the Wall. They would go to them, send them various luxurious staff that couldn’t be find in there, they felt compassion. When the Wall had finally fell and the two parts got re-united suddenly all of them realized how large the gasp between them has become. Not only in reference to mentality and way of thinking but also to the economy. At once it turned out that it was necessary for enormous investments to be made for everything. They started free transmission of labor force to the west. The people who were coming were ready to work for less money just in order to get themselves a job that lacked to the east. That didn’t please at all the Western Germans. Everything comes down to the rule of general validity for all the people – the rich thought that the poor wanted to take something from them and the poor on their behalf thought that the rich neglected them because of their poverty. But things were going to become normalized and equal no matter that to the east life was still cheaper.

We also talked about the equalization among the nations and countries on European scale. According to my driver the current global economy with its hunger for profit gets all the people in the same tracks and patterns, which is a real shame because that way it destroys the national identity of people. About ten years ago the French were a lot more free and relaxed while now they were beginning to look like the Germans.

As we were talking pleasantly we approached Freiburg – first I had decided to go down a little bit before the town itself in order to continue on the highway towards France but I had plenty of time and decided to see one more German town. Unlike its external parts the center has antique architecture and the streets are narrow and paved. The houses are interesting and variegated and a big catherdal rises just in the middle. A market circles around it and people sell fruit and vegetables on it, and clothes and souvenirs as well. No matter that the town was small in size the streets were greatly overcrowded.

I’ve walked around about an hour and decided to go out of town. France is just thirty kilometers away and I decided to continue on some minor roads. I liked a bus stop and started waiting with a sign saying Mulhouse. Just ten minutes later a woman came from behind and started talking to me. She had seen me and stopped her car without me realizing about thirty meters ahead of me. They were going to shop for fresh fish at a big French supermarket about 10 kilometers before Mulhouse. At that part Germany is very beautiful – the Schwarzvald Mountain rises to the left side of the road and to its right side little villages are set in order, cast among the vineyard. The sun was scorching perched on the blue sky – all in all it was idyllic.

They left me at the supermarket that turned out to be more enormous than I had imagined and just 5 minutes later a French man and woman stopped with a clunker and drove me to the centre of Mulhouse. I tried calling Karin with whom I had an arrangement from couchsurfing but her phone gave ringing tone and therefore I decided to go straight to her address. The difference with Germany was visible. The first thing I noticed was that there were different traffic lights for the pedestrians. :) The streets are not as tidy and arranged and I saw even beggars at few places. I had seen them at Frankfurt to but they were hardly visible – they had dignified appearance and if Miroslava hadn’t pointed them out I wouldn’t have noticed them. But those guys in there were just the most ordinary degenerate drunkards. When I saw a few very fat men I thought and to my bewilderment I concluded that I had never seen so many fat people at Germany.

When I called Karin she didn’t pick up her phone again so I waited at the front door of the building. She appeared ten minutes later and we got inside her place. We spent the evening talking about travels. I told her about Bulgaria because she hardly knew anything about it. We ate and the time to sleep had come.

In the morning she took me to the exit of the town. It was dead time on the streets – after all it was Sunday and most people have nothing to do at the street at such an early hour. We bid farewell and I began to wait with a sign A36 – west. Fifteen minutes later one guy that was quite the character and didn’t speak a word in English stopped. He left me at a road junction 20 kilometers on the highway. At that point a whole consecution of errors for the day began.

After I’ve been waiting for 15-20 minutes I decided that was not a suitable place for hitch-hiking. There was a sign saying peage 2000 m, therefore I decided to find the barriers that are much better place. I went on a dirt little road that led me to a small village just on the other side of the highway. After I’ve been wandering through it for half an hour I found a place where I could continue and went out on another dirt road that was going by the highway in the right direction to the correct side. Here I picked up some fallen apples from a tree. About a kilometer and a half later I reached a gas station, I vaulted over the fence and I drew up in line to wait by the exit. The traffic was low. The parking lot was full of trucks that were at stopover because on Sunday they have no right to move.

Most of the cars were full of uncles, aunties, grandmas, grandpas and grandchildren. One hour later I’ve been waiting without a result and decided it would not be bad if I went looking for the above-mentioned barriers. Just then I saw three trucks with a Bulgarian registration. I went to ask if the barriers were far away. The drivers recognized me and took out whisky, beer. They gave me beans with a sausage. In general they saved me from the hunger that I had begun to feel.

According to them the barriers were supposed to be near. They had also seen the sign and therefore I left them and jumped over the fence. I’ve walked about two kilometers on a dirt road through a forest. Then I moved through some reaped corn fields. After that I had to vault over a little gully with muddy and steep banks. Finally I reached minor roads near some villages. I’ve walked for 3 kilometers and I could see no peage. One of the roads was going over the highway and I managed to look ahead – there was nothing in the near two kilometers. It was already an afternoon and I was going nowhere. I made up my mind to go back to the trucks so that I could go with one of them when they left in the morning. One of them was going to Spain and could take me. Well, here we go again on the same road back to the gas station and through the same obstacles as well. I spent the rest of the evening accompanied by the drivers and in the evening I squeezed myself at one of the cabins. We watched a movie on the laptop and I went to sleep on the second bed for the night.

At five in the morning I got up and moved over at the truck of that driver who was going to Spain. It turned out that he was from my area – from Gorna Oryahovitsa. At the beginning I was wondering whether not to go all the way to Spain with him but I decided that there was no point in hurrying. And I wanted to go the village where a Bulgarian guy has invited me.

A truck is like a movable house to the drivers. They spend 3 months in it, almost without interruption, and they furnish it completely for that long stay. Tinned food, preserved jars, carrots, garlic, onion, flat sausages, dishes and anything you can think of. Besides there was a satellite antenna and a television with the help of which you could watch Bulgarian television. That was a good way to fill up the long stopovers without movement.

Three hours and a half later we reached a gas station to the little town Montceau les Mines where I had to wait for Lachezar to appear in order to drive me to the little village I would never be able to find by myself.
But that’s another story.
So far – long live all the truck drivers!
And those who drive cars too!


I didn’t have the intention to go to Frankfurt because it seemed to me too far north and away from the route I had chosen for my trip, but Miroslava, who I had virtually met in Photo Forum, insisted on me coming and I decided that it would have been nice to meet her and see one city more. … »



That was probably the only certain point of the European part of the trip because my cousin has lived here for 5 years and I haven’t seen her for just the same amount of time. I felt quite nervous about how I would enter this huge city and find the address but, as I wrote in the previous story, Gaby and Claudia solved my problems at a blow dropping me right at the address. … »

Bulgaria - Germany


During all those months of preparation and dreams many times I have been thinking of some sort of official seeing off. I thought that I would announce it, call some journalists, all in all – I imagined that I would deal with the whole organisation myself. What really happened was nothing like how I have thought it would be. … »

The beginning

Early today (October 15) Ivan set off to the Serbian border. Now he probably shivers with cold in his tent somewhere in Serbia. We are waiting for his first impressions, tales and photos.

Before the beginning

10 months passed. They passed in waiting, making plans, changing the plans and changing the changes. Throughout all that months it seemed to me that there was too much time left to wait, but the last month was the opposite. The time now seemed too short. … »