Saturday, January 22, 2011

Turkey. Istanbul: mussles, kitties and Turks

So, where were we? Ah, right - drunk at the Turkish border, having beers and jumping on a king size hotel bed (that's how rock stars\super cool travellers should act, right?). So, Thursday morning greeted us with huge hangovers. Luckly, our bulgarian friend took us to the border as he promised last night.
So we crossed the border at a perfect time (around noon) and only waited for about an hour for a ride to the first bigger city (Edirne). 
We got a ride by 2 Turks with a van/ marshrutka who did not speak any language that either of us know. So they let us in the very center of Edirne, at a bus station where busses to Istanbul go because they only understood that we want to get there.
So, we were walking out of the city, swearing on them and on hangover and on all the hills and basically on whole life when we met those guys again. This time we managed to explain to them that we were going by hitchhiking. Apparently, they were also heading to Istambul in one hour!!
They took us for a lunch and put us and our backpack in the back of the van  (where different goods usually are being carried) and the ride began. In 20 km they decided to take a siesta and slept for about 40 min. and after that - another stop for tea...(p.s. Andy got "upgraded" and got to sit with the guys in the front on a chair, while Inga continued lying in her sleeping bag in the back of the marshrutka).
Anyways, we reached Istambul and Sarka's place, had some delicious Czech-made Turkish food and some beers and a good night sleep.
Friday. Woke up at noon, had a nice walk around Istanbul, almost adopted super cute kitty,  later had a fun night of fun (although booze is super duper expensive here!!), got ripped off by some little mother f---er when we were buying mussles from him in the middle of the night...
Saturday. Got home at 4.30 AM, so woke up around 3 PM. had delicious chicken kebab and ayran for brunch, and plan for the night - Czech vodka on the seaside.
Leaving on Sunday. TBC.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

24 hours in Bulgaria (it still goes on..)

So..As you know fro m previous post, we left Sofia. Actually it took us more than 3 hours to get out of Sofia on the right way (thanks to the weird woman in the hostel reception and construction on the main road in this city..
But anyways, we got on the main road and got a ride within half an hour.
The ride we got, was from the former General Counsel of Bulgaria for the USSR.
Now, he has his own business, for small pet food(parrots, rabbits, ect..), which he exports to a lot of different countries(Brazil, Mexico, Holland, Syria, Hong Kong, ect...).
He brought us almost brought us almost the whole way to the Turk border and fed us. And tomorrow, he is going to take us the rest of the way to the Turkish border. So hopefully we can make it to Istanbul tomorrow and be to Sakartvelo within the week!

Na zdrove!
Andrew & Inga

(Quickfoot is wasted. He went to bed already)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

100 zlots, Georgians on the way and 24 hours in Serbia

as we and Quickfoot were kinda lazy last week, no new post was written..Sorry..Now short summary what we had experienced after Warsaw..
We left Karolina's place on Thursday afternoon and after 1,5 hours we got into nice hitchhiking spot. Less than half an hour and we got a lift by one middle aged pole. He's working in recycling business, is a punk rock/heavy rock lover, had a band of his own in youth...Also he's an Jehovah witness but luckily no topics about religion were touched in his car. But the guy did surprise us a lot - when leaving us on the roadside he just gave us 100 zlots: "You don't have polish money, so it will be useful for you. Maybe one day, when I'll be without money, someone will give it to me", he said before he left. <..>
In Krakow - only one night with Marzena and her sister. Next day - trip to Brno. To make long story short (as nothing super interesting happened except super long waiting hours at a border) we reached Brno at midnight. Then our team had to face another challenge: Czech hospitality...Beer, home-made wine and tequila made our evening super nice and next morning accordingly bad&hard...
On Saturday evening we found ourselves in one theater closing party: live music (actors were performing old Czech pop songs) and we met Mamuka - Georgian from Ajara who lives already 4 years in Brno!!! It was so nice to hear "Gaumarjos" pronounced by native speaker.. Then another party, wandering in the streets for "Non-Stop" and finally sleep (gosh, traveling is kinda exhausting..)
Sunday...Ride almost to Budapest, then some waiting and last 20 kilometers - Budapest, here we are!! We were hosted there by David (Hungarian by nationality but hospitable as pure Georgian).
Getting out of Budapest (after promises to ourselves to come back here again and spend at least 1 week here) was pain in the ass. Riding back'n'forth in the suburbs took almost until dusk. Then one guy stopped and brought us to the Serbian border (although originally he was going 60 km shorter).
So we left EU on Monday evening - at a border we had to face unfriendly looks of border guys and their questions about our destination in Serbia (it was kinda tempting though to make a small lie and tell them that we'd probably be going to Kosovo..) etc. But at least hitchhiking was easy and we made to Novi Sad as we had planned before.
In Novi Sad we stayed with bunch of Hungarian students (Hungarians are huge ethnic minority in North Serbia):
We had a few beers with our hosts and had a good nights sleep.
Next day we got out on the road and got a ride no problem to just outside Belgrade, then we waited about an hour til we got another one from there to about 50km from Nis. After that... We waited for 3 hours in massive fog and had just given up and were walking to find a hotel when we heard one last car coming from behind and Andy turned, kind of as a joke, and the guy pulled over! He was Bulgarian and was headed all the way from there to Sofia! So, we got a ride the whole way there.
Now, today we are going to try to get all the way to Istanbul. Hopefully, a truck will stop quickly for us and we'll get there in good time.

