Tag Archives: blablacar

Blablacar is better than hitchhiking!

hitch3This page is in both english unionjack and italian version (with more pictures).

Questa pagina ha anche una versione italiana italy la trovi dopo il racconto in inglese

 

I do not want, with this post, to create a competition between these two alternative ways of travelling, each of which is great.

Blablacar is a website for car-pooling, basically a platform that put in touch a person who has a car and has to travel from place A to place B, with other people whom need to travel from A to B, upon payment of a sum of money agreed. A kind of organized hitchhiking.

In Europe, both methods are well-known and used, in Spain, for instance, blablacar became a source of extra income for those who have a car and must travel, in period of crisis is not a bad idea, while doing hitchhiking are mostly youngsters and backpackers, for lack of money and/or spirit of adventure.

hitcI traveled often by hitchhiking, in Albania, Bulgaria (picture at the end of this post), Romania (picture on the left and at the end of this post), Macedonia (picture below, crossing the border with Albania, towards Ohrid lake) but since one year I have learnt to appreciate and rather prefer blablacar, in the few points below I will try to explain why:

 -Fair

If you have ever hitchhiked you know the ‘rules’: a girl has much more chance than a boy; a boy with a girl have many chances to get a ride, two friends have almost zero chances.

Blablacar is fair! Doesn’t matter whether you are a man or woman, that you have a long beard and tattoo all over your body or you are an angel-face person, whether you are two male friends or two sexy female friends … you’ll have the same chance to find a trip. Respect!

hitchEco-friendly

Simple and clear, fulfilling a car by travelling in 4 or 5, getting from point A to point B, is absolutely more eco-friendly than to find a car ride, by hitchhiking. Where you will be most likely who drives and you

Save time vs. saving money

Here we are in front of two choices, covering the distance in a short time or saving money to reach the destination for free? I would be for the second option, but often a journey in different stops, by hitchhiking, can be even more expensive, if you have to stay somewhere overnight. With blablacar you agree on a day and a scheduled time, spending less compared to a classic journey by train or bus.

Safety

Let say the truth, get in a car with a stranger is a nice adrenaline rush. You can like the idea, as I do, but many others could consider it risky (…). Especially for girls. Blablacar is safer, who offers the trip has a profile on the website, a phone number that you call to agree on the trip and you know the destinations, where you start and where you end your journey

-Fun

Share a journey with other 3/4 people is funnier than doing it with a single, statistically. I (almost) always enjoyed doing blablacar, if there wasn’t one interesting person I had a chance to try with another passenger. Or if you are tired and you do not want to talk, you can leave the conversation to the other passengers, without being unpolite. I had fun experiences, by hitchhiking, with people who did not speak English and I did not speak their language, it was great the way we handled the situation, however, what an effort! 🙂

 

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———————————– italy —————————————————

hitch2In italia, forse, blablacar e hitchhike saranno parole poco conosciute, per chi non ne avesse sentito parlare fino ad ora, le spiego brevemente.

Blablacar e’ un sito di car pooling, non sai cosa e’ il car pooling? 🙂 Praticamente un sito che permette ad una persona che ha un auto e deve viaggiare dal posto A al posto B, di condividere il viaggio con altre persone, dietro il pagamento di una somma di denaro concordata. Una specie di autostop organizzato. Hitchhiking e’, invece, fare autostop, non organizzato.

In italia fare hitchhiking/autostop e’, quasi, una missione impossibile, vietato in autostrada, poco utilizzato altrove. Eppure da ragazzino, una ventina e piu’ di anni fa, era abbastanza comune, spesso rientravo da scuola in questo modo o uscivo la sera per andare in un bar fuori dal paesino, alzando il pollice (e poi il gomito, ma questa e’ un’altra storia).

Nel resto d’Europa, entrambi i metodi sono molto conosciuti ed utilizzati, in Spagna blablacar e’ diventata una fonte di guadagno extra per chi ha una macchina e deve viaggiare, in periodi di crisi, ci si ingegna, mentre a fare hitchhiking sono moltissimi giovani, un po’ per carenza di denaro, un po’ per spirito di avventura.

Ho viaggiato spesso anche io facendo hitchhiking, in Albania e kosovo, in Bulgaria, in Romania, in Macedonia … ma con il tempo ho imparato ad apprezzare e preferire blablacar. Non voglio fare una competizione tra questi due modi alternativi di viaggiare, ognuno dei quali e’ ottimo, cerco solo di dare le mie spiegazioni sul perche’ ho iniziato a preferire blablacar:

hitch9-Imparziale

Chi fa hitchhike lo sa, una ragazza rispetto ad un ragazzo ha molte piu’ possibilita’ di successo, un ragazzo ed una ragazza ne hanno moltissime, due amici quasi zero. Blablacar e’ imparziale, uomo o donna che tu sia, barba lunga ed incolta o meno, due amici o due amiche, poco importa, avrai le stesse possibilita’ di trovare un viaggio. Respect!

