I wake up when the sun rises and lose no time to leave. Today I want to cross Romania and Hungary and if I succeed this will be my last day on the road. But yet it is more than 700km to go to my mothers house where I want to spend my first nights in Austria. River Danube is incredibly beautiful here with its big islands in the middle of the stream. Soon I stop at a closed café with a water pipe outside to make some coffee and go to the toilet. I really have a desire to get a shower so I try the pipe but the water is too much cold. No problem I stop again a few kilometers later at a small lake and have a wonderful refreshing bath there. Feeling full power now I believe nothing can stop me. I stop at a small village to get my Serbian flower and when I want to leave the gas wire snaps again.
I smile, fix the rope and drive Suryananda horse riding style again to the next town. I ask a few people but nobody wants to help. They are not really unfriendly but just not interested at all. After some time I find a taxi driver who tells me the way to a mechanic who is close by. By now I can fix it myself, I just need the tools. The mechanic doubts if his wire will fit because he has diameter 1.5mm only an mine is 1.25… I smile at him and put in his wire, no problem. By the time I start talking to another guy who is at the workshop and who seems to be very nice. After fixing the car Danijel invites me to his home to meet his family and have coffee. As he even offers me to take a hot bath I just can’t say no. Of course we have to make a sightseeing tour after coffee and bath. The arrea is amazingly beautiful so it is late afternoon when I arrive at the tiny border station. Romanian customs can’t believe when I tell them where I come from and the official part takes less time then they need for taking pictures. I am back in the European union!
I like what I see from Romania. It is flat and green here. My eyes enjoy the gentle green and the old villages. I stop at a nice restaurant and eat my first wiener schnitzel for a very long time. I enjoy a coffee in the low sun and leave after singing a few songs for a few guys who arrived while I was eating. Its not far to go to the border, sunset is coming and I have no flowers yet. I drive for half an hour seeing no flowers at all but then, as its getting almost dark I see a wonderful garden directly at the road and an old guy watering tulips and roses. Immediately I stop. As he doesn’t understand what I am talking about I show him my dried flowers and point on a map. By now his wife came out of the house and I recognize they are a really cute old couple. Flowers are no problem, they give me some tulips as the roses are not flowering yet. I say thank you and continue as I want to be at the border before its completely dark.
The border is passed before recognized. They laugh at my craziness as usual and I am free to go. After the border I have problems to pay the road toll. System is down until 2 am but will be no problem they say, just go… I follow the navigation system which seems to be a little lost in a tiny village after the border. Soon I am at a small road heading towards Szeged – this can’t be right! But I am curious so I stay on the road. Suddenly the navigation system shows a ferry to come! Its short after dark so I hope the ferry will still be working and go on. I pass a flood dam and when the gps shows 1km to the ferry the road disappears in the black. I hit the brakes and recognize my front wheels are underwater when I stop. Again I regret having no camera for taking a picture of this situation. I nearly drowned together with Suryananda because there is a flood and no whatever warning! (The place is marked with the “C” at the linked map) I turn around and after getting a coffee and a flower I go on the highway. Traffic is ok and I have a target in front of me. I enjoy the road at night, my mind is clear and the kilometers pass quickly now. Still I am little paranoid because of the road toll story so I leave the motorway at 2 am about 50 kilometer before the border to Austria. At about 3.30 am I arrive at my mothers place. After more than 10.000 km I am at a place I call home. But home…. Isn’t that the neverending concrete appearing in the lights of suryananda? The beaches and the mountains? The mechanics work shops and the cafes full of artists?
Thank you for reading my adventures my friends. I will be back on the road soon! Hope to see you there and if you feel like I can help you with any question feel free to contact me on facebook! I also have a little surprise for all of you which will be online soon!
I wake up only a few hours later. The sun is out, it smells like spring and the birds are singing. I quickly make some instant coffee and leave. Passing some beautiful rivers again the landscape gets more hilly soon. At the last hill petrol becomes tight again but soon I see Sofia when rolling down. At the city entrance I spend my last money for petrol just to stop in the city center without even a coin. It’s a beautiful Sunday and there are people on the streets so I grab my guitar and half an hour later I have enough money to get a nice breakfast. I like Bulgaria! After breakfast I make a little walk. Soon a flower shop appears so I ask the owner for a flower. It takes me only a second to explain even though he doesn’t understand a word. Of course I can have a flower he makes me understand, and gives me one of the most beautiful roses in his shop!