Until Istanbul!

Andrew, Inga and Quickfoot.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warsaw and Why we love latvians

Hey everyone,

Quickfoot and his team were not so quick as expected: it took us 2 days to reach the capital of Poland. Short summary of our first days. 
Monday. It took us about 2 hours to get a ride from Vilnius. Then we got stuck in the very beginning of Kaunas. But 2 friendly guys gave us a ride for few km and we got stuck. AGAIN. At that point it already got dark. But after about 1.5 hour of waiting on the roadside, latvian truck stopped and brought us to the border. Here no luck again and in the end of the day we found ourselves in some truckstop hotel. 60 zloty for a bed and good night sleep. (Althought we stayed in 2 person room, but booked only one bed, so it was kinda forbidden to use another one. Strange but funny). 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Before leaving

Our friend likes posing
Quickfoot Freshherring climbs on top of Inga's backpack

Leaving today!

Hello our dear friends and followers!
Today we leave on our journey across eastern europe, from Lithuania to Georgia.
Christmas and New Year have been wonderful here in Lithuania, but now we must set out and thumb our way across frozen (but not so cold now!) Europe, to Georgia.

Due to circumstances, we have been unable to start from Klaipeda as we originally intended, we're going to start straight from Vilnius instead.
Our penguin friend, Quickfoot Freshherring, has gotten all his bags packed and is impatiently waiting for us to get our things in order so we can get going and make it to Warsaw by the evening.

So, this is all for now, we shall try our best to keep everyone updated and Quickfoot will be taking plenty of photos and giving us insights along the way so be sure to check back often to keep up to date!

Andrew and Inga and Quickfoot,
The Thumbs4penguins team.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


More than a week ago we posted bunch of messages in forums: cities and countries that we'll be passing. (in Brno our post began long discussion about enviromental issues, CS values etc...:)

And right now (thanks to fellow couchsurfers) we can expect couch in Nis, Serbia (Nenad, we are coming!!), Plovdiv and Kardjali in Bulgaria, maybe in Istambul.

And of course – visiting dear EVS friends Karolina, Misha and Klarka (Warsaw, Krakow and Brno) – is a must.

The exact start date and whole itinerary is not quite clear yet: Inga is changing her passport at the moment, it should be done until the 6th of January (the latest). But Andrew will be in Lithuania next Tuesday (21st) , so we will start working on exact dates...Hitchiking in winter is a bit more complicated – you need to plan everything more carefully, if you do not wish to freeze your ass outside during the night.

Sleeping bags, warm clothes, gloves, hats, coats – everything is being bought/prepared at the moment.

So, that would be for today. Don't get cold, (Vilnius is freezing – around -16 at the moment; +10 in Tbilisi)and wait for new updates!!

Inga and Andrew