Hitchhike Journal #2: Cologne – Mannheim

9 July 2016

Distance: 247km
Transportation: 3 cars
Duration: 5 hours


Waking up early this morning with full of excitement because I knew from today on, I would hit the road and will be there for the coming months. Having everything packed, I headed to a subway stop from where I could walk to the gas station. The gas station is at Am Verteilerkreis which is the gas station before the exit to the highway. As my destination was Mannheim, I looked for the direction to Bonn and Koblenz and that gas station was a perfect spot.

It was a tiring enough walking from the train stop to the gas station since I had quite a big backpack on, I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to get a ride right away. When I arrived at the gas station it was exciting at first. Everyone told me that it would be easier for girls. After 30 minutes, no luck for me. Moving around to get the best spot but everyone just smiled at me and gently said no. Another 30 minutes, there was a man kindly asked if I wanted to go to Mainz with him (which was halfway for me). I was happy enough to have an offer so I took the ride. After some chit chat, turned out, he had been standing at exactly the same spot that I did 20 years ago hitchhiking to Italy.

In Mainz, we missed the exit so he letted me out at one gas station that was a bit off the highway. The location was definitely the best for me so I needed to be on the high way at one point. Luckily for me, some young guys were on their road trip to Cologne and they were happy to help me get to the highway. We found a big gas station which is located on A3 Wiesbaden and I called it the paradise for hitchhikers. There, I met 3 hitchhikes – 2 Dutch girls were heading to Vienna and Thomas, a Canadian was trying to get to Stuttgart (which was on my direction) to see his girlfriend after 6 months apart. We split up after a a short conservation. Thomas, sadly, had been waiting for more than 3 hours at that station but with my sign to Mannheim, we got picked up by a woman just the moment we were in front of the gas station store. I arrived in Mannheim in the afternoon, safe and sound!