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A n s i c h t e n

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Insa Wulf




s t e



Two and a half weeks in may of 2013 I hitchhiked through Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal together with Jan ( This is what I saw. My name is Insa Wulf and at the following pages I want to show you what I have seen, I want to tell you what I experienced, give you an impression of the atmosphere. Maybe you find some inspiration, maybe you fall in love with some beautiful landscape. Most of all I want to encourage you to travel and explore new places. And until then: feel the different moods in this little book.

This book including layout, photos, sketches and texts is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike

Ansichten, content

Bordeaux5 San Sebastiรกn17 Salamanca21 Lisbon25 5 Madrid43 Medinaceli45 Barcelona47 17








Bordeaux „Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France. The city of Bordeaux, with a population of 242,945 inhabitants, is the 9th largest city in France; Greater Bordeaux (French: Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux) is the 5th largest urban area in France, with a population of 719,489 inhabitants. Its metropolitan area aire urbaine has a population of 1,114,000. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called „Bordelais“ (for men) or „Bordelaise“ (for women). The city‘s nicknames are „La perle d‘Aquitaine“, „La Belle Endormie“ (Sleeping Beauty) in reference to the old center which had black walls due to pollution. Nowadays, this is not the case. In fact, a part of the city, Le Port de La Lune, was almost completely renovated.“ source: wikipedia In fact, we started hitchhiking in Munich, down to Bern in Swizerland. On our way out of the city of Bern we realised that it‘s impossible, so that we went for the train and gave up our hitchhike-plans for that day. (Still, the way to Lyon by train, passing Génève and some lakes truely offers an astonishing view!) The day after that was very sunny and we had our first rides in France with a lot of friendly people bringing us nearer to the atlantic coast. Thanks to all the people, the woman on the way up to villefranche (who explained us that we were heading in a wrong direction), thanks to the young, bike-loving man who carried us to a péage some minutes in front of Clermont-Ferrand, thanks to the man who is vending guns and nearly gave us a ride half of our plannend way, and thanks to the carpenter (and his tiny dog), that made us arrive safely in Bordeaux. The city of Bordeaux seemed very open, a lot of street art here and there. And a lot of young people! That‘s way it seemed, everything was a bit in a rush, but friendly at the same time. Relaxed hours, thanks Bordeaux!

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San „San Sebastián Sebastián or Donostia is a coastal city and municipality located in the Basque Autonomous Com-

munity, Spain. It lies on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, 20 km away from the French border. Capital city of Gipuzkoa, the municipality‘s population is 186,122 (2011), with its metropolitan area reaching 436,500 (2010).Locals call themselves donostiarra (singular), both in Spanishand Basque. The main economic activities are commerce and tourism, being one of the most famous tourist destinations in Spain. Despite the city’s small size, international events such as the San Sebastián International Film Festival have given it an international dimension. San Sebastián, along with Wroczaw, Poland, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2016.“ source: wikipedia. The next day rain in Bordeaux should have been a sign of what was waiting for us that day. Tough it started very well: on our way out of the city, we didn‘t even wait five minutes until we were given a ride by a family that was on their way down to Bayonne. The family besides of us they nearly had the whole household in their car, that belonged to the daughter that was right now driving the car. Unfortunately a traffic jam didn‘t release us as the rain outside was getting worse. With three hours delay we finally arrived in Bayonne. The family told us their worries when they let us out near a freeway. Me too, I was worrying. And after a couple of minutes our clothes couldn‘t soak anymore water. A lot of cars passed us, when the first woman offered us a ride up to the next gas station. This was a novelty: we were picked up by a basque woman. During the very short ride she gave us a lot of explanations about their culture and recent ambition, why it was important to support basque. Following „official“ european maps the place were we stood after this ride is considered „Spain“. So we stood a lot nearer to the place we had planned: Bilbao. Contrary, because all of the rain, when we found some people to get away from the gas station, a french punk band called Black Bug, who gave us a ride in their white and really punk-alike-looking van, we decided to go with them and stay a night in rough San Sebastián.

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San Sebastiรกn 19


Salamanca „Salamanca is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the Province of Salamanca in the community

of Castile and León. Its Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. With a metropolitan population of 228,881 in 2012 according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), Salamanca is the second most populated urban area in Castile and León, after Valladolid (414,000), and ahead of Leon (187,000) and Burgos (176,000). It is the most important university city in Spain and supplies 16% of Spain‘s market for the teaching of the Spanish language.Salamanca attracts thousands of international students, generating a diverse environment.“ source: wikipedia Unfortunately we didn‘t have the chance to see much of San Sebastián. It had already been a bit dark and still rainy when we arrived. In the next morning we were totally confused because all of a sudden a marathon in the city centre mixed up all the bus schedules and stations. It was really fascinating and funny to see so many motivated people and spectators gathering, still it was really bad for our plannings to get out of the city... Finally we found the way up to the freeway and a french family gave us a ride up to Vitoria-Gasteiz. An open-minded basque guy (again much more helping basque-infos) brought us to a gas station near Burgos. That was the point where our best ride ever during the whole journey started: Marroccian truck driver Rabie gave us a ride to Salamanca. I really can‘t explain this here, but the hours have been wonderful, and the food he even cooked for us, merveilleux! Thanks a lot, Rabie! In Salamanca we managed to find a cheap but lovely place at the Plaza Mayor. It‘s really amazing what a difficile city has been build in the middle of heat. There must be plenty of students at the universtiy, the core of the city simply looks impressive. Still the surroundings felt like a desert. I don‘t get how this works together, but as said above: impressive!