-Ecologico

Semplice e chiaro, viaggiare in 4 o 5 in un auto, partendo dal punto A arrivando al punto B, e’ assolutamente piu’ ecologico che trovare un passaggio in auto, facendo hitchhiking. Dove molto probabilmente saremo in due a fare il viaggio, chi conduce ed io.

-Risparmio di tempo vs risparmio denaro

Qui ci troviamo difronte a due scelte, percorrere la distanza in breve tempo o spendere il meno possibile, chiaramente sarei per la seconda opzione, ma spesso un viaggio a tappe, facendo hitchhike, puo’ risultare perfino piu’ costoso, se bisogna fermarsi per tratte brevi e pernottare. Con blablacar ci si accorda sul giorno e sull’orario, spendendo poco rispetto ad un classico viaggio in treno o bus.

-Sicurezza

Diciamoci la verita’, salire su un auto con uno sconosciuto e’ una bella botta di adrenalina. Puo’ piacere, ad esempio a me, ma molti lo ritengono rischioso (…). Soprattutto per le ragazze. Blablacar e’ sicuro, chi offre il viaggio ha un profilo sul sito, un numero di telefono che si contatta per mettersi d’accordo sul viaggio. Poi si sa da dove si parte e dove si arriva

hitch99-Divertimento

Condividere un viaggio con altre 3/4 persone e’ piu’ divertente che farlo con una sola, statisticamente. Mi sono (quasi) sempre divertito facendo blablacar, se non si trova una persona interessante si hanno chance di provare con un altro dei passeggeri.

Oppure se si e’ stanchi e non si ha voglia di parlare, si puo’ lasciare la conversazione agli altri passeggeri, senza fare la figura del poco educato.

Ho avuto esperienze divertenti, facendo hitchhiking, con persone che non parlavano inglese ed io non parlavo la loro lingua, pero’, che fatica! 🙂

 

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Warsaw (with my budget tips)

miastoThis page is in both english unionjack and italian version.

 

Questa pagina ha anche una versione italiana italy

Dopo la versione inglese troverai i miei consigli per visitare la citta’ in maniera economica

It wasn’t my first time in the polish capital, I have met friendly people and they showed me the city.  Below you will find my suggestions to visit Warsaw on budget.

blablaMoving in Poland is convenient. There are 3 possible ways, and all of them are affordable for budget travellers.

Hitchhiking is very common in the country, polish, among europeans, are one of the best hitchhikes. More info can be found on this page.

I choose to use blablacar. It saved me some time, as the journey to my next destination was quiet long. From Krakow to Warsaw I paid 35 zloty, less than 10 Euro.

vodkaNightlife in Warsaw is intense and lively. In my personal experience I enjoyed more than in Krakow. Maybe because in Warsaw I have someone who showed me good places where to hang out.

Clubs, pubs and bars  are plentiful in Warsaw and are a very popular way to spend nearly every night out.  In the very centre there are good bars, walk through the gateway at Nowy Świat 22. You’ll find a few small buildings with bars and a local crowd, ready to hit the night. A beer is around 10zloty, good vodka has a similar price.

tatanka Sleeping at Tatamka hostel is a good and cheap option. The hostel offer an incredible free of charge laundry service, with a washing machine (and drier machine) available to all guests.

This hostel has a ‘hotel’ policy, you have to leave your keys at the reception when you go out, however it has a 24hrs service.

For an extra 5zloty – a bit more than 1 Euro, you can have a rich breakfast in the morning.

Location is very good, at walking distance from both old town and the core of nightlife, Nowy Świat street. Rooms and bathroom are kept clean. A nice backyard garden is available for guests.

warsawWarsaw city centre is the heart of the city.

It has a dramatic history, as it was completely destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, the city managed to lift itself from the ashes. Today, almost every building in Warsaw dates to the postwar era. Warsawians managed to rebuild the old centre so fast that has been included in the Unesco heritages list.

The best way to discover this beautiful part of the city is to walk. There are nice view points, to the Vistula river. The Old town offers events, street artist performances, bars and caffee.

For a cheap lunch I can suggest to try, at least once a milk bars (Polish: bar mlecznybary mleczne). They were originally created in the sixties to serve cheap meals based on milk products. After the fall of communism, most of them closed down but some survived and still bear the climate from the old days. Almost everything inside looks, feels and smells like in the 1980s. Menu is only in local languagge, so if you don’t want to risk anything, order pierogi (anyway young local will be always happy to help out).

