Italians don't like hitchhikers (?)Ljubljana (03 Oct 2015) — posted on 18 Sep 2016
Because I have started meeting people from around Europe and shared my website with them, I will start writing my posts in English. I hope my friends and family from Belgium won't mind :).
With the help of the website hitchwiki.org, I quickly found my way to the petrol station on the highway going east towards Slovenia. At first the service man at the station said I could not bother the people filling up their cars, but when I went around the parking looking for people, the same guy found a lift for me!! A Romanian was driving all the way to Trieste, which is on the border between Italy and Slovenia. Perfect!
During the ride, the Romanian told me he was quite tired and would probably not make it to Trieste, but would go to Padova instead. So he dropped me off at a petrol station just before the city. Funny side note: when I was hitchhiking through Europe a few years ago, I was dropped off at the same station, also when going from Milano to Ljubljana. On this station I found my first truck, with an Austrian driver, which took me a little bit further in Italy.
At this moment I realised that I have almost never obtained a ride from a real Italian when I was hitchhiking. This was a little bit troubling because at the station I was at, there were only Italian cars and almost no Slovenian cars arrived. I guess this was because gasoline is cheaper in Slovenia than in Italy?! Luckily, after some time, an older Slovenian couple arrived, but they would only go to Nova Gorica, a town near the border in Slovenia. At first, I declined the offer, but when they came back from the restaurant, I went with them anyway because then I would be in Slovenia at least.
We had a nice talk about traveling, which they had done a lot, and are still doing. When we were talking, I mentioned that, since it was already dark, I would probably not find a ride to Ljubljana anymore and be required to sleep in my tent at a petrol station. The couple then started a discussion in Slovenian (which I do not understand at all) after which they said they changed their plans and would drive all the way to Ljubljana. Wow! The disappointment of not being able to hitchhike from Como to Milano was quickly made up for!
This was the third time I was in Ljubljana, one of the smallest capitals of Europe, so I know my way around the city already a little bit. I then apparently found the cheapest hostel in the city (€11 in a 6-people dorm), and went for a beer in the alternative place called Metelkova Mesta. But I didn't stay up too long, because the next day I was going to the Triglav National Park for a 3-day hike and an attempt to summit the highest mountain of Slovenia.
So I still did not hitchhike with an Italian person. Do they not like hitchhikers?