It is lunchtime when I leave Sofia heading to the close by border to Serbia where I expect cheap petrol. At the roadside of the city limits I see an old couple hitchhiking and of course I stop. Even though we don’t understand one word of what each other is saying we love each other immediately. Petrol is very tight so I have to stop only five kilometers before the border to pay in euro for a crazy exchange rate and get just a few litres. When I get petrol on the other side of the border I find out I was empty then. A few meters after the petrol pump I drop my new friends offering them some dried roses from Pakistan. He offers me a wooden lucky charm in exchange and so we take some of each others energy without any name, address or any possibility to contact. It is fine – this is love!
Between the borders a guy and his incredibly beautiful girlfriend (?) have a problem with their car. Battery is finished and it doesn’t start, she has no driving licence, very high high heels and no motivation to do nothing but looking incredibly beautiful… The guy and I get the engine running within a minute and I continue to enter Serbia. The guys ask me for weapons and as I hardly can stop laughing at them they let me go without bothering me. I get petrol and a few kilometers later I stop in a cosy valley at a restaurant to get the local food: cevapcici! I enjoy a lot and when I go on I feel very sad for having no camera again. I pass wonderful canyons and amazing rivers before I reach the flats of river danube a little after sunset. I get a coffee and half an hour later I am at the banks of my home river, only 800km downstream of my house. I stop at an expensive looking place and get some not that expensive but incredibly beautiful arranged and well tasting zander. The internet signal is strong enough to reach the car so I spend the night at their car park. You can find the place, not far from Belgrad at the destination mark of the map link above – its truly recomended!
Thank you for the mails and messsages! I am sorry for the delay! By now I arrived at home safely and I will write down the last two days of my journey within the next two days. Currently I am in Innsbruck waiting for a friend with whom I want to make a little motorcycle tour next weekend. I will write about this one too so no worries!
Leaving the city is easy at night. I get a little more petrol and go on the highway. There is only little traffic and I have music so I arrive at the border very quickly. Border itself takes not even five minutes. When entering the European union the Bulgarian customs just take a short look but step back immediately when I tell them where I come from. I get rather cheap petrol at the first petrol pump and keep on driving. After sunrise I realize the beauty of the landscape. Real wild rivers! Amazingly beautiful! I never saw rivers like this in Austria. I miss my camera! A little after sunrise I become very tired and decide to take a rest. I stop next to the highway in a beautiful hilly landscape enjoy the scenery for a moment and fall asleep. I love Bulgaria!
At 4 am I wake up after 1.5 hours sleep. Somebody is standing in front of me inside Suryananda. I start shouting so he grabs my camerabag, jumps out of the car and runs. I am behind him but no chance to chat him at the first meters and I am afraid to they might be two and Suryananda will be stolen if I run after him. Of course the door is open as I just jumped behind him as fast as possible. I am very shocked when I go back inside and make coffee. I never believed this could happen – being robbed in suryananda while sleeping – less than 100km on European soil! It takes nearly an hour before I calm down. All camera Equipment is gone! No more pictures of this journey! I don’t expect the highway through Bulgaria and Serbia to be that beautiful but having no camera really hurts. After one hour I become very tired and sleep until 11. After standing up I contact my insurance at home and go to the police station. The police is very friendly and they come with me to check everything and look if maybe there are camera recordings as the whole area is covered with private and public cameras. Unfortunately all cameras look in the wrong direction so they just have pictures of me running behind him from the back side! When everything is clear they send me to another police station…..
Here I have to wait several hours before we go back to Suryananda again, check the lock, the cameras like before to return to the police station where I get the report just before sunset. Not my day. But very emotional days make me sing so I spend all evening at reggae café making music again. A friend of Suecrue from Olimpos whom I wanted to meet finally contacts me and apologizes for the delay. Back pain…. I tell him I will be there tomorrow and see what I can do. At night I meet two very nice guitar players from Libya. We make music together and they convince me to drink two beers with them. I am drunk in no time and forget about what happened in the morning. All fine!
