Events in this story happened on Monday the 2nd of September, 2019. We paddled our buoyant Zucchini from Ercsi to Dunaújváros in Hungary. This was a total distance of 36.3 kilometers. Our Stay in Ercsi We stayed in an Airbnb owned by a Dutch family. It’s their summer holiday home, but they’d already gone back to the Netherlands. It’s a very cute house with two bedrooms and a generous garden. The interior details were surprisingly clichéd for Dutch people: blue Delftware tiles depicting windmills, wooden clogs and ancient wooden skates on a wall, some sign in the garden about showeringContinue 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.
Events narrated in this story happened on Friday the 30th of August, 2019. We started the kayak journey beyond Budapest. Originally, we planned to stop in Budapest, but we felt like we could paddle a bit further. The small village of Ercsi was our first stop after Budapest. One Week in Budapest Our stay in Budapest was nice, but I didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped. We did a small bit of sightseeing, despite the lack of considerations for pedestrians in their urban planning. Jonas did some maintenance tasks like changing his laptop battery at an Apple repair shop.Continue reading
Events from this article happened on Friday the 23rd of August, 2019. We paddled the Danube between Dunabogdány and Budapest in Hungary. Budapest was the original goal of this kayak trip, so it was a big moment for us. The idea was to paddle from Budapest to the Black Sea in 2021 again. Then we decided we could paddle a few hundred kilometers further. Anyway, the total distance of day 42 finally exceeded our previous record of 36.0 kilometers, which makes it the longest paddle day as of yet. Dunabogdány – Our Last Stop before Budapest We stayed in DunabogdányContinue reading
The events in this story happened on Wednesday the 21st of August, 2019. Jonas and I paddled Zucchini from Štúrovo in Slovakia to Dunabogdány in Hungary (Zucchini is our inflatable kayak). After Štúrovo (Slovakia) and Esztergom (Hungary), the Danube river makes a sharp turn southward. The river is now completely in Hungarian territory. This was a distance of 29.7 kilometers. Our Two-Night Stay in Štúrovo/Esztergom Our Booking apartment was next to the pedestrian zone of Štúrovo. Štúrovo is yet another spa town, like Kúpele Patince. As it was August and the height of summer, this meant that there were loads of families out andContinue reading
The events in this story happened on Monday the 19th of August, 2019. We paddled from a Slovakian resort town called Kúpele Patince to Štúrovo, also in Slovakia. This stretch of the Danube river forms the border between Slovakia and Hungary. Across the bridge in Štúrovo is the (more famous) Hungarian town of Esztergom. This was a distance of about 33 kilometers. Our Stay in Kúpele Patince As you may know from my previous post, we didn’t stay in Kúpele Patince by choice. We wanted to stay in a town called Moča, but Booking canceled our reservation there. The ownerContinue reading
Narrated events in this story happened on Saturday the 17th of August, 2019. We intended to paddle Zucchini from Komárno to Moča on the Slovak Danube, but the accommodation in Moča fell through. Booking.com helped us find a replacement stay instead in a place called Kúpele Patince, which is a Slovak holiday village and the substantiation of a nightmare. Our Stay in Komárno Our three-night stay in Komárno was pleasant, but we didn’t explore as much as I’d hoped. One thing that consumed me during our stay was my desire to find a better spot to enter the Danube for the day we’dContinue reading
Events in this story happened on Wednesday the 14th of August, 2019. We paddled out of Gönyű on the Hungarian side of the Danube to Komárno on the Slovak side. Three Nights in Gönyű Gönyű isn’t exactly the center of the universe. Its biggest claim to fame is that for years it had a right-angled trapezoidal football pitch. Until 2012, when they corrected the shape of the field and wiped out the one thing that might pique anyone’s curiosity. It’s a relatively small town with one supermarket, two and a half food businesses, and two hotels. Besides our own Business HotelContinue reading
Events in this story took place on Sunday the 11th of August, 2019. We paddled from a Protected Landscape Area called the Danube Floodplains in Slovakia to Gönyű, our first town in Hungary. In the Danube Floodplains, we’d freecamped for the first time on this trip. The total distance we paddled to Gönyű was 26.6 kilometers. Waking Up at Our Freecamping Site My alarm rang at 5:00, a few minutes before dawn. Slowly, we awoke and wrangled ourselves out of our sleeping bags. The storm had stopped a few hours earlier and we finally reached a deep state of sleep. IContinue reading
Evens occurred on Saturday the 10th of August, 2019. We paddled our buoyant Zucchini from the Čunovo Dam to somewhere in the Danube Floodplains protected landscape area in the Slovak-Hungarian border region. We paddled 36 kilometers that day. At night, we freecamped next to the river for the first time on this trip. Leaving Čunovo for the Danube Floodplains We only stayed one night in Čunovo. For the morning, we managed to arrange breakfast at 7:30. The guy who had cheffed up dinner so enthusiastically the night before were not so fond of our early breakfast time; we had to beg forContinue reading