 

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Muoversi in Polonia e’ economico. Si puo’ facilmente fare autostop, visto che e’ molto diffuso in tutto il paese ed i polacchi lo usano per viaggiare anche fuori dalla Polonia. Per maggiori informazioni consulta questa pagina. Io ho usato, comunque, il sito blablacar. Da Krakow a Warsaw ho pagato 35 zloty, meno di 10 Euro.

-La Nightlife e’ intensa a Varsavia, forse perche’ ho conosciuto gente, a mio avviso e’ migliore di Cracovia. Il centro e’ pieno di bar e locali dove bere e ascoltare musica. Quelli che preferisco sono dopo l’ingresso che da su  Nowy Świat 22. Proseguendo pochi metri si scopriranno diversi bar pieni di gente del posto. Prezzi contenuti, una birra media costa circa 10zloty, prova la vodka (sempre a temperatura ambiente!).

Dormi al Tatamka hostel ha prezzi contenuti ed una buona posizione, poco distante dal centro storico e dalla vita notturna. L’ostello offre un servizio di lavanderia gratuito.  Per extra 5zloty -qualcosa piu’ di 1 Euro, si puo’ avere una ricca colazione.

– Il centro storico di Varsavia e’ stato completamente distrutto dai nazisti alla fine della seconda guerra mondiale e poi ricostruito in tempi da record dalla popolazione, permettendogli di essere incluso nella lista del patrimonio unesco. Si percorre facilmente a piedi. Eventi varii e performance di artisti di strada, allietano la visita.

Mangia in un milk bar (in polacco bar mlecznybary mleczne). Si spende pochissimo e si assaggia una parte della tradizione recente, risalente agli anni del comunismo. E’ un self service, senza menu in altre lingue che il polacco. Se non vuoi sbagliare ordina i pierogi, una specie di ravioli giganti. Comunque se si hanno problemi, basta chiedere a qualche giovane, sara’ sicuramente felice di aiutare.

Malaga, what a (nice) surprise!

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Despite being packed by tourists and travellers (especially during summer) Malaga is well organized, safe and nice to visit. There aren’t many sights, compared to other andalusian and spanish cities, and historically is not that interesting, however the pleasant weather, a city beach at walking distance from the centre and a big number of bars, restaurants and shops, make the time spent here as enjoyable.

Malaga is the birthplace of the famous painter and artist, Pablo Picasso. Museum and other attractions are related to him.

-Where to stay? Oasis Hostel is the house of all party animals gathered in Malaga! Centrally located, all bars and clubs are very close, not far from the beach. Several activities available to have fun and socialize with other travellers

mal6-Beach. Malaga has a long beach not far from the centre, it’s called Malagueta. It’s not that nice like the ones in Valencia, Cadiz, Tarifa, Barcelona … however it offers a pleasent benefit for tourists and travellers visiting the city. WC and showers are available for free. Restaurants, bar, shops are in a good number

-When you arrive at the airport, the cheapest and fastest option is to catch a metro train (C1 line) to the centre-Alameda (it’s the last stop). It costs 1,70€ (keep the ticket until you get out the station) and the ride takes only 10 minutes, while the city bus would cost 3€

-Always prefer blablacar rather than a bus or a train. A ride with blablacar will save you money (from Seville I paid 10€, by train it would have been 23€…) and time (a car doesn’t make stops), plus it’s a funny experience to meet local and nice people. Try it!

mal4-Roman theatre and Alcazaba are free on sunday

-If you want to save some money during your stay, my advise is to prepare your meals at the hostel. There is a nice and picturesque city market where you can buy veggies, fruits, meat and fresh fish. Supermarkets (Dia, Supersol, Mercadona, while ‘el corte ingles‘ is a bit more expensive) are also available in a good number. There are many bakery shops that offer special deals. Also, due to the high number of restaurants and bars, it’s very possible to find special prices for meals. Avoid tourist traps!

Beer (cerveza) is served in small glass, called caña, I rather prefer to order a small bottle (bottellin) as the draft beer quality is, usually, poor and I have the impression that it’s mixed with water …

 

-Ready to have ‘fiesta‘?! Spanishs are great party animals and the spanish nightlife satisfies everyone. Start your long night by buying beer, alcool and soft drinks at the supermarket, then bring your bag and friends in an open space (park, big square, river, seaside). There is where everyone starts the night. It’s called bottellòn and you are going to love it! Clubs will be empty before 1am

mal10Free walking tour. Twice a day, at 11 and 18. In front of Teatro Cervantes (calle Ramos Marín)

 

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