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Lisbon Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 547,631 within its administrative

limits on a land area of 84.8 km2 (33 sq mi). The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 3 million on an area of 958 km2 (370 sq mi), making it the 11th most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3,035,000people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (which represents approximately 27% of the population of the country). Lisbon is the westernmost large city located in Europe, as well as its westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the fifth century, it was captured by the Moors in the eighth century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic, and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon‘s status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal. Hey beautiful Lisbon, please welcome us again another time in such friendly, open, sunny, creative and relaxed manner. You are wonderful. Sadly we didn‘t get a ride in Salamanca, but got lost at a gas station some km away from the city. We managed to get back and decided to arrive in Lisbon via night-train. Lisbon itself has been great for the couple of days. The old core of the city looks unorganised, relaxed. You find a lot of street art. Bacalao tastes great, strolling around the city is colourful, every german needs to get used to the eating times and on top of that: become more relaxed! I‘d love to one day come back to this unique city.

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Madrid „Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and

the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be around 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-largest in the European Union after London and Paris.The city spans a total of 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi). While Madrid possesses a modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. Its landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid; the Teatro Real (Royal theatre) with its restored 1850 Opera House; the Buen Retiro Park, founded in 1631; the 19th-century National Library building (founded in 1712) containing some of Spain‘s historical archives; a large number of National museums, and the Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising three art museums: Prado Museum, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, a museum of modern art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which completes the shortcomings of the other two museums. Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become the monument symbol of the city.“ source: wikipedia A number of important houses situated in a very close neighbourhood. Huge buildings, a lot of décor, everything arranged and cleaned in the morning as you would expect it from a capital, I guess. We arrived too early in the morning, which was still „late at night“ for some drunk kids that played drunk games on the streets. During day quite filled with people, everyone in a rush and relaxed at the same time. Even though people are maybe not totally as friendly as the lisbon folks, they are as relaxed. Or maybe we germans are stressed people? A friend of Jan invited us for lunch (Thanks again! Tasted awesome, still I admired how do you spanish people manage to eat that slow?) and gave us a short city tour. Though the funny thing is, the tour was so short because it seems that every important building of Spain lies next to each other in Madrid. Very good for people like us that are not used to such a southern heat ;).

Madrid 43


Medinaceli „Medinaceli is a municipality and town in the province of Soria (Spain). Its name derives from the Arabic toponym madinat salim (English: the city of Salim). The town is named after one Salim bin Waral, head of a Masmuda family which settled there in the 8th century.“ source: wikipedia

This might be a beautiful place on earth... if you want to go there. Otherwise, when doing auto-stop, it‘s not - for example when you are waiting at the service station of Alcolea del Pinar for more than 4 and a half hours ...and nobody takes you down the highway direction Barcelona, or... okay, direction Zaragoza. You feel like Don Quijote. Only that if you‘re lucky, you won‘t get mad, but tanned - at least you try to tell yourself so. Our way out of Madrid started fine, a friendly guy guided us from a gas station to another, as we had been waiting at the wrong one. After that a kind woman and her mother took us up to a gas station near the airport outside madrid. There again we waited more than an hour until a fast-spanish-talking couple gave us a ride to this very station near Medinaceli. They were on their way to a 40th-birthday, offered us beer and cigarettes and told us about their visit to Berlin. We were listening fascinated and were also happy to hear some recommendations for Barcelona. Plus they didn‘t stop to warn us that hitchhiking in Spain hardly works. We didn‘t hear and so this was exactly what we should experience... After this couple nobody that day offered us a ride and everyone that we asked denied. Though this was worth it in a notplanned way, we found the centre of the internet in Alcolea del Pinar, experienced hospitality of an old lady in Medinaceli and saw the championship finals of BVB and FcB in a rural restaurant, old men and big families at the tables next to us drinking and eating, us amongst the village.

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Barcelona Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a populati-

on of 1,620,943within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million within an area of 803 km2 (310 sq mi), being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, the Ruhr, Madrid and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is also the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Bes貌s and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 metres (1,680 ft)). Barcelona feels so big, so much people might live in that city, and seeing everything seems impossible. Gaud铆 buildings surely are places you want to get to see. La Sagrada Familia yet only from the outside is stunning. Also you get into the mood of eating everything very easy in Barcelona. We arrived in Barcelona by bus. So much to see. Astonishing. Go visit Barcelona! Sadly I was a bit afraid to carry my camera everywhere here since the couple on our way out of Madrid had warned us of the numerous thiefs in the crowds of people. For the way back to Lyon (and from there by bus back to germany), we had planned 2 days after our non-existing luck in the past stages in Spain. Luckily we made the way Barcelona-Lyon so fast, only about seven hours or somewhat, so that we had one more day to explore Lyon. It truely is the capial of food. I can recomend some spots if you ever go there, just ask. Besides all the food, Lyon is a city, with a lot of people rushing around, and the two rivers, Rh么ne et Sa么ne, making them all float at the same pace. Also there is a nice little scate park directly situated next to one of the rivers. Good place to sit around and just relax (what I wish to have learned now from our south-west colleagues).

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Ansichten suedwesten  

In May I hitchhiked from Munich to Lisbon with a friend. This is what I saw.

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