Hitchhiking From Hamburg to Amsterdam

So I didn’t want to pay 86 Euros to take a train to Amsterdam and 50+ Euros for a bus.  I was informed about the following website: www.mitfahrzentrale.de

This website connects people that plan on driving between cities with people that need rides to/from those cities… It’s like organized hitchhiking!  Two guys that were making a journey from Hamburg to Amsterdam that day… awesome… and they just asked for 30 Euros to help with gas.  Save twenty-something dollars?  Yup!  Perfect.

So my new CouchSurfer friend, Robert, gave them a call [since I don’t speak German] and arranged for me to meet them. I met Tom and Henning at the Hamburg central station.  If only I knew what an adventure I was in store for… What a trip – literally and figuratively.

I see the camper pull into the lot and flag them down.  I got into the camper and met Tom who sounded like Borat and Groney [Henning] who is Leonardo DiCaprio’s identical twin.  The camper is something straight from the 1970s.  I have a seat while they talk to other possible hitchers.  Two others are along for the ride.

We soon start our journey – the five of us: Tom, Groney, Marc, Julia, and me.  Well, the camper broke down twice and Tom tried to fix it with a Q-Tip.  I don’t understand what he was trying to do, but then again, I know nothing about how to fix a car so I’m not going to say anything.  Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure you can’t fix an old camper that won’t start with a Q-Tip.  It was funny to watch, however, because he would stick the Q-Tip in the engine, it would come out disgusting and black, and then he would mime putting it in his hear, pulling it out dirty, looking at it, and being disgusted.  Comical, yes, but not fixing the problem.

Ok so we get rolling around and the thing is backfiring every 20 seconds.  Should it do that?  Marc, Julia, and I shoot each other confused looks but the thing is moving so we’re not going to say anything.

In route, the cabinet that is full of random clothes and toys started to smoke!  What?!  How?!  We frantically pull the clothes and toys out to see where the source of the smoke is, but we could not figure it out… there is nothing in that cabinet that would cause such a thing… but we all know what we saw… and smelled!

Side note:  Tom and Groney had so many clothes and toys because they’ve been on the road, collecting, and reselling.

Ok, so… no more smoke.  We shrug it off and continue driving… on the Autobahn!  I might be able to run faster than this thing is moving and we have it on the AUTOBAHN?!  People are flying past us… some mad because we’re so slow but most people pass us pointing and laughing.  That’s cool.  I love to make people happy.  Laugh away, Germany!

So as Groeny is dancing like crazy to electro music in the passenger seat singing “fun fun fun on the Autobahn,” I’m having an in depth conversation with Julia about how she is able to see fairies, unicorns, and angels.

Apparently, they live in other dimensions and on other planets in our galaxy.  We humans, live in the 3rd dimension and are only beginning to explore other energies and dimensions where other creatures live.  Unicorns live in the 7th dimension – on another planet.  There are 12 dimensions in total.

Speaking of expanding ones mind and exploring other energies, Mark thinks he can clear my stuffy nose by meditating and sending positive energy [and apparently clear nose energy] my way.  Sweet, dude… try it!  He meditates for a few minutes and then opens his eyes and says that he sent it out and that I should receive it in about a half hour.  What is this like energy email?!  I told him that I would let him know if it worked, but that it might not mean much since I just used nasal spray.

I made a sandwich of the food on board which consisted of turkey, salami, Swiss cheese, onion dip, some sort of [what looked like] meat spread, Miracle Whip, and strawberry jelly.  It’s a good thing that I really do eat everything [with one exception – Danish bread].

So as I wait to receive my “clear nose energy” and eat the sandwich, it starts to rain… which is no big deal in any other vehicle but, in this one, the sunroof began to leak all over Mark.

What more could possibly be wrong with this camper?!

OK so we broke down AGAIN… and this time it’s for real.  Tom’s Q-tip is no longer fixing anything and they don’t know what to do.  Henning tried to call the German equivalent of AAA but took a lot of convincing to get them out there.  We hung out on the side of the Autobahn for awhile and waited… and someone finally came and fixed it… but it wasn’t fixed enough to make it to Amsterdam.  It was just fixed enough to make it to the next small town and wait until a shop opens up in the morning.

Mark and Julia decided to bail at this point and call a taxi.  It cost them quite a lot to get from the town, Enter, to Amsterdam so I decided to stay with the camper.  I mean, I was with them in the first place to save money, so money I will save… no taxi for me!

I’m exhausted and nothing is getting accomplished tonight.  Tom, Henning, and I sleep in the camper on a little nothing side street in Enter.

The next morning, I woke up in the camper with Tom and Henning in a town called Enter.  They were trying to figure out how to get the German AAA [the equivalent of] to come and tow the camper else where.  This is taking way too long.  I need to take matters into my own hands.  I tell them that I’m leaving.  Tom and I go to the house that we were parked [or, rather, broken down] in front of and there was a guy outside doing yard work.  I explained the situation and asked him if there was a gas station nearby that I could go to in order to hitch hike out of here.  He pointed me in the right direction but then told me it was too far to walk.  After offering me a cup of coffee, he offered to drive me to the gas station on the main highway.  I said goodbye to Tom and Henning and went with the nice man.

Long hitching story short [too late?], it took a camper, three cars, and two days, but I FINALLY made it to Amsterdam!


  1. Lindsay,

    I admire your spirit and am jealous of your adventures! Many years ago, (make that many, many years ago) I hitched from Barcelona to Madrid and it was one of the great adventures of my life. Thanks for all your wonderful, colorful stories! THIS is what travel is!
    I look forward to reading more and hearing all about Mallorca!

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanne! Hitchin’ truly is amazing, isn’t it?! People think I’m crazy, and hey, they’re probably 90% right. But life is an adventure, and I intend to live that adventure to the fullest! :) Thanks for reading!

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