Enjoying a spectacular sunset next to a surprisingly clean canal near Groppenbruch, Dortmund. The German Ruhr area is not easily hitchhikable. Just too many highways!
Berlin Reichstag. Welcome afternoon nap after an early start with temperatures reaching 33 degrees.
Magnificent sunset during the ferry passage between the German village of Puttgarden and the Danish town of Rødbyhavn. Hello Scandinavia!
Entire day of sightseeing in Copenhagen, with this Nyhavn neighbourhood as one of the highlights.
Lovely afternoon in my friend Dagmar’s backyard. Barbecue, beers and great international company. Aarhus is quite a nice city!
Typical Danish breakfast with Kammerjunkere and yoghurt.
I arrived in Frederikshavn, northern Denmark, in the evening and bought a ferry ticket in the deserted terminal for the following morning. Time to find a suitable bush behind which I could pitch my tent!
The last 2 hours from the 9 hour long crossing from Denmark to Oslo were absolutely magnificent. The ferry maneuvred between the Oslofjords (check the map!) resulting in these landscapes on both sides.
Meeting up with friends from home. Oli and Lisa were interrailing through Scandinavia and we coincided on a campsite in Oslo. Excellent occasion for a delicious barbecue.
After a horrible first half of the day (7 hours of hitchhiking without any luck in 30+ degrees) a lovely Swedish girl picked me up, drove me 300km to her house in Stockholm, let me take a shower, washed my clothes and then dropped me in this incredible natural reserve in Nacka, right outside of the Stockholm city centre.
After meeting up with Oli and Lisa again (they did Oslo – Stockholm by train, I hitchhiked) I saw my first rain after 12 days of 30+ degree weather. But what a storm. Our shelter almost flooded within 30 min.
Evening ferry between Stockholm and Mariehamn, capital of the semi-autonomous Åland archipelago between Sweden and Finland. After taking this picture I fel asleep in a corner and when I woke up the ferry was preparing to take off again back to Stockholm. Luckily for me I still got off board.
Tired of sightseeing so many cities in the last 2 weeks I decided to spend some quality time at Helsinki beach before heading to the city centre.
The grey harbor of Helsinki, right before boarding the ferry to Estonia.
This beautiful tramline led to the Unesco protected Old City Centre of Tallinn, Estonia. Right at the end was the supermarket where my couchsurfing host Rain and I went about 4 times (in 2 days) to buy cold beers.
After being almost eaten alive by mosquitoes when trying to cross a swamp this sight made the big effort definitely worth it. Another sunset over the Baltic sea + a relieving swim to ease the itchy feeling. Pärnu, the Estonian holiday destination, didn’t disappoint.
The extension of this park sheltered me for another night of urban camping in Riga, Latvia. With temperatures up to 36 degrees I was lucky to discover during my exploration of the city that ice cream only costed about 0,35€ here!
I met Swiss girl Vaïata in a gas station in Kaunas, Lithuania and we decided to hitchhike together for a few days while crossing Poland. She cycled from the Arctic circle in northern Norway 1500km to the south of Finland where she sent her bike home by post and decided to hitchhike home. Read her adventures on http://thegirlwhomyoumet.tumblr.com
We reached Krakow in southern Poland together where Vaïata continued towards Slovakia and where I decided to stay a little longer to discover one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Krakow suffered incredibly under the nazi regime during WWII. This mural in the former Jewish ghetto (scenes of Spielberg’s ‘Schindlers List’ were recorded here!) doesn’t need any explanation.
I also visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau extermination camps in Oswiecim, southern Poland. This was something I wanted to do for a long time and the only thing I actually planned to see on my trip before leaving home. Afternoon spent in great wonder of how something like this could ever happen.
This former industrial coalmine site in Ostrava, Eastern Czech Republic has recently been transformed in one of the coolest cultural centers I have ever seen. Festivals, bars and cafés and a huge concert hall are only the beginning of what they’re planning here. Architectural dream.
My view from the apartment of Tiago and Sofia, a Portuguese couple I met in Valencia and who are now working in Salzburg. Look at that mountain in the distance!
Incredible view from the Salzburg fortress over the city below.
I spent 4 fantastic days meeting Roberta, a common friend of Tiago, Sofia and me in Venice.
As an architect I definitely couldn’t miss the Venice Architecture Biennale.
After Venice it was time for France and Spain! I covered a lot of kilometres in just 4 days, this picture shows the difficulty of hitchhiking in Italy. Was here for more than 4 hours with police interventions and everything.
I passed very quickly through Lyon on my way south.
Slept in a field somewhere outside of Figueras, just 50km inside Spain.
On my way to Madrid I had a few hours in Barcelona, so I decided to see one of the architectural wonders of the world. The Sagrada Familia.
After visiting my friend Ilaria in Madrid I started the last stretch of my trip. 2 days to cover 1600km! My sign shows that many cars with Belgian number plates passed by here.
After driving all night from the south of France I stranded just outside of Paris on the morning of day 40. My 9500km circle was (almost) closed.