Thumb #1

Getting from Genève to Bern was our plan. It all seemed fairly easy.

  1. Finding the right spot to hitchhike on CHECK!
  2. Writing down the name of the country/city/town/village/settlement we’re heading to: CHECK!
  3. Thumbs up: CHECK!
  4. Smiling and looking at each car that drives by: CHECK!

Given the premisses, the outcome was supposed to be good… However, we were stranded on the suburbs of Geneva waiting for a miracle (aka getting a ride), which never happened. We gave up after two hours and headed to the train station at the airport, which was close by. Once there, we had to come up with a backup plan. Taking a train was the most obvious choice… despite being unbelievably expensive. So we decided to go the obvious way and bought two half-tickets from Bern to Lausanne. Expecting there to hitchhike to Bern.


Now €30 poorer (would be €60 if we had paid the full ticket…), we boarded the train for a 40-minute-journey. And then my worst nightmare happened: the conductor entered our carriage. My sister said she would go and hide in the bathroom. I began to panic, my hear rate went though the roof and I was only thinking about how foolishly cheap I was and that now was about to suffer the consequences. Most likely a fine that would already add to the tab of the stolen camera. We got freaking worried. F*CK YOU GENEVA! The man stood in front of us, smiling, and I quietly handed him the tickets. He pierced them, said Merci and left. WHAT A RELIEF. Lausanne was only a few minutes away.

From Lausanne (Switzerland) to Bern (Switzerland) – 103 km

Ride #1
Hallelujah! Someone actually stopped! A cute and cheerful Swiss girl (unfortunately can’t recall her name…) picked us up on the outskirts of Lausanne. Super friendly, she put us at easy right away. Having never hitchhiked before, we were her first! She even offered to host us in her town, Friburg, but we kindly declined, because someone was already expecting us in Bern that day. 🙂 She left us in a bit of a remote area, just outside one of the highway exits. I began to fear a bit, that no one would pick us up at that spot, but that feeling lasted only for a brief moment…

Ride #2
While I was inspecting the area, trying to figure were we should stand with our thumbs up, my sister was securing our belongings. A car then stopped where she was (I know, girls have it easier…), and a Swiss old woman told her that we should move a bit further. So we swiftly put out stuff in her car and she gave us a ride, for like 30 seconds, a few hundred meters ahead! I can assume this will be our shortest ride ever… Three kisses and a few mumbled Merci’s and she went her way!

Ride #3
Being in the correct place helped. A young guy stopped and we hoped in. He was heading to Friburg and didn’t talk much. Dropped us off the highway and said it would be fairly easy to get a lift from there.

Ride #4
We waited and waited and waited… Traffic was heavy but most cars were heading straight ahead, and we were looking for those who would turn right.

To Bern

There was a crosswalk with traffic lights where we were standing and I kept pushing the button for the pedestrian’s green to turn on, so that cars would drive slowly and therefore notice us. #HitchhikingTechniques

A BMW actually stopped and we hopped in. A French living in Switzerland (no surprises here, I’d say), he even knew some words in Portuguese! Even though he was not going to Bern, he said that where he was going to drop us, there would be no problem in getting a ride, as we were very close to our destination.

Ride #5
Bertrand! Actually a name I can remember! From Neuchâtel, this young guy was the last piece of the complex hitchhiking puzzle. I guess we kind of succeeded. He left us close to the city centre, by the bears.

Willkommen in Bern!


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