July 30, 2012 by farbolino
Mike and I woke up early to make sure we had an early start to a long day of hitchhiking to Stockholm from Gothenburg. We wanted to make it to the spot recommended by Hitchwiki before 9:00. So we hopped on the tram (without paying) which took us closer to the spot, otherwise it would have been an hours walk.
Unfortunately we had really bad luck and waited over 2 1/2 hours and not even one car stopped. The traffic was pretty light, but even still someone should have stopped sooner.
One of the interesting things about this spot was it overlooked a System Bolaget (state run seller of alcohol) which opened at 10:00. Cars starting lining up in the parking lot at 9:50 in the morning on a Monday to start buying hard alcohol. Others walked there and waited for the doors to open. By 10:30 there were alcoholics fighting in the parking lot since they were already drunk.
So we looked on a map to try and find a better spot, but it didn’t look like there really was one. We went back to the center of the city where there was an on-ramp, but there really wasn’t a good place for cars to pull over. Luckily there was a stop light that forced the traffic to look at us. Within 10 minutes a young guy pulled up, rolled down his window and said he was only going 50 miles east. We thought anything would be better then being in Gothenburg and took the ride. After transferring to the new spot and eating some food it was already 1 o’clock and it had taken us 4 hours to get out of the city.
Andreas (our driver) was a cool 24 year old who had been visiting his girlfriend in Gothenburg and was headed back home to a small town inland. We got to talking and we all just got along really well. He had never picked up hitchhikers before and was really curious about the whole thing. Soon enough his turn off the highway came and we pulled into a gas station. He asked if it was a good enough spot, and we confirmed it was perfect. Then he said he could take us a little further and turn off the highway a little ways down the road. So we hopped back in the car and off we went.
The conversation was so good that there were a few times that we were all almost crying we were laughing so hard. I’ll save you the details, but the conversation was mostly about sex. Next thing I know, we’ve driven 100km past the gas station. Andreas said that he was having such a good time that he didn’t want to drop us off, so we kept driving. We told him that he could drop us off anywhere, but he said he was on vacation and had nothing better to do He genuinely wanted to take us further. In the end, after some awesome conversation he had driven us almost 300 km! I can’t even describe how generous he was either. He was always offering us things, including little bottles of Johnnie Walker Whiskey. When he finally dropped us off there was no possible way we could thank him enough.
He ended up dropping us off in Örebro which was one of the larger towns along the way. We walked to a different exit of the highway where there was a grocery store and a gas station. We bought some food and then walked to the gas station to ask for a ride. Most people were staying local, so we decided to walk to the on ramp for the highway and thumb it there. After about 45 minutes a small red Peugeot pulled over and we jumped in. Richard the driver was busy eating hamburgers that he just purchased from the fast food joint next to the highway, but inbetween bites managed to tell us he was a truck driver and was headed about 80km further down the road to Eskilstuna. We were happy to get out on the road again since it was getting late in the day. We knew it was likely that we wouldn’t reach Stockholm that day.
We tried to hitchhike at the round about in Eskilstuna until about 9:30 pm. The only one to pull over was a group of guys asking if we had any drugs on us. I thought it was an interesting question, said no, and they drove off. We walked to the McDonalds and washed our faces before setting up the tent on the other side of the road in a wooded area and preparing to reach Stockholm the next day.