When I wake up I have massive hangover – I can hardly move so I have my first coffee when I should be at Kemals place already. After an Odyssey on public transport in Istanbul I arrive at his place. When he opens the door he is bent over and I can see the pain in his face. Still we smile at each other – we like each other immediately. After he is better we have food together and Kerman invites me to stay at his place whenever I am in Istanbul. Even though what happened yesterday I still like the city. When I come back to suryananda it is dark already. Saturday night in Istanbul – perfect time to leave the city!
Monday I quickly do what needs to be done so I can leave like printing the ticket, going to a barber, packing my stuff and cleaning Suryananda. Way too quickly! I am ready around ten thirty and my shuttle is leaving at two. Reggae café is not open yet son ne yapabilirim (what to do)? I walk down to the ocean and a little around town. I like Istanbul! When I get back to Suryananda it’s way too late. The shuttle is supposed to leave in 4 minutes so I quickly grab my bags and run. At the travel agency there is no shuttle. I get a coke and some chocolate, open the coke, put the chocolate in the hand luggage and check my stuff. I don’t find my money! Except a few Lira I have nothing on me. I ask when the shuttle will be coming and if there is time to quickly check the car. I run to suryananda and back – without any success. I need a chocolate. In fact not that much of a problem as a friend will pick me up at the airport in Vienna and the wallet must be either at the car or somewhere in my luggage. I don’t find the chocolate! Seems like the small bag is eating my stuff! When I am just starting to check the big bag the shuttle arrives. At least I found the chocolate. I close the bag and try to feel satisfied with the thought that I will find the money like the chocolate and it will be no problem. At the airport I finally find my wallet in a side pocket of my bag.
At the check in I ask for a window seat but they tell me no possible – plane is full but I can sit in the middle. When I get on the plane an old lady is sitting on my seat (6 in a row I had D) and the window seat is free. I say nothing and take the window seat as I believe it is probably hers. A minute later a man who obviously knows her comes, takes her seat and she swaps in between us. Another minute later she stands up and I never see her again. I have no idea what had happened but I have a window seat no neighbor in an airplane that is completely full! Nice! A nice flight later I meet my friend Stefan at the airport. I am very happy to see him and we go to his flat in Vienna where I will spend my first night in Austria. I can’t wait to get a hot bath so I go to the bathroom full and step in just after turning on the water. Hmmm, no hot water… I ask Stefan for help but after a few attempts we give up. No hot water!!!! What for did I come to Austria but hot spring water from the mountains? Probably that’s the price for the window seat I think. The evening with Stephan passes much too fast and soon both of us go to sleep.
Tuesday I take a walk through the city first. After half an hour I stop at a new Indian restaurant to drink chai. The chai tastes like shit. I contact Sybille, a friend and yoga teacher colleague who lives close. She is surprised about me being here and invites me for breakfast. I can’t wait to get real bread! And real jam! Cheese! Hot bath! All my wishes are fulfilled now! Thank you once again Sybille. In the afternoon I have an appointment I came to Vienna for (fish pass needs to be built) and then I go on to my mothers place. I would love to get my motorbike as temperatures are around 25° but this is unfortunately not the plan yet. Wednesday I spend a nice day with my mother visiting the town where she grew up. Austria actually is amazingly beautiful…. If many of the people were not that strange it would be a great place to live! Ne yapabilirim I think. We get very nice dinner at a restaurant on a hill and enjoy an amazing sunset. We get back late so my mother goes to bed soon and I leave again to meet a friend who is living just around the corner – I have not much time here and I have to spend it wisely.
Thursday I sleep long and have nice breakfast with my mother again. We arrive at the airport having a lot spare time, go for another coffee and I check in. The stewardess at the check in counter seems to like me and gives me a window seat, without neighbor, on a plane that is full…. Wtf? Even though the cold water last time I decide this to be a good omen and enjoy the flight.
