A site by Peter Reitsma on hitchhiking in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Peter Reitsma

rusland russia

hitchhiking liften



hitchhiking liften


Питер Ритсма

Роттердам Владивосток

Уфа Челябинск Грушински



A hitchhiking travel from Rotterdam (West Coast of the Netherlands to Vladivostok (East Coast of Russia)

In the morning, I stood up at 6.30 and said farewell to my girlfriend Petra.
Before 8:00, I got my first semi-official ride of the unequalled Jan Bass from the Weena petrol station The Finch. There I intended to hitch with a placard 'Vladivostok ', you never know, but it turned out I had forgotten my drawing book to sketch hiking boards. My first error.

Then I asked a ride to some people who were refueling and after 10 minutes  I managed a lift to filling station Bijleveld at De Meern plane for Utrecht. The driver was lively chattering who was living in Tholen. He worked 5 days per week at home because his boss gave him no travel expenses to compensate for traveling expenses.

I asked at Bijleveld another hike and got one to a filling station near Apeldoorn. The driver proved to be an Oud-Beijerlander (the town in which I was born) who was working for Getronics. As an It-er, myself I also have been working for this company some time ago. He was account manager for the sector care.
The petrol station where I was set down was situated at the E30 (A1). This road runs from Amsterdam to Moscow and I must not leave this one for the time being.

Got at that station by asking a direct ride from an Italian who speeded in his minibus in the direction of Germany. He spoke some English and I understood that he stayed the weekends in the Netherlands, and during weekdays at his wife and children in Germany. He was a road worker. He dropped me at a Raststätte before Hanover.

For lack of a hitch board, I approached drivers, which improves the chances. Moreover, you choose this way yourself your driver instead of being chosen. This is all the way more safely too.  The next lift I got from Daniel, an inhabitant of Arnhem (a Dutch town) who for his work tidies up houses and hotels in Germany. He had much respect for my venture.
At Braunschweig he would leave the road. Just before he put me down at the filling station Zweidorfer Holz, a passing customs minibus halted us. There a routine research followed where we both had to leave the car. The customs submitted at first my backpack to a very thorough search. They found much interesting matter but nothing forbidden. At Daniel, however, they hit home. He had hided a big joint in its tobacco bundle. Furthermore, they found there a small pocket with four pills. Daniel told the officers these were medicines for his eye pains. He had put them in a small plastic bag, because he therefore did not need to take along with him the complete pillbox...

The customers car proved to be a mobile laboratory and the pills were subjected to a range of chemical tests. Something colored red which indicated amphetamine. Daniel got nothing of it but agreed rapidly with the 50-euro fine and the seizure of the found stuff. The agents recommended him to leave the medicines in the usual packaging and not to keep it in drugs like small pocket in his shag bag.
I aided spiritually Daniel a little. He was considerably fed up of course by so much injustice. Together we still head a coffee and then bade each other farewell.

After short time got by means of questioning a lift to Berlin from two Ossi's who drove back home from the Hurricane festival (Rammstein, Queens or the Stone Age).They were real rockers with a lively car full of empty beer bottles and deafening rock music from the speakers. I gave them my card with my internet address so t they could follow my travels.

I had myself put off on Raststätte Michendorf where I in former days, in DDR-times, sometimes had been with my parents to spend the last Ostmarks on glassy potatoes and hairy soup. This time I have nothing eaten there.

The next ride was with two Russians in a minivan. They reacted full disbelieve when I told them did my travel plans.  The lived already 13 years in Germany and according to me they had someway lost the feelings with their homeland.
They brought me to a petrol station and adjoining lorry terminal about 3 km behind the border in Poland only not in my intended direction but more aiming at Zeleny Gorod.
There I made during about two hours for all freight carriages on the giant terminal, but nobody headed my direction. They went or to Southern Poland, or to Germany or continued to spend the night there. This did not make any progress. After two hours waiting, I managed a strategic lift to the border with a lively Polish lorry driver without semi-trailer. Its lorry rattled on all sides and had large problems with finding correct acceleration. The driver cursed lively (Kurwa) but got its truck moving with much bumping in the direction of the border.
Plane for the border stood two Polish young police officers of about 18 years of age, which prohibited me to hitchhike so near to the border. That was rather shitty because now had to hitchhike along the road, a couple of hundred meters from the border, on a spot where everyone exactly was very well accelerating. It shimmered already and I had still no hitching board. I decided to pitch down the tent in this still little left daylight. This succeeded.
The end of the first day, everything went according to plan and I traveled about 900 km from the start.


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© Peter Reitsma 2004-2007