Hitchhiking from Romania to Germany
I was hitchhiking from Romania to Germany because I needed to get to Memmingen Airport quickly for my return flight home to Ireland. I had began this journey in Istanbul and will describe my journey from the Romania/Hungary border at Nădlac to Memmingen Airport via the lovely Budapest.
I walked across the border at Nădlac after hitchhiking a ride there with a local Romanian guy. I should of approached the car’s at the border queueing to cross but I reckoned I could just stand with the thumb up on the other side. A bad decision really as this border proved to be a difficult one to hitchhike.
Upon crossing the border by foot (no issues or search) I began thumbing on the other side immediately. There was a long line of truck drivers queued to cross the border into Romania and a few crossing into Hungary but all of them waved me off. I suppose it was getting late (around 6pm) and they were planning on napping. Many car’s with German registrations passed but none would stop, most occupants looked Turkish also and I have had luck travelling with Turks but people seemed wary here.
The reason for this must of been the amount of Gypsys at the border in French and Spanish registration Tranist vans. They were collecting kids and sending kids back to Romania it seemed but for some reason the adults weren’t going to cross the border. From here in Hungary they could get back to France or Spain without crossing a border so the likely-hood was that they were iillegal living in the Schengen area. This created an air of suspicion around the border. There is also a petrol station a kilometre from the border but it was relatively quiet. So I stood at the border for 3 hours with a sign reading BP for Budapest.
Eventually a Hungarian guy pulled over, he was in his late thirties and was happy to bring me to Buda, he told me all the stories of his life as a hobo travelling the world. He had worked in Israel, Spain, England and France just to name a few. Don’t know what I would of done if it wasn’t for him.
Overall Rating : Bad spot, dosen’t see much useful traffic. I reckon I got lucky considering I arrived late.
Waiting Time : 3 Hours (Budapest)
Once I arrived in Budapest late I rang a Hungarian friend of mine, she agreed to meet up and I stayed a couple nights.
When it came time to head for Germany I was hungover, like every time I wake up in Budapest. I headed for the petrol station/Mcdonalds. This was my second time hitching here and by far the more successful. The more you hitchhike the easier it gets. Description on how to get here.
After about 10 minutes of standing around a Hungarian kid approached me of around 13 years of age. He asked of I spoke English and chatted a while. He asked his Dad to take me to Gyor with them, I was impressed with the kids confidence.
Overall Rating : Best option for hitchhiking from Budapest to Vienna, Bratislava or Balaton direction.
Waiting Time : 10 mins (Gyor)
I got dropped off beyond Gyor at the first petrol station (my second time here), a spot frequented by hitchikers. I soon found another ride with a Hungarian man who spoke English. He told me the story of the time he Hitchiked across East Germany to Berlin as a teenager in the seventies. He lived in Austria now so his kids would learn German aswell as Hungarian and English (from him) growing up. He believed his effort to make them trilingual was a gift to them.
Overall Rating : Good, there are no busy petrol stations after the Austria border so getting a direct lift to Vienna is highly recommended and worth a wait.
Waiting Time : 20 mins (Austria)
My Hungarian driver took me past the Austria border and to an area where truck drivers park off the motorway about 25km from Vienna. Put “ASFINAG Raststation Fischamend, 2401 Fischamend, Austria” into Google maps and you will find the exact spot. It was dark now and I couldn’t see anywhere to camp, it was a little car park beside the motorway with toilets and a couple Gypsys. Not sure what I could do I struck some luck when a Swizz car pulled in, and out got a man in his forties.
I asked him as nicely as I could to take me further because I didn’t want to be stuck here. I was lucky he spoke English given the fact he had his two young kids with him and a car full of luggage. He asked if he could see my passport (never happened before) but then its rare people with young children collect hitchhikers. Once he checked over it and was satisfied he rearranged his luggage so I could fit in, we chatted for a while but I soon fell asleep.
I woke up outside Memmingen Airport. Seen as the guy was driving to Zurich he was passing by Munich and Memmingen anyway. I really struck lucky here. If anything this highlights the importance of knowing what registration cars to approach right away.
Overall Rating : OK spot, not recommended as such but it has potential if you want to skip Vienna. Arrive early as there is nowhere to camp.
Waiting Time : 20 mins (Germany)