Today is Helins birthday and I can’t wait to see the girls in the evening. For a moment it seems like they have to study but soon Helin and two friends and then Versile and Deniz arrive. The evening becomes an amazing surprise party for Helin. When I sang “Start wearing purple” last week Helin was singing with me as she knows and likes the song so my birthday present for her is a purple Indian pant. She looks amazingly beautiful wearing it and it will be great for the yoga classes too! We all enjoy the evening a lot and again I fall in love…. Istanbul is a really amazing place and its seems like there might be a need for yoga teachers here! Another evening passes much too fast and we have to say good bye much too fast. I promise to be back after their exams and that we will do a yoga weekend then.
Tomorrow I want to meet Evelina whom I know from facebook because she is writing an amazing blog too (daily witchcraft). When we found out we are in Istanbul at the same time we decided to meet immediately of course. Unfortunately she missed a boat so she couldn’t come today. So tomorrow I will meet her, maybe store some yoga mats at reggae café and then definitely maybe move direction to the Bulgarian border. Inshallah.
Of course it’s raining in the morning so I sleep long. Around eleven o clock my friends, from yesterday, the hippiecouple wake me up and we have breakfast inside suryananda together. They will leave to Macedonia to a rainbow gathering so it’s only little time to say good bye. It’s no problem to charge the battery at the workshop and it seems no problem to stay there too. I get some food and look for hamam and barber but they are either closed or too expensive – there is no way I pay 60 Lira for a Hamam!
In the afternoon the sun comes out so I take the guitar to make some music near the mosque again. When I just sing the third song I am suddenly surrounded by not less than 12 police officers who take my guitar, ask me where I am from (Austria), what I do here (music) and a lot more stupid questions. Then they give me back the guitar and tell me they don’t want to see me there again…. I make a little walk to make sure they don’t follow me as I think it wouldn’t be good if they found out I sleep in my car somewhere in the streets. Nobody follows me so I go back to the car and relax a little.
When I want to go to reggae café the mechanics tell me I have to move suryananda. I will go to Vienna for three days by plane tomorrow so I need a place where it’s secure. A little later Zeki, the owner of the reggae café offers me to park at his place – for free! I am really happy about this opportunity so I can take out my guitar again and make some music at this free place without cops and a lot of positive feedback. Deniz and Vesile are here again too, and today they took two friends – Helin and Basak. Surrounded by the probably most beautiful girls in Istanbul I enjoy making music a lot. I fall in love many times this evening, with every amazing smile of them, with every eye contact with every touch. To love is to sing I said once and we make love together – singing and dancing into the evening. We have a lot of fun, Helin tells me my future by reading the coffee leftover and like the evening before they run only minutes before they have to be at the hostel. Thank you for this amazing evening! I hope to see all of you again soon!
Two days to go less than 300km to Istanbul and I have no idea where to go there or what to do until Monday. Weather still is shit. Cloudy and around 8° make me stay in bed long. At one point only the heating gives me motivation to hit the road. I do so without my cleaning ritual which I usually perform in the morning to make suryananda more a car and less a sleeping room. Landscape reminds me of home again. Looks like Styria, Murtal early spring. No flowers and everything is grey. Rivers are flooded by melting water and the snow is gone but no further sign of spring – no swallows. Did I mention already its fucking cold? Weather remains pretty much the same and 200km before Istanbul I decide to go to my mechanics from last time. Its right next to blue mosque and I believe I can park there for free and maybe even have internet.
A few kilometers before Europe the sun shows for the first time. When I arrive in Sultanahmed its not really warm but ok. The last mechanic turned the gas down so suryanandas engine turns of every time I take the foot of the gas. No problem on the motorway but in the city it’s a little tricky. However Istanbul is one of the nicest big cities I know for driving so I arrive at the mechanic pretty quickly after crossing Bosporus. Space to park just 10m next to the workshop and all of the guys remember me immediately and are happy to welcome me back. We drink chai, I relax a little and then take my guitar and go the 500 meters to the blue mosque. I sit down at a place where I can catch the last rays of the sun and start to play to earn the first ever money by making music. 18 Lira in half an hour – the dinner is earned – and feedback from the people is amazing! I decide to do the same tomorrow again so I got something to do here already.
