Well here it goes. We finally have to get on the road and start moving if we want to make it to Berlin. The distance is not huge but hey…the earlier you start…the earlier you get there… Haven´t you ever heard your father say these kind of things?
We take a train to go to a big cross road where it is supposed to be easy to fetch a ride with Bartek, one of the coolest AEGEE members I have ever known, and almost inmediately run into problems. The ticket controler wants to give us a fine because of some crazy shit about student cards not counting in Poland…
After Barteks negotiations we get to Zielno Gora and Bartek speaks to a friend of his, who is a taxi driver, to bring us up to a good hitch hiking place out of the village in a superb spot! He only lets us pay him for a long drive the equivalent of 3 euros..wtf The driver said he liked us and our courage (although I dont know how the heck he understood us..)
And finally we were on our own! We draw a sign asking for a direct journey to Berlin. After waiting MAYBE 1 minute and only 4 or 5 cars passing, a young couple, who had parked a little further came to us and asked us if we were also going to the Woodstock festival But…..wasn´t Woodstock in ENgland or something?! Well, seems not. Poland has its very own FREE ENTRANCE Woodstock festival RIGHT ON THE BORDER with Deutschland! Seems to get crazy crowded(well…its free isnt it!?).
So its in our general direction, although we would be dropped off in Poland still. Ok whatever! We get in the car with the Rockers, who we learned were named Lina and Pawel and their family(in another car, behind us). We talk about all kinds of things and Lina translates all we say to the driver, her father.
20 minutes later, where they were going to drop us off, the father decides to bring us a bit further because we seem friendly. Ok, no problem for us! The further the better! 10 minutes later they all invite us to a Barbecue they are preparing at the festival itself! AWESOME!
A while later we arrive at the place where the festival will take place. The whole place seems under construction. I have NEVER seen so many portable toilets (not even in Ribadesella, here in the North of Spain!). The festival promised to be awesome…they even asked us to stay with them for the festival….pffffffff Polish hospitality people….
We get to the barbecue table and feel a little bit like the zoo atraction. After all we are the only people who dont speak Polish. We are starved so we eat wurst, ribs, pasta salad and all kinds of stuff they throw at us(don´t ever say no to food when you are traveling cheap and you dont know where or when you will eat again!!!!). Just one thing I still don´t understand about Poland…whats all this eating with pickles all about? ahhahahah
Then came to amazing, solemn part. The whole family was there because Lina´s uncle had died. He was the nº1 Woodstock enthusiast. First one there, last one out! Known by everybody as the festival´s local celebrity. By the photo I was shown, to me he seemed a live-as-I-want-to rocker-hippie. I´m sure he would have had 1000 incredible stories to talk about.
A huge stone was set where he always lay camp and we were there as his ashes were thrown into the wind and on his camp site. I couldn´t believe we were living this. The family gave us their Woodstock shirts as a present so that we could fit into the group and always remember that moment. I know I wont forget…
After some more eating, talking, trying to make me say a POlish killer toung twister and saying hi to another 10 rockers we said we would have to get going. Sad! They wanted us to stay and we were asked to stay for the night…and get a real Polish dinner cooked for us. My brain did like this: ” ———————————“. I had no idea what to do. I had promised Niko to be in Berlin that night…but…this was one hell of an oportunity!
After some discusing, and although I always say “take everything offered while traveling” we had to refuse. It kind of broke my heart…because we had spent so many great hours with these people and they had already given us a ride, food, beer, information, shirts, ice-cream(mmmm), some coffee and provisions for the way. Oh yeah, and one of the most(or the most?) amazing hitch hiking experience I have ever had.
After saying goodbye, which takes long when everybody wants to with you luck and make you write down numbers to call if you get any problem we got on the way and soon we hit the German border. Eveli, Lina, Pawel and I started to joke about not seeing any Panzers yet. Germany doesn´t like jokes…so a couple of minutes later…eins, zwei, drei…POLIZEI. Sheisse! They stopped us for 20minutes. What the hell were they doint with our ID cards so long in their damn van? But then again. 3 Polish rockers with and Estonian girl and a Dutch born, Spanish nationality guy…in a car…all laughing our heads off. Yeah..ok,,, I would´ve stopped us aswell!
Once dropped off it took us only 10 minutes to get another car. We were getting closer and coser to our destination! Our driver was a German lady who talked to us about east Germany and how people lived back then(ok, fine, I asked her all about it). Interesting to hear somebody say that she liked living back then better..life was more simple, people had less but were more content, there was less ambition and greed, less working hours, more time for the family, etc. She just forgot the part about the Stasi(secret Police) I guess. Still it was curious and reminds me that not everything is completely black or white.
Next stop was with Silvi and her mother. She just recently came back from Australia and New Zealand, after a kind of “gap year”. She talked perfect english and gave us a great conversation, telling us how after such an experience she wanted to travel more and do more things, although she was going to start her physical education studies now in Germany and wouldn´t be able to move around much. Australia, huh….?
Finally we were in Berlin! We went to Niko´s place and discovered two things: first, that you need a masters degree to understand the train/metro/bus connections, and second, that Niko had to stay untill late at work.
It was already getting late so we ran into a kebab store(Germany´s most usual building) and stayed for some hours drinking beer. Sad? Yeah…maybe. At least the owner gave us some free French Fries(Turkish hospitality aswell guys!)
We waited infront of Niko´s door and I quickly fell asleep right there on the ground. I woke up being kicked on the foot..WHAT THE HELL? And there was Niko, so many years later, towering over us! Finally! In Berlin, with an old friend and still in zombie mode…..WHERE IS THE BED!?