On the 3rd of December 2021, we’re hopefully flying from Istanbul Airport (IST) in Turkey to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU aka Port Louis Airport) in Mauritius. I’m updating this post as we go. If you’re here for the documents checklist to enter Mauritius, click here. Booking Mauritius Before we even arrived in Turkey, I already knew I didn’t want to spend the full 90 days here. It would be too cold by the end of our visa. And Jonas wanted to spend at least one month in Istanbul, which would result in too little time toContinue reading
Here you’ll find lots of articles about my hitchhiking and kayaking travels in Europe. As you may know, Europe is my ‘homing’ continent where I’ll – like a stinky pigeon – always return to even if I’m trying to stay away from it. And to be honest, it’s not bad; there’s always more to explore.
I undertook many of my trips around Europe while at university in Maastricht (the Netherlands) and Aarhus (Denmark). That’s why I dropped out. I honed my hitchhiking skills here and set the most personal records and firsts such as:
- First solo hitch: from Kirkenes Airport in Norway to Kirkenes town with a military guy with his son
- Longest distance hitched in 24 hours: ~1200 kilometers from Maastricht (the Netherlands) to somewhere east of Lubljana (Slovenia)
- Most hours in one ride: 3 days with one British driver with a rental car in southern Spain and Portugal (his contract said he couldn’t take the car across the border)
- First plane hitch: over Malta (A to A)
- Longest sailing yacht hitch: from Corfu (Greece) to Malta, which was 340 nautical miles over 2.5 days. Here’s my CrewBay profile
Besides hitchhiking, I also kayaked a long distance in Europe down the Danube river in an inflatable canoe named Zucchini. But before I did that trip with my partner Jonas, I returned to university to finish my degree to erase my student debt. Thesis here.
As you can see, it’s not always a fun continent for me; it’s also the locus of worry about the people and pets I’m close to, of bureaucratic fuckery, and of most of my childhood memories. For most of my life, Europe has tied me down. Now I’m trying to experience it from a place of choice and freedom.
If you are not interested in the Danube trip, you can click this link to not show the Danube posts.
During our eight-day stay in Edirne, Turkey, I had a very long list of places to visit or check out. The city is really full of history. One site stood out on Google Maps: the Great Synagogue of Edirne. When I read that it’s actually open to visit for non-Jews, I thought it would be cool to go there. So on November 30th, 2021 we visited. Why Have I Never Been to a Synagogue? The Synagogue Exterior More rain was in the forecast for later. Jonas navigated to the synagogue because he really wanted to walk via Saraçlar Caddesi—the mainContinue reading
These events happened on the 5th and 21st of November 2021. Jonas and I visited the Ayasofya (aka Hagia Sophia) on a rather spontaneous basis. This was my second visit to the Ayasofya and my first visit since it became a mosque in July 2020. Click here to read about my Istanbul and Hagia Sophia experiences from March/April 2013. There’s also a breakdown of Hagia Sophia as a ‘wonder’ in the videogame Age of Empires II down below. A Change of Plans We arrived at the İDO pier at the indicated time of 9:30. During the downhill walk from ourContinue reading
Our Phone is Gone We wave at the car until he drives out of our sight, looking at each other and smiling, grateful for this nice ride. We are enjoying the Greek climate somewhere out in nowhere. I see him touching his pockets nervously. “Flow…do you have it?” “I’ve got my wallet, yes, but… fuck! Where is my phone?” We check everywhere in our backpacks, our jackets, our pants, our bags and again in our backpacks, our jackets, our pants and our bags… but nothing. I ring Flow’s phone obsessively, without any answer. “It must have fallen somewhere under theContinue reading
We bought our Turkish SIM cards on Monday the 25th of October, one day after arriving in Karasu. Karasu is a port town on the Black Sea coast and we’d arrived by ferry. It’s relatively small and getting a Turkish SIM card wasn’t straightforward. This post is supposed to help people who are also arriving in Turkey by land or sea and in a smaller town away from places geared toward foreigners. Our Experience Buying a Turkish SIM Card in Karasu FAQ Turkish SIM Card + Internet Freedom in Turkey Which provider should I choose? There are three telecom providersContinue reading
On the 22nd of October 2021, we’re hoping to depart Ukraine after staying there for 88/89 days via a Black Sea ferry. These ferries leave from the town of Chornomorsk outside of Odesa, southern Ukraine. Out of several destinations, we eventually decided to take the Chornomorsk to Karasu ferry. Karasu is in northern Turkey some 200 kilometers east of Istanbul. This article is about booking the ferry and our preparations. To read about our experience, visit the page about the journey [TBA]. The Black Sea Ferry Idea Plans after Ukraine Though we had a generous 90 days upon arrival inContinue reading
We spent 89 days in Ukraine in 2021. These are the apps that proved most useful in Ukraine and helped us navigate the country. Click here to read which and how to get a SIM card in Ukraine. 1. Google Translate with Downloaded Ukrainian + Russian This is essential if you don’t speak or read either of these languages. It starts with using the camera function to translate menu items, followed by typing in something and then letting the translator robot voice speak for you, and lastly using the conversation function to let either party speak their preferred language. IContinue reading
When joining a beer sampling in Kharkiv with Eugene and his friends, we mentioned we’re also going to Odesa during our trip through Ukraine. He opened his phone to show photos from beautiful spots in Odesa, such as the swamp tram (video link) that goes to Khadzhibey Estuary. We’d shared our experiences in the Kharkiv cable car with him. We thought it was hilariously unsafe for something that’s painted in primary colors. He then mentioned there’s another such cable car in Odesa, and oh boy, that one hasn’t seen a renovation. Eugene showed some pictures from inside the cable carContinue reading
Things described in this piece happened on Tuesday the 5th of October, 2021. Jonas and I hitchhiked from Heniches’k at the Sea of Azov to Kherson. Kherson is the capital of Kherson Oblast, which hosts both towns. The city of Kherson is located on the Dnieper River close to its mouth in the Black Sea. Preparations to Hitchhike to Kherson After five days in Heniches’k (Генічеськ), it was time to leave. We’d booked an apartment that looked rather central in Kherson (Херсон) via Airbnb. But the day before departure, we figured it wasn’t actually very central. There was aContinue reading