In the evening I go to a reggae bar with some people I met when I arrived (Portugese hippies who were curious about my car). Again I make music and meet some amazingly beautiful Turkish girls there. Its true, musicians are most sexy… I am happy to be back in Istanbul. For the first time since Aritsar I see tourists and have some infrastructure without the necessity to search hours for every little thing. And people are very nice here, they like hippies, no problem sleeping on the street 500m next to the blue mosque in a colorful hippie bus, no problem making music on the street, free wifi and barber, hamam and all I need just around the corner! Love!
Tonight I find out the roof window not being 100% rainproof. Fortunately I have a bucket to put under. The heavy thunderstorm turns into persistent rain so I hear raindrops on the roof when the alarm rings. I turn around and continue sleeping – I will go to chimaera later, maybe. When I finally wake up and start the car I am more busy with the engine problems again. This is the last beach, only around 2500km until home I think when I turn the key. I make a short stop at Chimaera but 4,5 Lira entrance fee seems too much for a two km walk in the pouring rain. I go to Elif Camping to get a coffee. Engine is still problem so I pray to make it up the steep road to the main road. I enjoy the coffee a lot, make a quick prayer and turn the key. On the way out of Olimpos I see an amazing rose bush with an incredible lot of flowers! I stop and ask the guy at the shop for some blossoms for my collection. 10 Lira each he is joking. I cant laugh and tell him that I cant pay because I collect or get (for free) flowers in all the countries I cross. I turn around and want to leave but he is coming behind me and of course gives me some of the flowers.
It takes me nearly 4 hours to go the 80km back to Antalya. Top speed now is 45 – downhill! When I arrive at the mechanic I am pretty pissed. I tell him exactly what to do: Make the valves more lose again, change all spark plugs and if this is not enough check the ignition timing. When the first two things are done I check and pull the gas wire at the front side. More gas than inside coming! The gas wire is lose! That’s why no power because I cant operate the gas properly! One of the spark plugs is completely broken too. I told the mechanics to check when I came here first time – but I have to blame myself for not doing myself. However I was right from the beginning! It was an ignition problem with the additional problem of the gas wire! We fix everything and I hit the road again. Suryananda is faster than ever before. An average of 80 is no problem and top speed of 100 possible – but expensive as I find out when I stop for petrol next time. I had an average consumption around 12l yet but the 300km with full power I needed 15l for 100km! In my mind I put a brick under the gas pedal and go on slowly slowly again.
It keeps raining until sunset. For a short while I start regretting I left the beach already but then I realize it would have been raining there all day too. So better to be on the road to the sun. And really, a little before sunset there are holes in the cloud cover and they get bigger quickly! When I stop I am 300km short of Istanbul and the sky is clear and full of stars. Temperature is far below 10! I take way too expensive food at a highway restaurant and while I am inside some guys wash suryananda without telling me. When I come back out they want money of course but what to do? I am sick of people who ask for money before even saying hello and tell him to fuck off. Wifi of the expensive restaurant works very well so at least for the price I get wifi all night! Great!
Today is my day off so everytime I wake up I turn around again and continue sleeping. I don’t mind the noise people make on the beach and when I finally decide to wake up it past 3 pm already. I have coffee and breakfast an get out one hour later to make a walk along the beach. Soon I find a template advertising Acro Yoga so I continue walking until I find Elif guesthouse and camping. No Yoga this time as it is off season but the guys have a coffee and wifi. I will be back later and a few meters further I find an ideal place to spend my second night at Olimpos.When walking around it smells and sounds like spring in Austria – flowers, birds. I think slowly I can deal with going back! Under pine trees at the beach! I go a little fishing and later go back to Elif for another coffee, music and a little chat. It seems to be a perfect place here to make a break and relax when travelling overland to or from india – unfortunately I have to leave tomorrow. I see the flames of chimaera from the beach but decide to go there early morning before sunrise as there is an incredible thunderstorm out at the sea at night which brings little rain at the beach. Nice and shanti day – I like Olimpos!