I forgot how chaotic this kind of travel can be. A light rain hung over Vienna when I left Wednesday morning, so I took the subway to Hütteldorf, where supposedly I could step to the highway if it was not raining or duck into a station to take a train if it was raining. Before I could get upstairs, a Filipino woman told me, “No, it’s raining and the highway is far away; you must go to the Westbahnhof and take a train.”
At the Westbahnhof, tickets to Salzburg were more expensive than I had thought, so I started the rail pass that I was hoping to save for later.
Once in Salzburg, I merely had to find the road to Munich, but that in itself was an adventure. I was looking for the Salzburg Mitte ramp, which someone had told me is the best ramp for hitchhiking, but I got different directions from everyone. The tourist office told me to take the S3, but I could see it was going to a different ramp. Finally, I asked a bus driver in one of the many bus lines. He couldn’t speak English and gestured roughly in German for me to “get in, get in.” So I got in, thinking that at least he would get me somewhere. Finally, a teenager on the bus offered to show me to a ramp, but it was a dead ramp. No cars. Then a woman driving a cab picked me up and said, “I’ll take you to the best spot.” She dropped me on a street somewhere that did not look at all like a highway — more like a regular suburban street. It took 2 ½ hours before I got a ride with a guy who zig-zagged along until suddenly we were on the Autobahn going 140 km/hr.
It was raining again when he dropped me in Rosenheim, but I put on my rain poncho, held out my “München” sign, and hoped for the best. Finally, just before I was fully soaked, a guy going home from work to see his 4-month-old baby girl picked me up and got me to Munich. Found my way to Thomas’s house and we had cheap Chinese down the block before going to sleep.
Moral of the story: I got to use the poncho that I almost did not buy.
Special thanks to Ana (https://ambigirl.com/), Matt and Denisa in Vienna, and to Thomas and Felix and friends in Munich.