The journey started in Slovakia. I crossed Austria, Germany and got to the Switzerland relatively according to my timeplan. I wanted to avoid driving by night. Because of my recent laser operation I still have problems seeing well at dark. In Germany, I took a hitchhiker. He had Polish ancestry, lived in Germany, studying in Switzerland. In the beginning I let him speak Polish and try to pick up words, but then we just switched to German. He was fun, not unpleasant, but one thing that I don't like about hitchhikers is that they take it for granted that they go like this for free, not even buying you something symbolic, like a chocolate at the gas station.
|My hitchhiking colleague in front of one of the Swiss lakes|
|Gabi and Andrei in Zug|
So the car mechanic grabbed my car, loaded it on a truck and took me to their garage. Hannes, a friend from Austria that I met in Hamburg and who spoke French, helped me with the translation over the phone (Thank you!), when dealing with the guys from the garage. I did not feel like going in a hotel there, so I asked if I can sleep in the car and he did not have a problem with that. That probably made impression on them, making them think I am rather poor, because later I discovered that they found some older, still functional alternator and gave me a discount. I was happy that I could continue and that it was not as expensive. In the end I payed some 370 € for the towing and for the alternator replacement.
|The beauties of la France|
|Clio cut open. On the rigt side the old alternator|
Passing through the Basque ragion was magical. The humid forests of the Pyrenees. Beautiful stuff. I was turning my head around like kid in a candyshop. Then came Castile and León and the road became drier, flatter and monotonous. One could see only hills with dry grass on them. The Sun was setting when I came to Galicia and the nature was getting greener again. I crossed the borders to Portugal and had some one and half an hour to Porto.
|Passing through the Basque region|
|Already chillin' in Porto|