1pm – Tina is not ready and we are late for the photo – but we still make it in!
1 something – we take bus 4 to Utrecht Centraal station.
Here we get the brilliant idea to get the number 7 bus rather than the tram, as the stop is a bit closer to Ikea (our first destination). Eventually we get to Ikea after the bus taking way longer then the tram would have. On the bus we met another UCU (University College Utrecht) couple which was the first sign of our plans going downhill (we assumed Ikea would be ideal as it was a Saturday so there would be lots of people there shopping, plus when they were putting stuff in their car they would be easy to talk to. Plus Ikea is right next to the motorway). To add to annoyance the couple also got a lift straight away as the girl could speak Dutch and neither of us could. Ikea was very crowded and annoying with lots of families – it wasn’t the great plan we thought it to be. A lady then told us to go to a roundabout – that we didn’t find – but a man told us how to get to the highway.
Pickup 1 – hitchhike organiser guy, women and a child, German. They took us to the highway entrance but there was nowhere to stop so we had to go somewhere less ideal. We got out and walked to a nearby petrol station to try our luck. Here Pickup 2 – he loves peppernoten – knew how to say ‘how are you?’ in Macedonian. He took us to a really good spot. We wanted to go to Breda but we hastily decided to jump in with Pickup 3 – Turkish guys – to Eindhoven. Tina said ‘ It will only add a couple of hours’ – massive error! 4 hours later we are still in Eindhoven having made no progress. It turns out no one in Eindhoven is going near Antwerpen, plus it was dead. However if we wanted to go to Germany we would’ve been set!
Luckily, a lone Dutch hitchhiker suggested we could go to the airport and then proceeded to get a lift straight away. What a great idea, why hadn’t we thought of this earlier? No sooner had we thought this then a lady, Pickup 4 – ex backpacker – was able to divert her plans to take us to the airport. How lucky were we?
First impressions? Surprisingly dead and where are all the arrivals? We decide to have dinner, suddenly a ton of people had materialised in arrivals. Good, we thought, here is our chance. However people at the airport are there to pickup their family and friends and are not interested in hitchhikers. Maybe standing by the car park exit was a good plan? Which turned out to be a good plan as we got to talk to every car – that was full of family. Why do people decide to have kids! So after a unsuccesful chat with a plane full of people we are still at Eindhoven airport with disastrous prospects of having to sleep in the terminal. We went to sulk by the roundabout.
Presto! Pickup 5 – party boys – can take us to Antwerpen as they live there, however not tonight as they are going to a party. Still, they can take us to… somewhere too traumatic to talk about.
Pickup 6 – guy who is happy we are not his daughters.